When comparing Raspberry Pi Zero vs ASUS Tinker Board, the Slant community recommends Raspberry Pi Zero for most people. In the question“What are the best single-board computers?” Raspberry Pi Zero is ranked 4th while ASUS Tinker Board is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Raspberry Pi Zero is:
Raspberry Pi has the largest following of any single-board computer. The amount of guides, tutorials and software available for the Raspberry Pi is unmatched by any other competitor. A regular user has close to no chance to run into a problem that hasn’t been covered already. If a web search doesn’t yield any results, the users on the official forums are very responsive and will usually reply within a day.
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Pro The largest and most active community
Pro Extremely cheap
Costs just $5.
Pro Extremely small size
The Raspberry Pi Zero measures only 6.5cmX3cm and is 0.5cm thick. Making it one of the smallest (if not the smallest) single board computer that can run a desktop OS.
The small size makes it extremely portable and manageable, compared for example to the original Raspberry Pi which often looked clunky and large when strapped on something that would be moving.
Pro Easy to install the official OS
All Raspberry Pi boards run Linux as a default OS, the Debian-based Raspbian specifically. Setting up Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi is a breeze and even someone who has not installed an OS before can easily do it.
By simply following the official documentation, you download the relevant software on the microSD card and boot up the board. After this, you can simply follow the instructions to install the OS.
Pro Can easily be powered from any external battery pack
Because of its small size and because of the ARM based processor which is extremely energy efficient, it can be run with any kind of external battery pack, even those that are used to charge phones.
This makes it perfect for portable projects that need to be run even when not close to an energy source.
Pro Can run a full HD display at 60FPS
The GPU that the Pi Zero uses is relatively powerful. In fact, it should be able to run a full HD display at 60FPS without any problems.
Pro Fast if the OS is compiled properly
If the kernel is compiled properly (like re4son kernel for Kali linux) it's surprisingly fast.
Pro Great value for the price
The ASUS Tinker Board offers performance that outclasses other single-board computers in this price range. It can easily be used as a daily PC substitute and it can easily handle some tasks that competitors (like the Pi 3 for example) find difficult. Things like image editing, streaming Full HD videos, and even playing some simple browser-based games can easily be done on the Tinker Board.
Pro The official OS is quite complete out of the box
You can get the official Linux image for the Tinker Board website. It's actually a customized version of Debian that's changed to work as smoothly as possible on Tinker Board's hardware.
It comes with all the essential applications every PC has nowadays (web browser, text, editor, etc.) and some more specialized tools that are used to control the GPIO pins and that allow more advanced users to "talk" to the hardware.
Pro Unique and pleasant aesthetic
Unlike most boards on the market, the ASUS Tinker Board is rather aesthetically pleasing as well. It has an array of colours which help distinguish the different connectors. Especially nice are the GPIO pin headers which are all colour-coded to identify the various types of pins.
Pro Possible to connect an external WiFi antenna
Yes, you can add an external WiFi adapter to most SBCs but the ability to connect an external antenna to the embedded WiFi is a pretty rare feature.
Pro Gigabit Ethernet on board
And since it has a dedicated controller which is not shared with USB it's very fast an the speed doesn't depend on USB usage (and vice versa).
Pro Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth
This board has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.
Pro Previous Raspberry Pi owners will find themselves at ease with the GPIO library
The Tinker Board uses the same GPIO libraries as Raspberry Pi does. This means that users coming from Raspberry Pi who want to play around with the Tinker Board's GPIO pins will find it very easy to do so.
Pro Fits on most Raspberry Pi cases
This single-board computer copies the form-factor of the raspberry pi to a T. The size is about the same and most of the connectors are at the same spots as the Raspberry Pi.
Con No Ethernet port
The Raspberry Pi Zero has no Ethernet port, which means that the only way to connect to the internet with it is through a WiFi dongle or a USB Ethernet port.
Con Impossible to find one actually selling for $5
Usually out of stock or with shipping fee higher than $5.
Con Needs micro-B USB to USB-A converter
In order to connect the Pi Zero to peripherals, it needs a micro-B USB to USB A converter since it only has micro-USB ports and most peripherals don't use that.
Con Has only two micro-USB ports
Due to its small size (and price) the Raspberry Pi Zero only has two micro-USB ports, and one of them is for power which leaves only one port for peripherals.
Con No built-in storage
SD Card required to boot, which further increases the price.
Con No built-in Wi-Fi
Raspberry Pi Zero has no built-in WiFi card.
Con Limited media center support
Con The support behind it is lacking
The technical support provided by ASUS is rather lacking, compared to competitors and knowing how important ASUS is in the tech world. The documentation is lacklustre, the official website is filled with marketing-speak without any actual valuable information for someone who has already bought the board, and to top it off, the download link for the official OS is hidden away inside the ASUS website in the drivers section.