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The Hardkernel ODROID-N2: A Raspberry Pi alternative with a hexa-core SoC, 4 GB RAM and a high-quality DAC

The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 integrates four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and two Cortex-A53 cores along with an ARM Mali-G52 GPU. (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 integrates four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and two Cortex-A53 cores along with an ARM Mali-G52 GPU. (Image source: Hardkernel)
Hardkernel has announced its latest single-board computer, the ODROID-N2. The device is equipped with a hexa-core SoC and up to 4 GB DDR4 RAM, which should deliver considerably more performance than the Raspberry Pi while remaining affordable. There is 384 KHz/32-bit stereo DAC onboard too.

Hardkernel has announced the successor to the ODROID-N1, which the company has aptly named the ODROID-N2. The new model measures 90 x 90 mm and is equipped with a 12 nm SoC that integrates four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and two Cortex-A53 cores on a big.Little architecture. The former can clock up to 1.8 GHz across all four cores. The SoC also has an ARM Mali-G52 GPU onboard for handling graphics processes. Hardkernel stresses that the large metal heatsink will help minimise thermal throttling too. Moreover, the company claims that the single-board computer is up to seven times faster than the Raspberry Pi 3 in some benchmarks.

The ODROID-N2 also integrates 2 or 4 GB of DDR4 RAM that Hardkernel asserts is 35% faster than the RAM in its predecessor. The single-board supports microSD cards and eMMC modules, while there is a HDMI 2.0 port for outputting at 4K too, which is impressive given the ODROID N2's small footprint.

Hardkernel has included 4 USB 3.0 Type-A ports along with a USB 2.0 micro USB with OTG support. There is also an RJ45 Ethernet port and an IR receiver, should you wish to integrate a remote control. Please keep in mind that there is no onboard Wi-Fi. Additionally, the ODROID-N2 has various connectors for developers including a 40 pin GPIO, a UART and an I2C among others.

Furthermore, the ODROID-N2 has a 384 KHz/32-bit DAC that can output at up to 100 dB(A) while keeping total harmonic distortion below 0.006%, according to Hardkernel. The single-board computer will go on sale at the end of March and will cost US$63 for the 2 GB model, with the 4 GB costing US$79. Hardkernel will sell two cases for the ODROID-N2 that will cost US$4 too.

The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)
The Hardkernel ODROID-N2 (Image source: Hardkernel)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > The Hardkernel ODROID-N2: A Raspberry Pi alternative with a hexa-core SoC, 4 GB RAM and a high-quality DAC
Alex Alderson, 2019-02-14 (Update: 2019-02-14)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.