NanoPi Neo, an equivalent of the Raspberry Pi Zero is currently available under the FriendlyARM brand based in China at $8 per unit excluding shipping charges. Available in both 256MB and 512MB RAM, the NanoPi Neo is a 40mm square board powered by an Allwinner H3 quad-core processor running up to 1.2GHz. However, you will have to pay $2 extra to experience 512MB RAM variant of NanoPi Neo.
With three USB 2.0 type A ports, the NanoPi NEO features a 10/100 Ethernet port, MicroUSB port, which is oriented for power input and data transmission purposes. The board is also equipped with a Micro SD card slot with debugging serial port featuring 4-pin and 2.54 mm pitch pin header. Moreover, the NanoPi NEO also offers 2.54mm pitch 36pin GPIO, which includes UART, SPI, I2C, and IO.
NanoPi Neo Specs
Pre-loaded with Ubuntu, the NanoPi Neo is a simple square shaped device with circuits and ports scattered all over the board. The official website has clearly marked the various parameters integrated into the board. We can visualize the processor, ethernet port, 24pin GPIO in addition to USB 2.0 and other required ports.
Touted to be used to build a wide range of applications, the NanoPi Neo can be used to build a matrix starter kit, USB camera, LCD2USB, USB Wi-Fi and Matrix GPS. However, you will be able to extend the usage of the board with your own creativity and imagination.
If you would like to purchase the NanoPi NEO, you can have the retailer to ship to India for $4 extra via China Post or $14 extra via DHL Express. However, you can place an order in such a way to ship the unit via FedEx with an extra $25. If you add 512MB RAM, then the cost will increase to $2 extra.
At the end of the day, you are getting a Linux based board similar to that of Raspberry Pi Zero for $12, which is not a bad deal if you want to create some experiments creatively.
To work with NanoPi NEO, you require the board, a microSD card with minimum Class 10 and above 8GB capacity, a 5V/2A power source including a computer running Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit.
With over million of units sold, the Raspberry Pi 3 has rapidly evolved from a simple gadget development tool into a PC. We now have NanoPi Neo to explore, which is dubbed to be a likely competitor to the Pi 3.