I have been very lucky and have been provided with a free Rock 4 SE and have been picked to be an OKdo #Rockstar 🤘. To test, play and find faults! There are no obligations around posting only positive views and I am free to post my thoughts and ideas with no input from OKdo.
My board arrived on Monday morning and the testing kicked off that evening after a few hours of testing, and loading in various operating systems, my initial observations are as follows.
First, let’s get the negatives out of the way
- Does not handle YouTube out of the box with either Debian or DietPI-based operating systems. Could not even play SD content without buffering, skipping and frame drops
- Setting up the Wi-Fi using their instructions for Debian was a no-show for my connection as I use WPA2/WPA3. I needed to find 3rd party instructions and could only get it working after a few hours of trying.
- The Memory Card (SD) Sticks out the end of the board by about 5mm, this could lead to the snapping of the card or the port.
- If opting to use an M.2 Drive, this connection out the end of the board, leading to it sticking out 95% of the length of the Drive. Again this could cause issues.
Ok – now time for some positives
- Using DietPi OS enables quick setup of the WiFi with little manual intervention required
- The LAN port runs to full speed, with my speed test results coming back at the full 940Mbs on my Gig1 Virgin Media connection.
- Memory is installed in Dual Channel – this will assist with memory-intensive applications.
In the next few days, I will be carrying out further testing of the board and will keep track of my tests on this site. If you have any questions, please use the comments below or reach me on Twitter (@talktechDOTinfo).
In conclusion, this could be a solid board for tinkering around with good onboard connectivity. Time will tell though if a community can be built around it that matches the Raspberry Pi Community support. Without this, the board could end up in obscurity along with the other competing SBCs.