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Posts Tagged ‘cherry trail’

Jumper Ezbook 2 Cherry Trail Laptop with 14″ Full HD Display, 4GB RAM, 64 GB Storage Sells for $190 (Promo)

October 24th, 2016 6 comments

I’ve just received a newsletter from GearBest entitled “Shop Like a BOSS | Sub-$200 Ultrabooks, Gaming Gear + More” and showing “Jumper Ezbook 2 Ultrabook” laptop powered by an Intel Atom X5-Z8300 quad core processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a 14″ 1920×1080 display selling for $189.89 if you click on a customized link (working once) in the newsletter. If you are not subscribed to the newsletter you can still get it for about $195 including shipping on GearBest or GeekBuying, which still seems like a decent deal for the features.

jumper-ezbook-2

Jumper Ezbook 2 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 quad core Cherry Trail processor @ 1.44 GHz with Intel HD graphics (2W SDP)
  • System memory – 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
  • Display – 14″ LED display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • QWERTY keyboard with touchpad
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, and speakers
  • Camera – 1.0 MP webcam
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Battery – 10,000 mAh battery good for around 6 hours of video playback
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A
  • Dimensions – 34.65 x 22.95 x 1.76 cm
  • Weight – 1.18 kilograms

The laptop ins pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home 64-bit. The laptop has been around for a few months, and Tech Tablets has a uploaded a thorough video review of the device.

The review concludes that Jumper is a decent laptop for the price and the 14″ Full HD screen with anti-glare coating, but build quality could be better (especially keyboard), it gets hot while playing games, and USB ports may not be powerful enough to power an external USB drive.

Ockel Sirius A is a Faster (and Pricier) GOLE1 like Mini PC based on Intel Atom x7-Z8750 Processor (Crowdfunding)

October 17th, 2016 3 comments

GOLE1 is a Windows 10 + Android mini PC powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor that also happens to come with a 5″ 720p display and a battery with the 4GB RAM/64GB storage version selling for $155 shipped. A company called Ockel Computers, who had a surprisingly successful crowdfunding campaign last year for their Sirius B Cherry Trail mini PC having raised close to $500,000, has designed a new mini PC similar to GOLE1, but with better specs including a slightly faster Intel Atom x7-Z8750 processor, a higher resolution 6″ display, and HDMI & DisplayPort video output ports among other improvements.

ockel-sirius-aOckel Sirius A specifications with bold highlights showing improvements over GOLE1 mini PC:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x7-Z8750 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.60 GHz / 2.56 GHz with Intel Gen8 HD graphics (2W SDP)
  • System Memory –  4 GB LPDDR3L-1600
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash + micro SDXC slot
  • Display – 6″ capacitive touchscreen display with 1920×1080 resolution
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 port + DisplayPort output
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in speakers and microphone
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2 (Intel Dual Band WIreless AC 3165 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB-C port
  • Camera – 1x front-facing camera
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
  • Misc – Power and volume buttons
  • Battery – 3,000 mAh battery good about about 4 hours of video playback
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A (36W)
  • Dimensions – 150 x 85 x 6 to 20 mm

The device ships with Windows 10 Home 64-bit, and the company claims to have work with Microsoft to “develop a unique Switch Mode” converting the 6″ display as a keyboard and mouse for the larger external display. It’s still possible to connect a USB mouse and keyboard to use both displays.

sirius-a-portsThe company went back to Indiegogo for Sirius A mini PC, and they’ve already easily surpassed their $100,00 funding target so far thanks to close to 500 backers having committed a total of around $250,000. Ockel Sirius A is faster, with more features, and IMHO we could easily argue it’s also prettier than GOLE1, so we should expect to pay a bit more. It turns out you’d have to pay $549 to get the device with an HDMI cable and power adapter, or almost 4 times more than GOLE1 4GB/64GB. Alternatively, you could pledge $559 for the same device with a 128GB micro SD card and Avanca Powerbar Pro 9000 power bank. If you think it’s worth it, you’ll also have to add $30 to $50 for shipping, and be a patient person, as delivery is scheduled for May 2017.

