Beelink AP42 Apollo Lake mini PC Linux Review with Ubuntu, KDE Neon, Elementary OS….

Beelink’s latest Intel mini PC offerings includes the AP34 and AP42 which are their first models using Intel Apollo Lake processors. The former uses an Intel Apollo Lake Celeron N3450 processor (burst frequency 2.2GHz, Intel HD Graphics 500 with Graphics Burst Frequency 700MHz and 12 Execution Units) while the latter uses the slightly more powerful Pentium N4200 (burst frequency 2.5GHz, Intel HD Graphics 505 with Graphics Burst Frequency 750MHz and 18 Execution Units). Both support Windows 10 (Home) and Beelink’s marketing claim they “support Linux system”. GearBest has given me the chance to review running Linux on the AP42 model so here are my findings. Normally I first make a disk image before booting Windows or installing Linux. However initial attempts at booting a Live USB with a variety of Linux systems failed so both the reseller and manufacturer were contacted for comment. Interestingly there was no immediate reply but early indications that something was amiss was when the reseller’s advert…

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Zotac CI327 Nano Apollo Lake Fanless mini PC Features HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and VGA Video Outputs

April 23rd, 2017 7 comments

While many Apollo Lake mini PCs have been launched, few support 4K @ 60 Hz video output, but Zotac CI327 Nano mini PC does even better than that thanks to HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 outputs allowing for dual 4K UHD @ 60 Hz setups, and it also adds an extra VGA port to enable triple display setups. The rest of the specifications are not too bad either with three models CI327 Nano (windows / no windows) and CI327 Nano Plus with slightly different hardware specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad-core  processor @ 1.1GHz / 2.2GHz with Intel HD Graphics 500 System Memory Nano with Windows and Nano PLUS – 4GB DDR3L (one slot occupied, up to 8GB) Nano – 2x 204-pin DDR3L-1866 SO-DIMM slots (up to 8GB) Storage – 1x 2.5″ SATA 6.0 Gbps SSD/HDD slot; 3-in-1 (SD/SDHC/SDXC); Nano with WINDOWS only: 32GB M.2 on-board SATA SSD Video Output HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz DisplayPort…

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U5 PVR Deluxe Android Set-Top Box Review – Part 1: Specs, Unboxing, Teardown, and SATA HDD Assembly

April 22nd, 2017 27 comments

Last year, I reviewed U4 Quad Hybrid, an Android TV box powered by Hisilicon Hi3796M quad core Cortex A7 processor and with a combo DVB-T2/C + DVB-S2 tuner. with digital TV tuner. It worked pretty well, except for a few bugs here and there, the processor is not the most powerful, and video output & decoding is limited to 4K  @ 30Hz. The company – Shenzhen Vivant Technology – is now back with a new model called U5 PVR powered by a more powerful Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 quad core Cortex A53 processor with fast interfaces like USB 3.0, SATA, and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as support for 4K @ 60Hz via a HDMI 2.0a interface. There are actually three variations of U5 PVR with Deluxe/Slim/Normal models, and the company sent me U5 PVR Deluxe model for review. As usual, after listing the specifications, I’ll start the review by checking out the hardware, before reporting my experience with the firmware in…

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Yundoo Y8 (Rockchip RK3399) TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

April 21st, 2017 14 comments

Rockchip first unveiled RK3399 hexa-core processor at the beginning of 2016, but we had to wait longer than expected to get devices to play with. The first retail product based on the processor is really Samsung Chromebook Plus, and we only saw a few TV boxes for pre-sale in January such as Yundoo Y8 or R-TV Box K99, and with the first shipments occurring in March. However, I’ve also noticed many companies postponed the launch of the RK3399 mini PC/TV box, and no company contacted me for review so far, so I had no rush because that probably means the boxes were not quite ready. But starting at the beginning of next month, more companies will start selling their model, and GearBest proposed to send me Yundoo Y8 model with 4GB RAm, 32GB flash, and decided to give it a go. In this first part of the review, I’ll only look at the hardware, and will further test overall performance,…

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Wio GPS is a $40 Grove & Arduino Compatible Bluetooth 3.0 + GSM/GPRS + GPS Tracker Board

