An interesting review of the Odroid N2L by DIY Dr.K (above). He made a gaming system out of it with some good-looking performance for Dreamcast, PSP, PS2, and GameCube emulation. And, as he mentions, it is smaller than the Raspberry Pi 4, cheaper, and suggests a performance boost on it and its Odroid predecessor, the N2+. So should we all flock to buy it? Here are some other opinions:
Now smaller than a Raspberry Pi 4, the Odroid N2L makes a fine alternative if you don’t mind that there’s no Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Ethernet. Its six-core processor is made up of four Cortex-A73 cores which at up to 2.4GHz are faster than the 1.5GHz quad-core A-72 model in the Pi, and adds a couple of A-53 efficiency cores too, plus a Mali-G52 GPU. RAM comes in the form of either 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 running at 3216 MT/s, and there’s both an eMMC socket and Micro SD card slot for storage.Tom’s Hardware
The new ODROID-N2L lacks built-in support for Ethernet, WiFi, or Bluetooth. You’ll need a USB adapter to add any form of network connectivity. There are fewer USB ports and no dedicated audio jacks. And the processor runs at a slightly lower speed.
But Hardkernel says the smaller size makes it easier to mount the ODROID-2NL “inside a variety of small devices,” and that it’s suitable for robots, drones, arcade consoles or other systems that may not require built-in networking support.Liliputing
The biggest downside that I see is the complete lack of network connectivity as Ethernet, WiFi, or/and Bluetooth can only be added to the board through (USB) adapters. One of the tricks to make the board smaller was to replace the DDR4 RAM chips with a single LPDDR4 chip that also lowers power consumption and improves performance thanks to a 20% higher DRAM interface clock frequency. It shows in benchmarks as the ODROID-N2L is slightly faster than the ODROID-N2.CNX Software
Okay, so I’ve repeated the same point three times there: it doesn’t come with fundamental connectivity features. But Hardkernel’s point about its best use case is interesting. Arcade consoles? Perhaps if you just had it running the software you needed and used plug in controllers, you’d be alright. I think given those examples it’s not a like-for-like Raspberry Pi 4 alternative despite performance improvements. But if anyone out there does create a gaming system out of it, let us know in the comments.