Via Liliputing

Ubuntu 16.10 Images Released for Intel Bay Trail and Cherry Trail Processors

October 14th, 2016 18 comments

Canonical formally released Ubuntu 16.10 “Yakkety Yak” yesterday with  a developer preview of Unity 8 including desktop, tablet and phone UX convergence, Hybrid cloud operations with Juju 2.0, Snapd 2.16 with more than 500 snaps, etc..  Ian Morrison (Linuxium) wasted no time, and put together a Ubuntu 16.10 image working on platforms powered by Intel Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processor with modifications to have audio, WiFi and Bluetooth working.

ubuntu-16-10-unity-8

If you want to try Ubuntu 16.04 on your device you can download ubuntu-16.10-desktop-linuxium.iso and prepare a bootable USB flash the usual way with rufus, or other utilities. If you’d like to try an alternative  Ubuntu flavor such as Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, or Ubuntu MATE, Linuxium got you served too, and you’ll find the images on his blog.

Unity 7 is still running by default in Ubuntu 16.04, but if you are curious about Unity 8 convergence desktop/tablet/phone user interface, Canonical uploaded a video showing what you can expect.

You’ll also find more info about Unity 8’s window management, scopes, multimedia scopes, snappy apps and more on Ubuntu Insights.

Vensmile K8 Keyboard PC includes a Touch Panel & Flexible Keyboard

October 13th, 2016 9 comments

I’ve seen some strange and/or innovative mini PCs over the years, and Vensmile K8 certainly gets into the top products of that category. That’s basically a mini PC powered by an Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor, but with the top cover acting as a touch panel, and the device is also connected to flexible QWERTY keyboard.

vensmile-k8Vensmile K8 flexible keyboard PC specifications:

Folded Keyboard PC

Folded K8 Keyboard PC

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.84 GHz with Intel Gen8 HD graphics (2W SDP)
  • System Memory –  4 GB DDR3L (option for 2GB)
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash (option for 32GB) + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Touch Panel – 10 point capacitive touch panel
  • Keyboard – 87-key flexible QWERTY keyboard
  • Video Output – HDMI and VGA ports
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 with external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power button; reset pinhole; power, standby and keyboard (numlock?) LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Dimensions – 385 x 120 x 15 mm

The obvious advantage is that it’s highly portable compared to other solutions, as when it’s folded, it looks as big as a wallet, but I’m still not convinced this form factor will become popular. The device ships pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home 64-bit, and the power supply, a HDMI cable, and a user’s manual in English are included in the package.

windows-10-keyboard-pc-flexible-keyboard-touchpad

Current price will probably put many people off, as Vensmile K8 is sold for $284 including shipping for the version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage [Update: It’s also listed for pre-order on GeekBuying for $199.99 with shipping scheduled in 12 days]. You’ll find a few more pictures on Alibaba. If you want a foldable keyboard PC with similar specs, PiPo KB2 / Vensmile K1 should be more affordable at around $100, except I have not seen either for sale yet, despite an expected May 2016 release…

Via AndroidPC.es

ONENUTS T1 Combines Projector, Tablet, and mini PC into one Device

September 23rd, 2016 16 comments

ONENUTS T1 look reminds me of GOLE1 mini PC / tablet combo, and the device also features the same Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor. However, the 8″ display is quite bigger, and more importantly it includes a mini DLP projector.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

ONENUTS T1 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.84 GHz with Intel Gen8 HD graphics (2W SDP)
  • System Memory –  2 GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 64GB
  • Projector – 0.3″ TI DMD (DLP) + LED technology, 1280×720 resolution, 5.5″ to 81″ screen size, 300 lumens, 500:1 contrast ratio; lifetime: > 20,000 hours
  • Display – 8″ capacitive touchscreen IPS display with 1280×800 resolution (16:10 aspect ratio)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in speaker
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Sensor – Gravity sensor, IR receiver
  • Misc – Power button, focus knob
  • Battery – 4850mAh battery good about about 2 hours with projector using default brightness, and the system playing a 1080p video
  • Power Supply – 19V/3A
  • Dimensions & Weight – TBD

The thing is running Windows 10 Home.

windows-10-projector-mini-pc

The device is available now to resellers and distributors at an undisclosed price. You can visit Shenzhen Tomato ONENUTS T1 product page for more information.

