Odroid has released a new version of its N2 Arm-based SBC. The new N2L, unearthed by CNX-Software (opens in new tab), is smaller and cheaper than the original, and is compatible with the company’s natty blue heatsink, but drops features such as networking and significantly cuts the number of USB 3 ports.
Now smaller than a Raspberry Pi 4 (opens in new tab), the Odroid N2L makes a fine alternative if you don’t mind that there's no Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Ethernet. Its six-core processor is made up of four Cortex-A73 cores which at up to 2.4GHz are faster than the 1.5GHz quad-core A-72 model in the Pi, and adds a couple of A-53 efficiency cores too, plus a Mali-G52 GPU. RAM comes in the form of either 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 running at 3216 MT/s, and there's both an eMMC socket and Micro SD card slot for storage.
Video output is achieved through a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, there's a single USB 2.0 and a single USB 3.0 for peripherals - such as a networking module - and power is supplied via a dedicated 7.5V DC socket. You also get a 40-pin GPIO header with 2x I2C, UART, SPI, 2x ADC, 25x GPIO, 5V, 3.3V, 1.8V, and GND, plus there are power and activity LEDs on the board. The PCB measures just 69 x 56mm (2.7 x 2.2 inches), and has a fan header for active cooling, which comes in the box. A large blue heatsink is also available for passive cooling, though you’ll pay extra for it.
Changes over the original N2 and N2+ mean the N2L isn’t able to use software images designed for those boards, but has its own Android (32 and 64bit) and Ubuntu (minimal and MATE) releases.
The Odroid N2L is available now from the Hardkernel store, priced at $59 for the 2GB version (opens in new tab) and $69 if you want 4GB of RAM (opens in new tab). Accessories include a USB Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module for $8.90, and you’ll need to pick up a power supply too, for $5.50.