Based on a quad-core Cortex-A55 RK3568 chip, the LinkStar H68K is a portable pocket WiFi router that can also function as a media player.
Home routers are a market with a wide range of devices and functions. However, now and then, models emerge that break the established mold, as is the case with the LinkStar H68K. So let’s see what difference has to offer.
LinkStar H68K Router Highlights
We’re not sure which of the two statements is correct – that the LinkStar H68K is a WiFi router with SBC (Single Board Computer) capabilities or vice versa – because the device is meant to combine both functions well enough.
The device is powered by a Rockchip RK3568 CPU and comes pre-installed with Android 11, but what’s more exciting is that this hardware allows you to run Linux, such as Debian or Ubuntu. In addition, you can also install a router-specific Linux-based operating system, such as OpenWrt.
The Linkstar H68K features two 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, two 1Gbps Ethernet ports, optional WiFi 6 up to 1200Mbps, support 2.4G/5G dual-band for high throughput performance, Bluetooth 5.2 module, and several USB ports.
Interestingly, the device also includes an HDMI 2.0 port with support for 4K video playback, effectively turning the Linkstar H68K into a multimedia player.
Moreover, for data storage, 32GB eMMC, one SD card slot, and one USB 3.0 Type-C connector enable an external hard drive for storage expansion. Below is the whole device specification.
|CPU||Rockchip RK3568, Quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A55 up to 2.0GHz|
|GPU||ARM Mali-G52 2EE|
|System Memory||4GB LPDDR4X|
|Multimedia||[email protected] H.265/H.264/VP9 video decoder|
[email protected] H.265/H.264 video encoder
|Storage||onboard 32GB eMMC|
1 x SD card slot for storage expansion
|Wireless||Dual-band 2.4G/5G Wi-Fi 6 (M7921E module)|
|NIC||2 x 1Gbps Ethernet NIC RTL8211F|
2 x 2.5Gbps Ethernet NIC RTL8125B
|USB||1 x USB 3.0 Type-A|
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C, capable of storage expansion and 5V power supply
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
|Audio||1 x 3.5mm four-piece headphones for both input and output|
|Operating System||Pre-installed Android 11|
Support Ubuntu, Debian, Armbian, Android, Openwrt, Buildroot
|Power Supply||operating voltage: 5V~24V DC (12V-1A DC recommended)|
|Dimensions||80*60*40 mm (3.14″ x 2.36″ x 1.57″)|
Considering the device’s tiny size, we can agree on the term “pocket router.” At the same time, it is well suited for office work, home entertainment, and outdoor use such as business travel.
According to the manufacturer’s website, the current Android and Ubuntu firmware does not support the MT7921 WiFi module. However, our research determined that this only applies when a Linux kernel version less than 5.12 is used, as is the case, for example, with Debian 11 “Bullseye” or Ubuntu’s releases before 21.10.
Ubuntu version 21.10 “Impish Indri” comes with Linux kernel 5.13, which includes built-in support for the MT7921 chip and should work fine with the device’s WiFi chip. Therefore, if you want WiFi functionality for the LinkStar H68K in any other distribution, you must upgrade the Linux kernel to version 5.12 or later.
Finally, let’s look at the price. The LinkStar H68K router is available in two configurations.
- LinkStar H68K-1432 with 4GB RAM and WiFi 6 module is available for preorder at $119.
- LinkStar H68K-0232 with 2GB RAM and without a WiFi module is available for preorder at $89.
You can consult the manufacturer’s website, Seeed Studio, for more detailed information about the device.