ASUS Tinker Board 2S SBC launched for $120 and up

ASUS unveiled the Tinker Board 2 SBC with faster a Rockchip RK3399/OP1 processor together with the ASUS Tinker Board 2S board that adds a 16GB eMMC flash last October without pricing information. The good news is that the 2GB RAM version of Tinker Board 2S is now available on Amazon and Aliexpress for $120 and up. Note you’ll get a 5% discount if you are a follower on Aliexpress for a total of $132.99 including shipping.

Compared to the first Tinker Board, the new boards are also offered with up to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, an additional video output option with USB-C DisplayPort Alt mode, an upgrade to USB 3.0 ports and WiFi 5, RTC battery support, and a more stable 12V to 19V DC input.

Tinker Board 2SHere’s a reminder of Tinker Board 2S specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 (OP1) hexa-core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 cores up to 2.0 GHz, four Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.5 GHz, Mali-T860 MP4 GPU @ 800 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4, dual-channel (option for 4GB)
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, and MicroSD slot
  • Video output & Display I/F
    • 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60 with HDMI CEC
    • 1x 22-pin 4-lane MIPI DSI connector
    • 1x DisplayPort 1.2 via USB-C port
  • Audio – 1x 3.5mm audio jack; Realtek HD codec with 192KHz/24-bit audio
  • Camera – 15-pin MIPI CSI connector
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 2T2R, Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB – 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 host ports, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C OTG port
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin header with GPIOs, SPI, I2C, UART, PWM
    • 2-pin contact point with 1x PWM signal, 1x S/PDIF signal
  • Misc – Button, fan header, RTC battery header, power-on/recovery headers
  • Power Supply – 12V to 19V via DC jack
  • Dimensions – 85.6 x 54 cm

Rockchip OP1 SBC with eMMC flash, MicroSD cardASUS provides the Debian-based Tinker OS for the board,  as well as Android 10 and Android 11 (Beta) images for the board which you’ll find in the download section together with some other documents. More details may also be found on the documentation page, and support is provided through online forums.

Tom’s Hardware got a review sample in July, and the review is rather negative because of the “slow eMMC” (despite the performance being equivalent to a 16GB Class A1 MicroSD card), some Raspberry Pi accessories like the camera would not work with the board, 1080p video playback struggling in the web browser, and at the time of review, the lack of support for ASUS.GPIO Python library for GPIO control, but it seems to be working now.

ASUS Tinker Board 2S Heatsink antennas
Tinker Board 2S with heatsink and antennas – Image source: Cavedu blog

ASUS Tinker Board 2S ships with a thick Heatsink, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas, a shielding bag, and a Quick Start Guide. So you’d still need to get yourself a 12V to 19V power adapter, and a USB-C cable for flashing firmware to the eMMC flash. You should be able to use a laptop power brick plus potentially a plug adapter kit to make sure the plug fits into the 5.5/2.1mm DC jack. An alternative to ASUS Tinker Board 2S with the same Rockchip OP1 processor and onboard eMMC flash is the Rock Pi 4 Plus SBC with a much lower starting price of $49 plus shipping, but that’s provided you can find it in this configuration.

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29 Comments
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Ali TURKER
Ali TURKER
1 month ago

Friendlyarm’s NanoPC-T4 seems like a better option to me. They both have similar specs, but NanoPC-T4 comes with an nvme slot.

Pero
Pero
1 month ago

And an eDP port if you need it

Salvador
Salvador
1 month ago

The board looks nice. But at those prices.. x86.

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

According to the bottom picture USB type A ports are behind a GL3523 hub. Same thing as on ODROID N2 so… no thanks.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Why is everyone copying the most bad part of raspberry pi by putting the processor on the top side?????? rock pi 4 proved that it can sit well on the under side of the board

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

Friendlyelec, Hardkernel was putting the processor on the bottom of the boards before that.

