The UP Core offers superior performance than the Pi 3 on paper
The Raspberry Pi has transformed the way millions of people around the world think about computing. Anything with that level of success will undoubtedly spawn numerous competitors, and despite nothing currently able to knock it off its perch at the top of the single-board market, the all-new UP Core could mount a serious challenge.
From the specification sheet alone, the UP Core looks like an impressive piece of kit. It includes a quad-core 1.8GHz Atom x5-Z8350 processor, 16GB storage and 1GB memory.
As far as core specifications go, the UP Core surpasses what can be found on every iteration of the Pi. Even better, users can also find an upgraded version of the UP Core for sale with 4GB of memory, at an extra cost of course. In early tests, the UP Core was found to outperform the Pi 3 in many key areas, such as web browsing.
However, the main selling point of the UP Core is that it’s capable of running multiple operating systems. While support for the likes of Ubuntu, Yocto and Debian are nice to have, what’s a bigger surprise is the inclusion of Android Marshmallow and Windows 10. We should, however, at this point mention that at the time of writing, there’s no news on how well the Windows 10 integration performs.
For those interested in the hardware expansion side of things, the UP Core has a lot of options available. It includes a 100-pin header, compared to the 40-pin offering from the Pi 3, which allows for a greater selection of potential hardware hook-ups. Plus, the extra room and improved speed means hooking up the Core via GPIO, USB HSIC or even UART is also possible here. On the official UP Core page, the team have been quick to mention that the list of compatible hardware is consistently growing.
Despite looking like an impressive piece of computing kit, there are some noticeable downsides. For one, the Core won’t initially enjoy the level of community support that the Pi can currently boast, which for a lot of people has been the greatest asset of the computing powerhouse. Second, there have been early reports commenting on the difficulty of getting the UP Core’s built-in software working out of the box, with others mentioning the issues when connecting other pieces of hardware to the UP Core.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, earlier this year, the UP Core team are set to start shipping units to their backers in August. No concrete details of a public release have been mentioned at the time of writing, but early indications suggest you’ll be able to buy your own UP Core before the end of the year.