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$30 NanoPi M1 Plus is Smaller Than a Raspberry Pi

It's difficult to beat the value on offer with a Raspberry Pi. You get a very capable Linux PC in a credit card-sized package. But there are a few areas where it could be improved, most notably, the lack of on-board storage. That's where the NanoPi M1 Plus from FriendlyElec comes in. It's trying to compete with the Raspberry Pi by adding on board storage. It's also two-thirds the size and only costs $29.99.

The 64-by-60mm NanoPi M1 Plus uses an Allwinner H3 quad-core Cortex A7 processor running at 1.2GHz. That's backed up by a Mali 400MP2 GPU running at 600MHz and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. Storage can be expanded using a micro SD card, but unlike the Raspberry Pi this board includes 8GB of eMMC storage as standard. That's more than enough for an operating system.

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On that front, FriendlyElec includes support for running Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Core, and Debian. There's also a Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.11b/g/n wireless, an IR sensor, Bluetooth 4.0, microphone, HDMI 1.4 with support for up to 1080p resolution output, three USB 2.0 ports, Micro-USB for power, as well as power and reset buttons. The 40-pin GPIO is also compatible with the Raspberry Pi's GPIO.

For your $30 you'll get the board, a power cable, and antenna. There's a number of optional extras to purchase including a 5MP camera module, heatsink, GPS module, 3-axis digital compass, and many more suggesting FriendlyElec aims to hit the ground running against the established Raspberry Pi line-up.

It seems unlikely the NanoPi M1 Plus will challenge the Raspberry Pi's dominance, but that's in no small part due to the Pi already having a very well established ecosystem around it. If all you want is a tiny single-board desktop PC, however, the NanoPi is certainly worth a look.

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