£45 Odroid U microboard; Quad-core power on a budget

We only just recently came across the Odroid brand, one which is based in Korea and sells base units, not unlike the popular Raspberry Pi.

While the latter is very affordable, many have complained about the fact that it is quite slow, which is where Odroid comes in, albeit with a 50 per cent premium.

The company offers four products, all based on the award-winning Samsung Exynos 4412 system-on-chip, the same that powers the Galaxy Note II, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Note II. Two models are clocked at 1.5GHz and two reach 1.7GHz with overclocking speeds of up to 1.8GHz and 2GHz respectively.

The cheapest Odroid, the Odroid-U, has a Mali-400 GPU clocked at of 400MHz (overclockable to 533MHz), 1GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, one eMMC connector, three USB 2.0 ports, audio in (but no audio out), Ethernet and HDMI ports. It is powered by a 5V 2A power supply and even comes with an oversized heat sink. Most surprising is the cost, a mere $69 excluding shopping (that’s around £45).

So how fast is the device? The Odroid-X2 which uses the 1.7GHz Exynos 4412 “Prime” reaches 7,752 on the Antutu benchmark, around 50 per cent faster than the Nvidia Tegra 3 on the HTC One X.