Many Raspberry Pi-like developer boards are available, but most can't run Microsoft's Windows 10 desktop operating system. OS versatility is a strong suit of the new SolidRun Q4 board.
SolidRun can run multiple versions of Windows 10. It has the flexibility to be a PC or a board to use to create cool gadgets.
The SolidPC Q4 is packed with fast processors, memory, storage, and ports that make it a viable Windows 10 PC. It's cheap at US$139, but here's the bad news: You'll need to buy the Windows 10 desktop OS separately, and its price starts at $119.99.
The board computer will need to be configured to meet the minimum requirements of Windows 10, which is 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for a 64-bit version of the OS. SolidRun Q4 supports up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM and has up to 128GB of internal flash storage.
Beyond a PC, it can also be used to create new gadgets, smart home devices, and internet of things machines for industrial use. The board also supports Microsoft's free Windows 10 IoT Core and Linux operating systems.
The computer has an Intel Pentium N3710 chip, based on the Braswell architecture, which is also used in the Asus Chromebook C301SA laptop. So the board may even run the open-source Chromium OS.
The chip has a dual-core CPU that has a clock speed of up to 2.56GHz, and an integrated graphics processor capable of full HD video.
The SolidRun Q4 is small at 53 millimeters by 40 millimeters. Its versatility may appeal to commercial buyers, who need to create and test devices with multiple OSes and check compatibility with existing equipment. Developer boards are also catching on as home and media servers.
Other SolidRun Q4 specifications include an HDMI 1.4b port, a DisplayPort port, USB 3.0 ports, and m.2 connectors to attach SSDs and Wi-Fi modules. A metal enclosure for the board is available separately.
Intel is redirecting Braswell chips to IoT products. The company has recently released the successor to Braswell chips, code-named Apollo Lake, and it is available in PCs.