Startup company Libre Computer Project recently introduced a new single-board computer on Kickstarter, aiming to provide a more powerful yet cheaper alternative to the popular Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The unit is currently referred to as the Le Potato though that likely won't be the official name of the product that offers 4K video capabilities, higher I/O throughput, and largely better specifications compared to its main competitor. The lowest Kickstarter pledge is worth $25 and includes one board with 1GB of RAM as an early bird reward.
The Le Potato single-board computer is powered by an Amlogic S905X-CC system-on-chip (SoC) based on four ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz. The processor works alongside the ARM Mali-450 graphics chip, and the system will be available with either 1GB or 2GB of RAM. As far as synthetic benchmarks are concerned, the Amlogic S905X-CC achieves around 660 and 1,902 points in single-core and multi-core tests on Geekbench. In contrast, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B scores 496 and 1,302 points, and the ASUS Tinker Board yields 738 and 1,708 points in the same benchmark. The board also incorporates an RJ45 100Mb Fast Ethernet network card, an HDMI 2.0 port and infrared receiver, four USB 2.0 ports, and a 40 Pin Header for PWM, I2C, I2S, SPI, and GPIO. According to the manufacturer, when compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, the single-board Le Potato computer promises 50 percent faster CPU and GPU performance, superior hardware accelerated codec support, 4K UHD video output with HDR, non-shared bandwidth for USB and LAN, an IR Receiver, and eMMC Daughter Board support, among other things. However, the Le Potato lacks a DSI and CSI Interface and doesn’t come with support for Bluetooth and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Le Potato supports Android 7.1 Nougat as well as Linux 4.9 LTS, and the manufacturer claims that it should have equal or better upstream and downstream support compared to the Raspberry Pi. However, the company also claims that while Linux OS distributions will favor the Raspberry Pi, the Le Potato promises better support for the Android operating system. As of this writing, the project has a Kickstarter goal of $25,000 and its supporters have pledged a little over $19,500. The campaign has five more days left before it will either be shelved or fully funded, so prospective buyers may want to have a closer look at what the Le Potato has to offer while there's still time for the device to be crowdfunded.