I’ve been itching to say SOMETHING about this new SBC board from FriendlyArm. This clearly is not meant to compete with the Raspberry Pi – not at the price –it is meant to blow it away. The NanoPC-T4 is “by far the smallest RK3399 based high performance ARM board with popular ports and interfaces” according to FriendlyArm.
At 100mm x 64mm the board is comparable to other SBCs out there but comes complete with 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, 4K video, 2 camera inputs, USB3, Gigabit Ethernet and so much more, at a correspondingly premium price.
Dual band WIFI and a full standard PCIe interface which supports an VNME SSD high-speed hard drive.
The T4 unit supports GPU and VPU acceleration with Android 7.1 and Ubuntu Desktop. Dual camera interface, mini-DSI and eDP display interfaces along with HDMI 2.0
Type-C-DP, USB 3.0, UDB 2.0, MicroSD, 3.5mm audio jack, IR receiver, AD input, serial debug and 40 pin “RPI-compatible” interface… the list goes on.
Let’s see: Bluetooth 4.1 (I could go on forever but this WIKI covers all the spec so here it is – lots and lots of info): the T4 WIKI has enough info to keep you reading for some time. Note the power jack is 12v, not (as you might expect) 5v. In the WIKI you will also find images for e-flashing. I’m assuming that Armbian will have something available before too long (but check in case I’m wrong). I’m happy in this instance with Android 7.1
I have no doubt the T4 will make an excellent (if somewhat more up-range than usual) addition to the FriendlyArm range of boards and to test that I took their installer software which installed Android 7.1 on the board. Everything worked first time and blazingly fast at that. With 16GB of eMMC and 4GB RAM, the board will also handle USB3 and PCIe so if I decide I need somewhere to store movies, I don’t expect any problems.
Infra-red receiver is built-in. What a great start and according to the manufacturer, 4K should be no problem.
I've fitted the "case" which comprises nothing more than top and bottom Perspex panels, bolts and spacers but still protects the board and my new media centre is almost ready to test on my new 4K TV.
Update August 4, 2018 - Android seems to have screen overscan issues, is not rooted and at first I could not access the screen settings to fix. At this point not impressed. Software will make or break this expensive board... eventually I used ADB on my PC to resolve the problem but many users will not know how to do this. The PC ADB software comprises a single ZIP file from xda-developers.com - https://www.xda-developers.com/install-adb-windows-macos-linux/
Once installed on the PC, if you have turned on USB debugging on Android, and connected the PC and Android boxes by USB, then for example from the PC command line:
adb shell wm overscan 30,20,30,20
The 4 values will depend on the level of issue you have with your monitor - the values are x1,y1, x2,y2. Positive values pull in more info from the edges, negative values hide more info, 0 resets the offset to 0.
Once you get started it is easy and does NOT need any kind of Android rooting. There are other commands you can use but this solved my problem and the changes survive power cycling.