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Posts Tagged ‘mini-pc’

Tronsmart Draco AW80 is an Allwinner A80 Android mini PC with Up to 4GB RAM

October 31st, 2014 10 comments

An Allwinner A80 board for TV boxes / mini PC started to show up in the upcoming Z8C Alice TV box a few weeks ago, and the board, or another one with exactly the same layout, made it into Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta and Telos mini PCs with respectively 2GB RAM/16GB eMMC, and 4GB RAM/32GB eMMC, and selling for $149.99 and $199.99 on GeekBuying.

Tronsmart_AW80_DracoTronsmart Draco AW80 Meta/Telos specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner Ultra Core A80 4x Cortex 15, 4x Cortex A7 big.LITTLE processor with Imagination Technologies PowerVR GC6230 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0, Directx 9.3
  • System Memory – 2GB (Meta), or 4GB (Telos) DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB (Meta) or 32GB (Telos) eMMC + SD card slot + SATA port (via a USB 2.0/3.0 bridge)
  • Video  Output – HDMI + AV port
  • Audio – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • (Main) Video Codecs – H.265/VP9 up to 1080p @ 30 fps (software decode?), H.264/VP8 up to 4K2K @ 30fps, 1080p120, or 720p240
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with external antenna, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 OTG port (full size), 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – 16.4 x 16.4 x 2.75 cm
  • Weight – 442 grams

Allwinner_A80_TV_Box_Connectors

The box runs a rooted Android 4.4 firmware pre-loaded with XBMC/Kodi, Netflix, Youtube, Hulu Plus, Plex Skype, and supporting OTA updates. Linux (Ubuntu/Fedora?) beta images will be released by the end of November. Draco AW80 is sold with a simple IR remote control, a SATA cable, and HDMI cable, a male to male USB cable (for OTG port), a power adapter, and a user’s manual. Allwinner A80 Antutu scores are usually all over the place, but for reference only, this device manages to get 55,106 points in Antutu 5.1.5. Beside the fast processor, this is only of the rare boxes with fast interface include Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and SATA. The main downside is that the price is very close to competing fanless Intel based mini PCs.

Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta (2GB/16GB) will ship now, but the 4GB RAM version, AW80 Telos is only available for pre-order with shipping scheduled for the end of November. I understand people who purchased Tronsmart Orion R28 Beta may be able to get a $20 discount, and an SDK for the device will be released. However, based on previous experience, the Android SDK is likely to be outdated.

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$80 CX-S806 Android Mini PC Powered by Amlogic S812 SoC

October 24th, 2014 9 comments

Yesterday, I wrote about two upcoming Amlogic S812 Android TV boxes by Eny Technology, namely M8S and M8C, with a production trial run scheduled by the end of this month, but I’ve seen then been informed that CX-S806 TV box with the latest Amlogic quad core processor, 2GB RAM, and 8GB eMMC flash is already shipping for as low as $80, as well as a model with a 2MP front camera called CX-S806S.

CX-S806_Amlogic_S802_mini_PC

CX-S806 / CX-S806S technical specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2.0 GHz with octa-core Mali-450MP6 GPU up to 600+ MHz
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB flash. No SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 wireless module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K2K @ 60 Hz (TBC), 3.5mm AV jack (composite + stereo audio)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • Video Codecs – H.265 / HEVC [email protected] up to 4k2k@30fps, H.264 AVC [email protected] up to 4k2k@30fps, MPEG1/2/4 up to 1080p60, AVS up to 1080p60, WMV/VC-1 up to 1080p60, WebM up to VGA resolution, RealVideo 8/9/10 up to 1080p,
  • Audio Formats/Codecs – MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, Dolby, DTS, SRS, AC-3
  • Camera – 2MP front camera (CX-806S only)
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, including on OTG port.
  • Misc – Reset button, recovery button.
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Dimensions – 160 x 96 x 31 mm
  • Weight – 151 grams

CX-S806_Rear_PanelThe box runs Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with MediaBox launcher, and comes with an IR remote control, an HDMI cable, a power adapter, and a user’s manual. There’s uncertainty around the HDMI version used, because some sites indicate HDMI 2.0, while others mention HDMI 1.4b. You’ll only be able to add storage via USB, since there’s no (micro) SD card slot, and as with other Amlogic processors, Ethernet is still limited to 10/100M, despite Gigabit Ethernet being part of S812 (and S805) SoC features. So the only advantage over S802(-H) is support for HEVC / H.265 video decoding up to 2160p resolution.

