Raspberry Pi clones have cropped up from various sources but few come from established PC makers – that makes the Asus Tinker Board special. The board has essentially the same layout as the Pi, but uses the Rockchip 3288 chipset – the same as the one found in certain Asus Chromebooks and the Asus Chromebit.
This chip is powerful enough to decode H.264 and HEVC videos all the way to 2160p @ 60fps with 10-bit support to boot. Thats well beyond the capabilities of the Raspberry, making the Asus board more suitable for a media center. Having HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet certainly help (vs. Pis HDMI 1.4 and 100Mbps Ethernet).
We would have liked USB 3.0 ports, but like the Pi, the Asus Tinker Board comes with four full-size USB 2.0 ports (and one micro for power). Theres 40-pin header for hardware tinkering and it will work with Raspberry HATs (also cases, of course, the hardware layout is the same).
Asus Tinker Board
The board officially supports Debian Linux with Kodi, but the hardware similarities mean that porting Chrome OS should be easy. Speaking of, the chipset features a quad-core Cortex-A17 processor (yes, 32-bit, unlike Pi 3, but the cores are faster), 2GB of RAM (vs. 1GB) and a UHS-I compatible microSD slot for storage. Wireless connectivity is built in as well – Wi-Fi b/g/n (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity.
You can buy an Asus Tinker Board in Europe, it goes for 65/55 with VAT.