Raspberry Pi is, of course, king of the single-board computer hill. They’re endlessly versatile and useful in all kinds of projects. But, sometimes, you want more power or flexibility than they can provide. That’s the corner of the market that Hardkernel’s ODROID series of SBCs has focused on, and the various ODROID models generally feature more powerful processors with architectures supported by a larger variety of operating systems. The ODROID-H2 is the newest offering, and is one of the first SBCs to integrate the cutting-edge x86 Intel Gemini Lake SoC.
Intel’s new Gemini Lake SoC (system on a chip) comes in a few variations, but the ODROID-H2 will utilize the Celeron J4105. That’s the second most powerful processor in the Gemini Lake family, just behind the Pentium Silver J5005 that has a slightly faster burst clock speed. The Celeron J4105 has four cores running at 1.5GHz with burst up to 2.5GHz, and should only consume 4 to 14W of power based on usage. Most importantly, however, it’s an x86 architecture.
While Hardkernel has been prototyping x86 boards for years now, the ODROID-H2 will be the first to actually see a commercial release. The benefit of an x86 SBC is that it can run conventional builds of desktop operating systems, unlike common Arm-based boards. It will, for example, ship with Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish. But, it should be able to run any other X86 operating system, including Microsoft Windows 10. Naturally, it has expandable RAM slots, SATA ports, bootable eMMC, and HDMI output. We don’t know how much the ODROID-H2 will cost when it goes on sale next month, just that it will be “higher than $100.”