Salvador
Salvador
1 month ago

I dont think that the soc on the bottom it’s a good idea for an rk3399!! Its too hot for passive cooling, that’s why it’s on top.. to be easy to put a fan on it.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

but at least if the processor is under ( where most components are shorter im height compared to the processor heat spreader ), it will have better mounting methods, ( unless you are from rpi family, where sales are good enough for custom cut-outs for csi, dsi … etc )

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

That’s BS. RK3399 at 28nm can be handled by passive cooling: https://github.com/ThomasKaiser/Knowledge/blob/master/articles/Heatsink_Efficiency.md

nobitakun
nobitakun
1 month ago

As most people reading this article would think, yes, that’s super expensive price, totally worthless. So pity, because their first board was actually pretty good. For this price I would expect a rk3588 paired with 8GB of RAM, but it does not exist so…

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

> Tom’s Hardware got a review sample in July, and the review is rather negative

LOL! Calling this collection of biased BS a review is a bit misleading 🙂

There are a lot of reasons to skip this board (especially the pricing) but this pathetic writing at Tom’s hardware is definitively not one of them…

Salvador
Salvador
1 month ago

And you are right.

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

Really like the silkscreen colour. Now I wonder if anyone does glow in the dark silkscreen.

wanderer_
1 month ago

Surely…
Right??

bernstein
bernstein
1 month ago

total overpriced. selling 5 (a72) to 9 (a53) year old cpu cores for a higher price? wtf?

the a72 is six generations behind the just released a710… even the cheapest phones come with more modern cpu cores…

willy
willy
1 month ago

Sadly, the most modern CPU cores that comes on SBCs these days seem to be the A55. I’d like to get a 16-core board for development, but there seems to be no serious offering for now.

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

If you don’t mind the crappy thunderx cores a bunch of retired servers are on eBay for 300 euro at the moment.

willy
willy
1 month ago

I’d like ARMv8.2 to have LSE, and the original thunderx doesn’t have it as far as I remember. But I’ve checked not long ago just in case and didn’t find any at such a low price. I should probably recheck more often.

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

I offered them 50 euro for one and they rejected my offer but I think these have been up for months with no sales so maybe they’ll consider less than 300. 🙂 https://www.ebay.com/itm/333986600758 I guess these really need some sort of chassis with a high current DC power supply. Looking at the photos it looks like a DC input that goes to a local PSU that then powers the board. I was thinking the motherboard power connector is probably the standard one used on similar Xeon boards so maybe they would work with an ATX to whatever that connector is… Read more »

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 month ago

Take a look at the front view of the device. The sticker there says “LAME 4”. Looks like the previous owner wasn’t impressed by it.

Willy
Willy
1 month ago

The seller is in France (like me), where “lame” means “blade” so that totally makes sense in fact 🙂

The main problem with such devices and form factor is that you can expect ~130dB during operation, which is a bit too much for my ears 🙂 However it can be great for a build farm (keeping in mind that these CPUs do not support arm32 mode).

It’s equipped with CN8890 which are nice devices (48 cores each) but I’d really like to have the LSE atomics extensions since my goal is to optimize parallelism for modern platforms.

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 month ago

Ahh, must come from the Latin lamila or layer. Thanks for the translation. Still sort of funny, though. 😉

Willy
Willy
1 month ago

I agree. It’s very possible that they had fun assigning this name and did it on purpose!

Nick Summy
1 month ago
willy
willy
1 month ago

This indeed says a lot, and would make sense to avoid for build farms as well!

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

Yeah I saw that. One of the people in that thread said their instances were working fine and apparently the issue is panics without being able to remotely reboot.. Cheapy sonoff wifi switch would fix that.

Anyhooo I haggled them down to 220 euro and the shipping to Japan wasn’t insane so I bought one for as the kids say “the lulz”.

wboz88
wboz88
1 month ago

Agree on the comments on questionable value, but I think what we are missing is that the mental benchmark (a Raspberry Pi 4) is out of stock nearly everywhere for the 4GB model, and has been since May. Other SBC? Similar. The ones still in stock are the ones people don’t want. You can buy RPi on Amazon for $98, so that seems to be the market-clearing price You can buy from Chicago Electric for $55, presumably plus shipping. In stock is unclear The Toms Hardware review summary is “buy a Pi instead”. Ok, great — how? Now I’m sure… Read more »

wboz88
wboz88
1 month ago

Edit: For clarity (can’t edit post), the 4GB Pi stickers at $55
Only the 2GB is $35. That one was easier to find, but recently seems less so.

George Van Tuyl
George Van Tuyl
1 month ago

A Dual core Ryzen with 4gb mem and an NVME slot and an Ethernet port ipv6, Keyboard, and mouse ports plus an HDMI port would be my preferred.

Linux OS would also be nice.

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