LibreELEC 8 for Intel Atom Bay Trail and Cherry Trail Devices with 32-bit UEFI Binary

September 19th, 2016 73 comments

LibreELEC, a fork of OpenELEC, was announced several months ago, and images for various hardware platform were released in that time period. However, support for Intel Bay Trail and Cherry Trail platforms using a 32-it UEFI binary might not have always work, or was more difficult to install. piotrasd has now created a LibreELEC 8 + Kodi 17 beta 3 build especially for this type of devices, and tested it on Tronsmart Ara IZ37 Bay Trail mini PC.

libreelec-8-intel-atom-z3735fHowever, it should work on other Intel Atom Z3735F or Intel Atom x5/z7 mini PC or sticks with a 32-bit UEFI bootloader. If you have such device, you can try it the following instructions using a USB flash drive:

  1. Download and install Rufus or LibreELEC SD USB creator
  2. Download and unpack LibreELEC 8 32-bit UEFI image file
  3. Launch your USB creator program, select the firmware file, and make a bootable USB flash drive
  4. Connect the USB flash drive to your mini PC
  5. Power it on, and press the ESC key on your keyboard to enter the boot menu
  6. Select your USB drive, and follow the Installer procedure on the TV
  7. Installation is complete

I understand that the procedure will wipe out your current operating system since it will install on the internal storage. Make sure that the bootable USB drive is the only USB device connected to the mini PC or TV stick during installation. If the display is too bright, you can go to System settings->Display, and disable “Use Limited colour range (16-235)” option.

Kangaroo Notebook is a Modular Laptop with a Replaceable PC Module/Card

September 16th, 2016 No comments

Infocus has been making Kangaroo mini PCs with separate docks, and now the company is introducing its Kangaroo Notebook which can be upgraded with a new CPU card, but sadly it’s completely incompatible with the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop models, and instead they designed Kangaroo Mini PC card that can be inserted in the left side of the laptop.

kangaroo_notebook

Kangaroo Mini (Left) and Kangaroo Notebook (Right)

Kangaroo Notebook + Mini module specifications:

  • Kangaroo Mini
    • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core Cherry Trail processor with Intel HD graphics
    • System memory – 2GB RAM
    • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + mini SD card reader
    • Connectivity – 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2
    • Dimensions – 9.7 x 4.1 x 0.9 cm
    • Weight – 51 grams
  • Kangaroo Notebook
    • Display – 11.6″ touchscreen display with 1366×768 resolution
    • QWERTY Keyboard & Synaptic Clickpad
    • Storage – SD card reader
    • Camera – 1MP webcam
    • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, and speakers
    • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
    • Battery – 37 Wh battery good for around 5 hours
    • Dimensions – 29 x 19.6 x 2 cm
    • Weight – ~1.2 kg

Kangaroo Mini is pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home. Unfortunately it can’t be used as a mini PC since it lacks the necessary USB and HDMI port. The module design is also proprietary so you can’t rely on another company to come up with a card, and currently InFocus only has one laptop shell, and Mini card, so there’s no update possible. In theory, you’d think the company would provide various options in the future, but based on what they’ve done with their mini PCs and docks, I’m not too confident since AFAIK docks can not be purchased separately…

Kangaroo Notebook with actually come with 2 Kangaroo mini, so you can have several people sharing one laptop shell without having to share the same operating system. Maybe there’s a use case here, especially storage is limited to 32GB. Liliputing had a closer look at the laptop which should sell for $300.

