Rock Pi X Offers Windows 10 on an SBC for $39 (Updated)

Photo Source: Radxa

Updated, 9/13/19, 6:23 a.m. PT: Radxa responded to our request for comment, saying it currently has Windows 10 booting on the Rock Pi X and is working on getting the wireless connectivity working.  It's also planning to add support for an additional display to the Rock Pi X with another DisplayPort connector. The company said it's hoping to have the device ready for a global launch by Christmas.

Original article, 9/12/19, 9:22 a.m. PT:

The single-board computer market is dominated by Arm processors. But there could be another Intel option available soon because CNX Software reported Wednesday that Radxa had developed a new device called the Rock Pi X, and it features an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 CPU.

CNX Software spotted benchmark results for a new device in the Hackerboards database for the Rock Pi X on September 11. There are reportedly two models on the way: a Model A that serves as the baseline product and a Model B with additional features. Those features include built-in 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 support, as well as Power Over Ethernet (PoE), managed by an extra HAT.

The Rock Pi X Model A and Model B are otherwise identical. They feature the previously mentioned Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor clocked at 1.44 GHz; 1, 2 or 4GB LPDDR3-1866 memory; and one USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, and one USB OTG Type-C port. Neither model includes any storage. They do offer a MicroSD card slot and eMMC socket, though, for people willing to supply their own storage devices.

CNX Software said the Rock Pi X would measure roughly 3.3 x 2 inches (85 x 52mm) without any casing. The device will reportedly feature a "40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with GPIOs, 2 x ADC, 2 x PWM, 2 x I2C" for people who already own Raspberry Pi accessories but want to see what a single-board computer featuring an Intel processor is like. There's a headphone jack and camera connector as well.

The biggest draw for the Rock Pi X would likely be the ability to install operating systems like Windows 10 and x86-optimized Linux distributions. It's technically possible to install Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi, sure, but it's not a particularly compelling experience. A single-board computer featuring an x86 processor could theoretically fare better, but we can't pass judgment without trying it ourselves.

CNX Software reported that the Model A runs $39 (1GB), $49 (2GB) or $65 (4GB) while the Model A costs $49 (1GB), $59 (2GB) or $75 (4GB). It's not clear when Radxa plans to launch the device; its website hasn't yet been updated with information about the Rock Pi X. 

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • drtweak
    Reread the last paragraph lol
  • mathew7
    x86 would be good for flash and other linux plugins, but my experience with linux and atoms is TERRIBLE. Instead of using a Beelink HDMI stick, that would require me hours of tinkering to prepare it for HTPC, Core-M-based Intel Compute Stick was: install official Ubuntu ISO and everything works. Same with tablets...I use a Surface Go (just needed a wifi binary) and sold my Lenovo Tab 8.
  • BulkZerker
    Shame there isn't a 6/8 gb option. Even my dad multi tasks (if you count having 20 tabs open along with solitaire)
  • sunk818
    There is also this Atomic Pi which is Intel Atom as well. You need some accessories to make it work obviously, but a resourceful crowd here and many of the things you need, you may already have lying around. (except maybe the barrel power adapter).

    It is an alternative to consider. I think ARM is interesting platform, but a lot of software is optimized for x86 still you likely get better performance (just because code is written for x86 vs ARM).