There are a number of alternatives to the Raspberry Pi out there, but the Khadas VIM4 sets itself apart in a crowded field with its considerable muscle.
The VIM4 packs an Amlogic A311D2 octa-core processor, 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, its Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, the 4K/60 HDMI input and output, plus independent USB 3.0 and PCIe (via M.2 socket) interfaces. This successor to the Khadas VIM3 ($120) will launch on May 10, and has just started to go around the review circuit. Sadly we will have to wait for launch day for pricing.
We are now starting to see reviews of the Khadas VIM4 drip-drip onto websites and social media platforms.
CNX Software has published part one of a multi-part review of the VIM4 today. The single-page piece provides an unboxing experience, with a closer look at the product, the supplied accessories and quick start guide. Then there is a segment about the trials and tribulations of fitting the VIM4 in the supplied translucent case (dimensions are a little different to the Pi). Lastly, CNX booted the machine and was greeted with an OOWOW wizard to choose an OS to install from the cloud (Android 11 or three Ubuntu variants could be chosen at the time of writing).
For another example of an early review of the Khadas VIM4, kick off your shoes, put your feet up and watch the half hour video below, from YouTuber Leepspvideo, who is something of a Raspberry Pi specialist who likes a bit of retro-emulation gaming.
Lee's video takes you straight to plugging in the VIM4 with his usual Raspberry Pi peripherals and screen. This brings up the OOWOW wizard, as mentioned above, but Lee goes and installs Ubuntu with Gnome without any issues. First impressions are that this powerful SBC is a snappy performer in most respects.
Later in the video, Lee notes that Ubuntu might not be totally ready for mass consumption on the VIM4 due to app and drivers support – though it's possible some of this will be fixed ahead of launch. Lee found solid performance on Android 11, with emulation and demanding PlayStation Portable (PSP) games running smoothly. Lee declared the VIM4 is "a great device."
Another Raspberry Pi alternative with an Amlogic processor that we recently looked at was the Banana Pi BPI-M2S, with Amlogic A311D. This processor is a hexa-core unit, so a little bit less powerful than the A311D2. It features 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and its own particular charms like twin gigabit Ethernet ports.