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ARMBrix Zero: just like the Raspberry Pi, only much more powerful

We witnessed the rise of affordable ARM-based microboards in 2012 with the rise of the Raspberry Pi (which sold more than 500,000 units) and the Odroid-U, which uses the same system-on-chip as the Samsung Galaxy S3.

There’s another even more powerful microboard on the market, the ARMBrix-5250A, which is based on the Exynos 5 SoC that powers the new Samsung Chromebook and the Google Nexus 10 table.

At $145 on preorder, it is almost twice the price of the cheapest ODroid, will ship towards the end of this quarter but it comes with some jaw-dropping specs.

The clock speed of the SoC is unknown (but should lie between 1.5GHz and 2GHz). What we do know is that the ARMBrix-5250A packs the Mali T604 GPU, has a microSD card slot, 2GB DDR3 RAM, an ALC5631Q audio chip and is powered by a 15W PSU.

As for connectors, they include a SPDIF, Line In/Out, two USB 2.0 host, one USB 3.0 host, one USB 2.0 device, SATA plus an Ethernet port. It’s worth noting that unlike the Odroid-U product, this one doesn’t come with any heatsink.