The Orange Pi R1 Plus is an updated model of the previous Orange Pi R1 with a Rockchip RK3328 64-bit System on Chip (Soc) replacing the 32-bit Allwinner H2+. But this new board is not a replacement or direct competition to the Raspberry Pi; rather, it is designed to be a network appliance, serving files and routing connections in your home or office. Yet the Orange Pi R1 Plus is only 2 inches square.
Powering the Orange Pi R1 Plus is an Arm Cortex A53 quad-core CPU running at 1.5 GHz; add to this 1GB of DDR4 RAM, and we have a great bump in specs over the previous-gen Arm Cortex A7 and 256MB of DDR3 RAM.
Orange Pi R1 Plus features two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a single USB 2.0 port that can be used for external storage. Boot media duties are reserved for a single micro SD card, and we expect that the usual selection of Ubuntu, Android, Debian, and OpenWrt operating systems will be compatible. Power is 5V DC provided via a USB C port, which also makes us wonder if there are any options to route video via the port.
There is no wireless connectivity with the Orange Pi R1 Plus, this board eschews any wireless connections for a USB port, which provides flexibility in the connection required by the user, but at the same time it is a further expense for the user.
The GPIO is rather depleted on the Orange Pi R1 Plus and only has 12 pins for audio/video output, UART/Serial, I2C, and an infrared receiver. An optional expansion board can be used to add further USB ports and an audio-video output jack.
At around $20, this is an interesting board, and for some, it will meet their needs exactly, but this might be too niche to make any real impact.