It’s not the first modular laptop we’ve seen this year, and while it’s quite more powerful than the first EOMA68 CPU card for laptops, mini PCs, and whatever you may think of, which offers an open standard and an ecosystem of options, Kangaroo solution is fully proprietary, and currently it’s only modular by name since there’s only one laptop shell, and one PC module. We’ll have to see how it evolves.

Infocus Kangaroo Notebook also has a product page, but with only a few pictures, no information for now.

MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 and Benchmarks

September 8th, 2016 22 comments

I’ve listed specifications and posted photos of MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC in the first part of review, and while NEO Z83-4 is yet another Intel Atom x5-Z8300 device, it’s clear the company has made specific efforts for the thermal design with a large heatsink and aluminum bottom cover, and provided a solid 12V/3A power supply. So in the second part of the review, I’ll check how Windows 10 performs in the device, and run some benchmarks to compare it to other low power Intel mini PCs.

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Setup & System Information

If you’ve connected USB mouse and keyboard, HDMI and Ethernet, a USB 3.0 hard drive to the USB 3.0 port, and the power cord. Pressing the power button on the right side will boot the device.

minix-neo-z83-4_connected

A typical boot will take around 30 seconds to the desktop. My system was already configured with Z83-4 user, possibly because MINIX tested the device before sending it to me, but for the first boot, users should normally go through Windows 10 setup to select the language, configure networking and so on.

Click for Original Size

Click for Original Size

System and Security->System in the control panel shows Z84-3 runs Windows 10 Home 64-bit (activated), and features an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor @ 1.44 GHz with 4GB RAM.minix-neo-z83-4-storageIf we check My Computer we can see the C: drive (eMMC flash partition) has a total capacity of 28.6GB with about 13.1 GB free, and the system also detected partition on my USB hard drive formatted with exFAT and NTFS file systems.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I’ve take the Device Manager screenshot for people wanting more details about the drivers, and runs HWiNFO64 to show a system summary.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

There’s no surprise here, and the info is basically the same as other x5-Z8300 mini PCs such as Tronsmart Ara X5.

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Benchmarks

I’ve only run PCMARK 8 HOME 3.0 Accelerated benchmark, and skipped the “baseline” benchmark, as systems based on Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor have been benchmarked so many times.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The results (1,543 points) confirms the system runs well, and NEO Z83-4 even slightly beats the more expensive MINIX NGC-1 Braswell mini PC, which achieved 1,492 points in the same test. It’s also better than Voyo V3 Intel Atom x7-Z8700 mini PC, which in theory should have a better score.

3DMarks results are also as expected, and a bit lower than NGC-1 since Intel Celeron N3150 has a faster GPU.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

You can find MINIX NEO Z83-4 detailed results for Sky Driver 1.0, Ice Storm Extreme 1.2, and Fire Strike 1.1. I also ran Ice Storm 1.2 since that one of the tests I use for comparison with other platforms, and for some reasons, it’s significantly lower than Ara X5 (16,000 vs 19,000).

The device got 656.3 points in PassMark 8 benchmark, a result quite lower than other faster mini PC with Atom x7 or Braswell processors, but the benchmark is quite shorter in duration, so CPU throttling is not a factor in most cases.

minix-neo-z83-4_passmark-8

The eMMC flash performance is average however, since 32GB storage device are often a bit slower than their larger counterparts (64 / 128 GB), but still acceptable.

neo-z83-4-crystaldiskmark-emmc-flashI also tested USB 3.0 throughput, and close to 100 MB/s is about where it should be.
neo-z83-4-crystaldiskmark-usb-3-0-ntfs
MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC has good networking options as it supports both Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac WiFi, and I had no issue connecting to my TP Link AC router the first time.

minix-neo-z83-4_wifi-ac

However, subsequent attempts all failed, with the Device Manager reporting an error with Broadcom 802.11ac WDI SDIO Adapter.

minix-neo-z83-4-broadcom_802-11ac_problemI’m unable to connect to any wireless networks when that happens. But I can either restart the PC, or faster, disable and re-enable the adapter, and I can connect to my two 2.4 GHz networks including one of the same TPLink AC router, but connecting to the 5 GHz access point will always cause the driver to fail…