CX-S806 can be purchased on Amazon US ($79.99), as well as GeekBuying for $84.99, and about the same price on Aliexpress. The version with camera, CX-S806S, is selling for $89.99. Make sure to double check the processor is indeed S812, as an earlier version of CX-S806 ships with Amlogic S802 instead. CX-S806 manufacturer appears to be Shenzhen Sunchip Technology.

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Rikomagic MK802 IIIS Dual Core HDMI TV Stick Sells for $14

October 22nd, 2014 13 comments

Yet again, sellers are trying to get rid off their old stock, and today Rikomagic MK02 IIIS HDMI TV Stick powered by Rockchip RK3066 sells for $14.40 on Aliexpress for the next four hours, but if you miss it, you can also buy from another seller for $17.99. Both prices include worldwide shipping, and the sellers have good feedback.

Rikomagic_MK802IIIs

MK802 IIIS specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3066 dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.6Ghz + Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 8 GB NAND flash + micro SD slot (up to 32GB)
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 3.0
  • Video Output – HDMI (male)
  • USB – 1x USB Host 2.0, 2x micro USB for power and OTG port

The package includes the mini PC, a USB cable for power, an OTG adapter, a short male to female HDMI cable, and user’s manual. It’s said to run running Android 4.1.1, but it could actually be Android 4.2, and Rikomagic released firmware on November 2013 with Android 4.2. Two versions of MK802IIIS are listed on Rikomagic firmware page, so I’m not sure which one it is. This dongle also supports PicUntu I/O if you want to run a Linux desktop distribution.

Thanks to Gabe for the tip.

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Qualcomm Showcases 4K LTE HDMI TV Streaming Dongle

October 21st, 2014 5 comments

There are now many wireless display adapters supporting Miracast, EZCast, DLNA, Airplay…, and streaming videos from your smartphone to the TV over Wi-Fi in 720p or 1080p resolution. Qualcomm recently unveiled a prototype called “4K Stream Adapter (4SA)” that does about the same but instead support 4K UHD resolution, and allegedly supports LTE thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 800+ processor.
Qualcomm_4K_stream_Adapter

According to a PCWorld report, Qualcomm mainly expects the device to be used to stream 4K video captured with a phone to a 4k UHD television, but it might also ending up supporting online video services such as Netflix, and mirroring your mobile device’s display onto the big screen. It’s also said to use a “basic Universal Plug and Play protocol” to connect with other devices, and the company is working to support communication with media apps such as BubbleUPnP, VLC and MXPlayer. Currently 4SA is only a prototype to demonstrate its capabilities to hardware OEM/ODM and software companies.

SemiAccurate also mentions the device supports LTE, and while it’s unlikely consumer ever use LTE to stream 4K video at home, it could be used in location where other network connectivity are not available, for example for digital signage players in remote locations. The player would probably download content over LTE, store it in a large enough flash, and play the content for a while, instead of simply continuously streaming content due to cost considerations.

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iMito QX1 Quad Core Android HDMI TV Stick Sells for $30

October 18th, 2014 24 comments

As new platforms are being introduced to market, companies have to clear their stock of older devices, and iMito QX1 HDMI TV dongle based on Rockchip RK3188 quad core processor is now going for $30 on Aliexpress, including shipping.
iMito_QX1iMito QX1 specifications as a reminder:

  • SoC –  Rockchip RK3188 Quad core Cortex A9 @ 1.6Ghz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU. (or maybe RK3188T @ 1.4 GHz  now)
  • System Memory –  2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash + microSD card
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host + 1x mini USB port for power
  • Misc – Reset/recovery button, external antenna connector.
  • Power – 5V/2A via mini USB port
  • Dimensions – 99 x 40 x 10.8mm
  • Weight – 42 grams

The latest firmware is based on Android 4.2.2, and there are also some custom ROMS (Finless, Nitro Team, etc..) for the device. QX1 is sold with a power supply with a USB cable, and a short HDMI cable. An external antenna does not seem to be included, so if you want one, you’ll need to spend a few dollars. The antenna can be purchased on GeekBuying or Aliexpress for about $7.