April 21st, 2017 No comments

After Wio Link and Wio Node boards, Seeed Studio has added a new board to their Wio (Wireless Input Output) family with Wio GPS board based on Microchip SAMD21 Cortex M0+ MCU for Arduino compatibility, and Mediatek MT2503 ARM7 processor for GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and 2G (GPRS) connectivity. Wio GPS board specifications: MCU – Microchip ATSAMD21G18A-MU ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM Wireless SoC – Mediatek MT2503 ARM7EJ-S processor @ 260 MHz Storage – micro SD slot (shared with nano SIM slot) Connectivity (built-in MT2503 in Quectel MC20 module) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.0 with SPP Profile and HFP-AG Profile; u.FL connector for external antenna Quad band 2G GSM/GPRS  with u.FL connector for external antenna and nano SIM card slot GNSS – GPS + BeiDou + QZSS with u.FL connector for external antenna Audio – Speaker footprint (+/-), 3.5mm AUX jack with mic and stereo audio Expansion – 6x Grove Connectors (2x Digital, 2x Analog, 1x…

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$6.90 Wemos LoLin32 ESP32 Development Board Comes with 4MB Flash, Lithium Battery Support

April 21st, 2017 5 comments

Wemos – the company behind the cool Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 board – has now launched its first Espressif ESP32 development board with LoLin32 equipped with ESP-WROOM-32 module with 4MB flash, a micro USB port, and a battery header. Wemos Lolin32 specifications: Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-32 based on Espressif ESP-32 dual core processor @ 240 MHz with 4MB flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth LE I/Os 26x digital I/Os 12x analog inputs UART, I2C, SPI, VP/VN, DAC 3.3V I/O voltage Breadboard compatible USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming/debugging Power – 5V via micro USB + battery header for Lithium battery (charging current: 500mA max) Dimensions – 5.8 x 2.54 cm Weight – 5.8 grams The board is not compatible with Wemos D1 mini (34.2 x 25.6 mm) and shield, but offers a more powerful solution with Bluetooth LE, battery support, and more I/Os. The Wiki is still work-in-progres, and there’s no that much information…

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Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Phablet: Up to 8GB RAM, Up to 256 GB Storage, Bezel-free 6.4″ Display, $1,095

April 20th, 2017 8 comments

Yesterday, Xiaomi introduced Mi 6 smartphone, in what looked like to be their premium model, but it turns out they have a more powerful (and expensive) model with Mi MIX 2 Phablet/Smartphone boasting the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, but equipped with up to 8GB RAM, 256 GB flash, and a 6.4″ display with 2560×1440 resolution and virtually without any bezels. Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 preliminary specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snpadragon 835 octa-core Kryo 280 processor with 4x cores @ 2.45 GHz, 4x cores @ 1.9 GHz, Adreno 540 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full, Vulkan, DX12, Hexagon 682 DSP System Memory – 4, 6 or 8 GB LPDDR4X dual channel memory Storage – 128 or 256 GB UFS 2.0 flash; NO micro SD card Display – 6.4″ capacitive touch AMOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution Audio – Speakers; microphone; 3.5mm audio jack Cellular Connectivity 2G – 580/900/1800/1900 MHz; CDMA EVDO: BC0 3G – WCDMA B1/2/5/8; TD-SCDMA:…

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Want a Free Banana Pi M2 Ultra Board? Upload a 2 Minutes Video about Your Allwinner Experiences and Plans

April 20th, 2017 34 comments

Banana Pi  BPI-M2 Ultra is a development board powered by Allwinner R40 quad core processor with a native SATA interface, as well as Gigabit Ethernet. If you are a developer, and would not mind getting a free sample, Allwinner is giving away boards to people uploading a 1 to 2 minutes video to YouTube. The rules are detailed below: Dear Developers of the World, Allwinner Technology would like to thank you for your outstanding contribution to our open source community and invite you to join our video-shooting program. Please cover the following topics in your video: Who are you and why did you choose Allwinner in the first place? What did you do with your Allwinner powered development board? What are your expectations for Allwinner’s latest open source platform, the R40? It needs to be: Shot in a video resolution of 720p or above 1-2mins in length Submitted between Apr 20th 2017 and May 1st, 2017 Please upload your video…

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