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ASUS scored a major hit with its Tinker Board. The credit card-sized single-board computer sports a Rockchip RK3328 Cortex-A17 quad-core system-on-chip (SoC), 4K video support, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and an ARM Mali-T764 GPU. There are loads of ASUS Tinker Board operating system (OS) options, from the Debian-based TinkerOS to Lakka, Android, and Flint OS. While you can get started with the ASUS Tinker Board using merely the board itself, a power supply, and microSD card, you'll likely want a case as well. Check out the best ASUS Tinker Board case options you can buy!
What is the ASUS Tinker Board?
Like the Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi Prime, or Libre Computer Renegade, the ASUS Tinker Board is a single-board computer (SBC) capable of running a variety of OSes. As such, you may use the Tinker Board for a bevy of projects, ranging from a basic Linux computer to a retro gaming console or server. With releases ranging from Linux distros to retro gaming operating systems and even Chrome OS, you can create a multitude of projects.
ASUS Tinker Board specs:
Rockchip RK3288 Cortex-A17 quad-core SoC
ARM Mali-T764 GPU
Up to 4K video support
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
4 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x 15-pin MIPI CSI slot
1 x 40-pin GPIO header
micro USB port for power
You can snag an ASUS Tinker Board about $56 USD. That's pretty reasonable for a board as powerful as the Tinker Board. With solid operating system support, computer resources, and tons of potential project ideas, the ASUS Tinker Board is an excellent purchase.
Because the ASUS Tinker Board remains compatible with most Raspberry Pi 3 cases, the RetroFlag NESPi case is a top choice. With the aesthetics of the original front loader NES console, complete with a front loader flip-up slot concealing two USB ports and an ethernet port. There's a cooling fan, working power and reset buttons, and USB hub for additional connectivity. This is my Raspberry Pi 3 case of choice and perfect for gaming on the ASUS Tinker Board with Lakka or RetroPie.
Similarly, RetroFlag offers its SuperPi cases, which as the name suggests, is a Super Nintendo-styled Raspberry Pi case. Like its NES counterpart, the SuperPi case features functioning power and reset buttons, a microSD card slot, and easy to access USB ports. It comes in two varieties: A US variant and the European model. Both come with a wired controller. Ultimately, for a retro gaming console powered by Lakka or RetroPie, an SNES case completes the DIY SNES Classic Mini aesthetic.
The Smraza ASUS Tinker Board case is my go-to. The kit I ordered came with aluminum heatsinks for RAM, a copper heatsink for the CPU, the case, and a power supply with an on/off switch. It's stylish, easy to put together, and allows for access to core components such as the GPIO header.
For an inexpensive, barebones ASUS Tinker Board case, try the 3ple Decker Case. It's transparent and comes in several colors including green, blue, black, pink, and white. Since these cases are stackable, it's perfect for creating an ASUS Tinker Board server cluster.
Though plastic cases abound, premium aluminum cases provide a better experience. A gorgeous ASUS Tinker Board case, the Tekit is comprised of aluminum alloy. Included, there's a cooling fan to keep temperatures in check. A lovely, high-quality case with a cooling fan, the Tekit case is a solid option.
Best for: Server use, HTPC, and general computing
Best ASUS Tinker Board Case Options: Final Thoughts
Featuring compatibility with Raspberry Pi cases, the ASUS Tinker Board is a utilitarian maker board. What you plan to specifically use your case for ultimately dictates which case option is best. Retro gamers using Lakka or RetroPie might consider an NES or SNES case. However, an ASUS Tinker Board server works best in a Tekit aluminum case since it's cooled, or the 3ple Decker case which is stackable and therefore ideal for creating a cluster configuration.
What are you using your ASUS Tinker Board for and what cases do you suggest?