So lately I’ve been tinkering a lot with other single board computers. Don’t get me wrong, Pi’s are awesome and the community support behind them is amazing. But even the most powerful model (the Pi 3+ B) is seriously lacking in power for some applications. Capped at 1GB of RAM and not a great CPU, there’s only so much you can do. And you really can’t use it as a daily computer, maybe that’s just me, but I can’t, it’s just too slow. And it really gets to me when it takes 10 seconds to load a web browser and then another 10 seconds to load a website. God, I wish they came up with a newer model….
So, I’ve been tinkering with other SBC lately. ASUS’s Tinkerboard (aptly named), the Atomic Pi, the OBU4, and an ACERPC with Win10 preloaded on it. I have to admit, the ACERPC with Win10 preloaded is the fastest of them all, and the smallest. And obviously you can install Linux on it, but be prepared for some headache. Same for all the others too.
See, the problem is I want to run Kali. And man, other then Pi’s I have the hardest time running Kali on SBC’s. Some just plain won’t work period (like the Tinkerboard) and others will (like the AtomicPi – since it’s x64 and not ARM) but be prepared to do some serious driver hunting. Which sucks.
By the way, the AtomicPi is HUGE. Not a big fan of it because of that. It’s basically a MicroATX computer without the case. I swear. It’s hard to classify it as a SBC in my mind. When I think SBC – I think of something I can put in my pocket. And good luck with the Atomic Pi. You better be wearing big cargo pants!
And yes, there’s a whole bunch of SBC out there, but their communities are tiny and drivers are non-existant. So many of them you have to rule out unless you want to run the one or two distros they’ve been designed to run on. Which I don’t want to use.
So far, I’ve gotten the furthest with the Tinkerboard (the community and support is nothing like the Pi’s, but out of all the others I’d say it’s in 2nd place). With some major fooling around you can get Kali to run on it, but so many features don’t work correctly. Argh, I wish Kali came out with a Tinkerboard image! Because I have to admit, it runs nice and is basically the same size as the Pi 3+ B, so that would be the ideal solution.
And I’m not a fan of the OBU4, don’t really know why, just don’t like it. It’s shape is weird, the distros it can run is weird, they put eMMC memory on it, but only 16GB, which what are you going to do with that? Designed poorly in my opinion.
Will keep you all posted….