If like me you may be amused by the number and names of Raspberry Pi clone type SBC’s around – we have Bananas, mango’s and Oranges among others. Now don’t get me wrong – they are all welcome especially for someone who is interested in these SBCs to see what they can do.
If that is the case, have you heard of the Walnut Pi – yes not a fruit one this time.
I bought one lets take a look.
The initial claim is this
Walnut Pi (WalnutPi) is designed, developed and manufactured from China. It is positioned as a cost-effective and fully functional card computer (SBC) with a size compatible with Raspberry Pi. It is a very powerful Linux development board. You can use it to surf the Internet, play games, learn programming and create your own electronic products, etc.
Now lets look at the specs
|Allwinner H616 64-bit/quad-core high-performance Cortex-A53 processor, 1.5GHz
|Mali G31 MP2
Supports OpenGL ES 1.0/2.0/3.2, OpenCL 2.0
|1GB (512M DDR3 x 2)
|● MicroSD card supports up to 512G
● Reserved SPI Flash (blank)
|Dual-band WiFi (2.4G & 5G) + Bluetooth 5.0
|100M Ethernet port
|3.5mm audio port
|MicroHDMI 2.0a supports 4K@60fps
|● USB 2.0 x 3
● Infrared receiver x 1
● Button x 1
● LED x 1
● 40Pin GPIO header (compatible with Raspberry Pi)
● 3 pin header UART (serial port) debugging
|Type-C interface 5V/3A input
|Walnut Pi custom version of Debian
So as you can see there are a couple of things the CPU is not the most powerful and inspiring, its adequate in performance. Memory is also on the low side at only 1Gb, that is the only version available at the moment.
Lets look at an image of the board
Walnut Pi wireless module supports dual-band WiFi (2.4G and 5G) and Bluetooth 5.0.
The Walnut Pi has 4 USB 2.0 ports. Three of them are led out by the USB-A female interface , and one is the type-c power supply interface
Walnut Pi has 1 programmable button and 1 LED on board.
The board comes with an acrylic bottom plate which you can fit the board to and there is also a heatsink that can be fitted to the memory and CPU to help lower heat
WalnutPi OS is a free operating system based on Debian, optimized for Walnut Pi hardware, and is the recommended operating system for normal use on Walnut Pi.
Walnut Pi’s operating system is installed on the SD card, and currently provides 2 images, a customized Debian version and the desktop-less version.
Walnut Pi customized version of Debian has been modified . The system is pre-installed with various pieces of software installed by default that can be used right after booting.
Including C and Python programming software, Google Chrome, LibreOffice VLC media player, screenshot software, etc.
|Walnut Pi 1B 1GB RAM
|£17 from Aliexpress
|3.5 inch Display for Walnut Pi
|£9 for Aliexpress
Now in the pricing above you can see one of the main advantages of this.
After playing with this I can say that for development this is a fine capable system, no for me this would be one of my reasons to buy one. For connecting a bunch of random sensors or modules a more expensive and powerful Raspberry Pi can be overkill. So this scenario was a tick from.
I’ve never been convinced about using SBC’s for desktop computer task – you can listen to audio easily, I found that websites were slow to load but again thats against my normal desktop and laptop experiences.
Watching videos was not a great experience but we will get benchmarks and try and record the experience