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FriendlyElec NanoPi M4: The Raspberry Pi alternative can now be used as a NAS for just US$25 thanks to a new HAT expansion board

The NanoPi M4 can now be used as a NAS thanks to a new HAT expansion board (Image source: FriendlyElec)
The NanoPi M4 can now be used as a NAS thanks to a new HAT expansion board (Image source: FriendlyElec)
Compact single-board computers can deliver excellent performance and fast file transfers. A new expansion board for the NanoPi M4 should allow it to be realised as network-attached storage (NAS).

The NanoPi M4 is a powerful alternative to the Raspberry Pi, which Friendly Elec equips with a hexa-core Rockchip RK3399 SoC and 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. As usual for single-board computers, the NanoPi M4 has numerous ports for use in various projects. The device is powerful enough for use not only in craft projects but also as network memory.

FriendlyElec has now released a new HAT expansion board that it has specifically designed for the NanoPi M4 to allow it to become a NAS. The company has based the SATA HAT on a Marvell 88SE9215 chip and has integrated four SATA ports that can run at up to 6 GBit/s. FriendlyElec cools the Marvell 88SE9215 with a custom heatsink that attaches via two mounting holes.

There are also two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, a fan connector for active cooling, a 12 V power in and two GPIO connectors on the rear. Moreover, the HAT can power up to four 3.5-inch HDDs via a 4-pin SATA power out and incorporates individual status LEDs for each SATA connection. There is a power key and a jumper too should you need to use it.

The SATA HAT for the NanoPi M4 will work with FriendlyCore 18.04 (64-bit), FriendlyDesktop 18.04 (64-Bit) and Lubuntu 16.04 (64-bit), according to FriendlyElec. The expansion board weighs just 33 g and is currently available for US$25.

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A look at the FriendlyElec SATA HAT expansion board for the NanoPi M4 (Image source: FriendlyElec)
A look at the FriendlyElec SATA HAT expansion board for the NanoPi M4 (Image source: FriendlyElec)
A look at the FriendlyElec SATA HAT expansion board for the NanoPi M4 (Image source: FriendlyElec)
The SATA HAT expansion board comes with a heatsink, paste, SATA cables along with corresponding screws and nuts (Image source: FriendlyElec)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > FriendlyElec NanoPi M4: The Raspberry Pi alternative can now be used as a NAS for just US$25 thanks to a new HAT expansion board
Alex Alderson, 2019-02-20 (Update: 2019-02-21)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.