[Update: I’ve re-tried this morning, and could connect to 5 GHz WiFi… iperf results with full duplex test:

Throughput in Mbps

Throughput in Mbps

WiFI AC performance is quite good in this test. I also performed the test in one direction only (iperf.exe -t 60 -c 192.168.0.104):

That’s Fast Ethernet type of performance, and with my setup it’s an excellent result.

end of update]

So I reverted to Gigabit Ethernet to test the performance with iperf 2 using iperf.exe -t 60 -c 192.168.0.104 -d command line:

Throughput in Mbps

Throughput in Mbps

Performance is OK without being outstanding.

The table below compares the results to some competitors including Tronsmart Ara X5, Kangaroo Mobile Desktop, MINIX NGC-1, Intel NUC5CPYB, Voyo V3, Beelink BT7, and Vorke V1. Results for Ice Storm 1.2 are divided by 20 to make the graphics more readable.

minix-neo-z83-4_vs_ngc-1_vs_tronsmart_ara_x5_vs_voyo-v3_vorke-v1_beelink_bt7One oddity is that NEO Z83-4 has the weakest GPU score, even slightly lower than Tronsmart Ara X5, and storage and passmark results are about equivalent. PCMark 8 is the only benchmark that seems to show the strength of the platforms.

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Usability and Stress Testing

I’ve run most of the same test as on other mini PCs with 4GB RAM to see how well they can be used as desktop PC replacement, or at least as an Entry level computer, by running multiple programs, playing games, etc… I replaced my Kodi test, with always the same decent results in those Atom mini PCs, by checking out MINIX options in the BIOS.

  • Multi-tasking – Using Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and Gimp at the same time
  • Web Browsing
    • Loading multiple tab with CNX Software blog in Firefox
    • Playing 1080p YouTube Videos in Firefox 48
    • Playing a flash game (Candy Crush Saga) in Firefox
  • Gaming with Asphalt 8
  • MINIX UEFI Settings

MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC did well for all of those tests considering it’s a long end PC, and the performance is solid and constant. Adobe flash CPU usage was quite high in Firefox, and may perform better in Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

I also ran OCCT 4.4.2 system stress tool for three hours, and the computer stayed cool all the time only reaching 63 C max, with an average CPU frequency of 1.6 GHz between the base frequency (1.44 GHz), and the maximum burst frequency (1.84 GHz).

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

MINIX Feature Configuration in BIOS / UEFI

MINIX has also fone some work in the BIOS. So I’ve check their options in Aptio Setup Utility. Press Esc to enter the BIOS when the system boots.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Then go to Advanced->MINIX Feature Configuration.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

You’ll find option to select between Apple or Nokia/Samsung earphone types for the 3.5mm audio jack, AC Power On if you want the computer to automatically start (without pressing the button) when power is applied, Wake-on-LAN, or RTC wake-up to set a specific date, or specific hour of the day to automatically turn on the computer.

Conclusion

I’ve quite pleased with MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC as the performance is stable, and for desktop tasks just as good, if not better, as some other mini PCs based on more powerful Intel Atom x7-Z8700 and Celeron Braswell processors. I also like the extra options in the BIOS, which are not always found in cheaper models, and the only major downside I found is some issue with Broadcom WiFi driver which reports an issue after attempting to connect to my 5.0 GHz / 802.11ac access point, despite initially working [Update: I tried again the day after, and I had no problem connecting to 802.11ac WiFi with very good performance]. 3D Graphics performance appears to be a little lower than expected too, and storage performance is average, if not below average.

Price is also higher than somewhat similar models, but considering the extra features (802.11ac, 4GB, GbE, UEFI options…), it may still be worth paying a little extra. MINIX NEO Z83-4 is much more aggressively priced compared to MINIX NGC-1, as it will sell for $169.90, 169.90 Euros, or 144.90 GBP once it launches on September 16.

[Update: MINIX NEO Z83-4 can be bought on Geekbuying for $169.99 shipped]