Since serveral month, many Pis are in use within my network. I am using them for XBMC Raspberry, Syslog Raspberry, Kippo Raspberry Pi, surveillence pi, Nagios Raspberry Pi, Backup Pi a TOR Raspberry pi and of course they are using UPS for power supply.
But since some of the use cases are not that trivial, the tech specs of the raspberry are not high enough. But now a new pi is on the road: Banana Pi.
Specs of the Banana Pi (bold most important ones):
SoC: Allwinner A20*
(ARM Cortex-A7 dual-core, 1GHz, Mali400MP2 GPU)
System Memory 1GB DDR3 DRAM
Storage: SD card slot, Extensible with SATA connection
Video output: HDMI, Composite, Extensible with on-board LVDS connector
Audio I/O: HDMI,3.5mm stereo jack output,On-board microphone input
Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet
USB: 2* USB 2.0 ports, 1* OTG micro USB port,1* micro USB for power supply**
Expansion: Extensible 26-pin headers, Camera connector, Display connector for LVDS and touch screen
Misc: 3* on-board buttons, (Power, Reset, Uboot key), IR receiver
Dimensions: 92mm X 60 mm
Weight: 48 g
Wow! It has gigabit onboard, an faster CPU (with integrated GPU!) , double Sytem memory, is compatible to extension modules of the original Raspberry Pi.
Especially for multimedia use cases, like HD (1080p and even higher) streaming the Banana Pi looks quite nice. At the moment, XBMC is not fully compatible to the banana pi, but the bigger the fan group the faster XBMC will work on supporting the new toy.
I will try to get one of the boards to get a first impression and will write about it in the future.
A good review of Banana pi is available at: http://raspi.tv/2014/banana-pi-review-first-impressions. The author is describing some problems while installation, but I think that is a common problem for new products. One particular complaint is very interesting, he mentioned that the linux SD card image is bigger then needed, because they included free space to the image – what a pitty.