Thanks to Gabe.

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Mini PC Polls: Networking Connectivity, Video and Audio Outputs

October 17th, 2014 4 comments

It’s always interesting to find out how people use their devices, and I recently discovered Google+ support Polls as Droidmote posted a poll to find out whether people used Wi-Fi or Ethernet with their mini PCs, and I followed up with polls about video and audio outputs. Around 50 people have answered to each poll up to now, so even if it may not representative, let’s have a look at the results so far.
mini_PC_Ethernet_vs_Wi-FiAbout half of the people are connected via Ethernet, and the other half are using Wi-Fi after 43 votes. Wi-Fi is normally more convenient, but may not be as reliable, and for users playing high bitrate videos Ethernet is a must, unless you find buffering enjoyable….

mini_pc_1080_or_2160pAfter 58 votes, most people still connect their mini PC to a Full HD television via HDMI, with a few connecting it to a 4K UHD TV, and nobody using composite or component video outputs. This results was to be expected, as HDMI has been around for many years, and 4K UHD are still pretty new, often expensive, and availability of 2160p content is limited.

mini_PCs_audio_outputThe audio output poll surprised me however, as I did not expect that so many people were using AV receivers. 44% of people simply connect their box to the HDMI port  to get audio via their TV, but a combined 41% own an AV receiver mostly connected via HDMI (27%), optical S/PDIF (12%), and one person out of the 41 who voted so far is connecting their device via coaxial S/PDIF. Finally 15% connects their device to external speakers / TV via the AV port, and one member of the community mentioned he used a USB connection to an AV receiver with his Android mini PC. If this small sample of users (41) happens to be representative of buyers of Android/Linux mini PCs / TV boxes, manufacturers should really make sure pass-through audio is working as expected.

The polls are still open so feel free to vote if you have a Google+ account. Simply click on the pictures above to open a new window, and vote.

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Categories: Audio, Video Tags: 4k, Android, Linux, ethernet, hdmi, mini-pc, uhd, wifi

MEEGO-T01 HDMI TV Stick Supports Android, Windows 8.1, and Ubuntu/Linux

October 15th, 2014 18 comments

ARM based HDMI TV dongles have been available for over two years, mostly running Android, but the community has managed to install Linux desktop operating systems such as Ubuntu or Debian on these tiny gadgets with some limitations. But now that Intel is making low power SoC for tablets, at least one company has decided to make an HDMI TV stick powered by Intel “Bay Trail-T” Z3735F/G quad core processor, which can run Android, Windows 8.1, and Linux based desktop operating systems such as Ubuntu.

MEEGO-T01Meegopad MEEGO-T01 (aka APM-D01?) hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F / Z3735G “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics (2W TDP)
  • System Memory
    • 1 GB DDR3L-1333 for Z3735G (32-bit up to 5.3 GB/s)
    • 2 GB DDR3L-1333 for Z3735F (64-bit up to 10.6 GB/s)
  • Storage – 16 or 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8723BS)
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 99.6 x 37.6 x 9.6 mm
  • Weight – 46 grams

Android and Windows 8.1 are supported according to the specifications, and Linux/Ubuntu is vaguely mentioned, so it may not be fully supported at this time, other Bay Trail-T mini PC can run Ubuntu with some caveats, so hopefully issues can be ironed out, and we can finally have an HDMI stick running Ubuntu / Debian with full 2D/3D GPU acceleration, and video hardware decoding support.

Intel_HDMI_TV_Stick_BoardThe PCB name is DAONH1MB6A0, and appears to have been designed by a Taiwanese public company called “HannStar Board Corporation“.

MEEGO-T01 / APM-D01 / Meegopad T01 (not sure of the name) is not available for retail yet, but it’s listed on Alibaba, as well as on Shenzhen APEC Electronic’s APM-D01 product page. I could not find any price information, except the very vague, and unreliable, “$1 to $70″ on Alibaba.

Via Mini PC G+ community

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