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Posts Tagged ‘mini-pc’

Gigabyte GB-BACE-3000 is a Fanless mini PC Powered by Intel Celeron N3000 Braswell Processor

August 4th, 2015 No comments

Systems with the latest low power Intel Braswell processors are starting to hit the shelves, and after ASRock Beebox, some Braswell laptops, Intel Braswell NUCs, and some ASRock motherboards, here’s another Braswell mini PC with Gigabyte BRIX GB-BACE-3000 based on Intel Celeron N3000 dual core processor.

Gigabyte_BRIX_Braswell
GB-BACE-3000 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3000 dual core processor up to 2.08GHz with Intel Gen8 HD Graphics (4W TDP)
  • System Memory – 1x SO-DIMM DDR3L 1.35V slot @ 1066/1333/1600 MHz up to 8GB RAM
  • Storage – 2.5” thickness 7.0/9.5mm Hard Drives (1 x 6Gbps SATA3), 1 x Micro SD card slot
  • Video Output
    • HDMI up to 3840×2160 @ 30 Hz
    • VGA up to 1920×1200 @ 60 Hz
  • Audio – Realtek ALC255 audio codec, 1x Audio-out / Mic-In, HDMI
  • Connectivity – Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8111H), Wi-Fi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 (M.2 module)
  • USB – 2 x USB 3.0 ports (front panel), 2 x USB 3.0 ports (rear panel)
  • Expansion – 1 x PCIe M.2 NGFF 2230 A-E key slot occupied by the WiFi+BT card
  • Misc – Kensington lock slot
  • Power Supply – 19V / 2.1A
  • Dimension – Enclosure: 56.1 mm x 107.6 mm x 114.4 mm; Motherboard: 100 x 105 mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating : 0°C to +35°C;  Storage: -20°C to +60°C

Gigabyte_GB-BACE-3000
The mini PC kit also includes VESA bracket for 75×75 and 100x100mm systems, and the company claims support for Windows 7 and 8.1 64-bit, but as we’ve previously seen Linux distributions should also run on such hardware.

The company has not released pricing nor availability information so far, but considering Intel NUC with Celeron N3050 processor sells for less than $140, Gigabyte BRIX GB-BACE-3000 will also be in that price range or slightly lower. You’ll just need to add an hard drive or SSD and memory as needed.

Via FanlessTech

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Zoomtak T8 Plus Android 5.1 TV Box with Amlogic S812 SoC Features a 2.5″ SATA Bay

August 1st, 2015 6 comments

We’ve already seen a few Amlogic S802 with SATA support such as Zoomtak T8 with a SATA bay, or Eweat EW802 with an external SATA connector. Zoomtak has now introduced an updated version T8 Plus with Amlogic S812 that will run Android 5.1 and Kodi 15.0 by the end of August.

Zoomtak_T8s_PlusZoomtak T8 Plus specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S812 quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2.0 GHz with Mali-450MP6 GPU
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (16GB optional) + SD/MMC card reader + 2.5″ SATA bay
  • Video Output – HDMI supporting 4K30 and 3D, composite output (RCA)
  • Audio Output – HDMI, stereo RCA, and optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna, Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6234 module)
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver, “restore” pinhole, LED display on front panel, and power button.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A (Aluminum enclosure in black or gold)

Amlogic_S812_SATAThe box currently runs Android 4.4 and Kodi 14.2, but Android 5.1 is planned for the end of August, and Kodi 15.0 sometimes next week. Since the market has decided that SATA was not an important requirement, none of main Chinese TV box silicon vendors include it in their SoC, which means the implementation here is done via a USB 2.0 to SATA bridge.

Compared to the older Zoomtak T8, Amlogic S812 brings support for H.265 hardware video decoding and Gigabit Ethernet support in the newer hardware platform. It also looks like they’ve switched from NAND flash to eMMC flash. The device can be turned on and off with the remote control or the front panel button, as the power circuit is controlled by an MCU.

T8s_Plus_BoardYou can check out Zoomtak T8s Plus product page for details and contact the company if you plan to order in quantities. I could not find the device and retail websites yet, but it’s already listed on Alibaba.

 

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Zidoo X1 Android TV Box Unboxing and Teardown

July 31st, 2015 9 comments

Zidoo X1 is an Android media player powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor with support for 4K videos up to 30Hz and H.265 / HEVC video codec. The company sent me one unit for review, and today I’ll start by unboxing and tearing down the device, before further testing to get the review posted in a few days.

Zidoo X1 Unboxing

I’ve received the package by (MY)DHL a few days after it was shipped.

Zidoo_X1_PackageThe package shows some of the main features like 4K and 3D support, H.265/HEVC codec, Kodi support, and ZIUI which must be the name given to Zidoo user interface.

Zidoo X1 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Zidoo X1 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

The box comes with an HDMI cable, a user’s manual in English, a warranty card, a 5V/2A power adapter, and a standard IR remote control with IR learning function for 5 keys: Vol +/-, power, AV/TV, and SET so that you can control your TV with a single remote control, in case HDMI CEC does not work.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I’ve already reviewed a device that looks like a spaceship, but I find Zidoo X1 is more alike to a flying saucer, and one person told me it looks like a shark fin… Nevertheless, the design is interesting and quite different from other rectangular boxes. All ports are at the back: AV jack (composite + audio), HDMI out, one USB 2.0 host port, 10/100M Ethernet, another USB host port and micro SD slot, and a power barrel (5V). There are also the IR receiver and LED on the front of the device which we can see through the semi-transparent casing. A pinhole can also be found on the bottom of the device to enter recovery mode for firmware update (in the unlikely case OTA does not work, or your firmware is corrupted).

If you prefer unboxing videos, here it is…

Zidoo X1 Teardown

Opening the enclosure is fairly easy. Remove the four sticky rubber pads on the bottom of the enclosure, and loosen the four screws.

Zidoo_X1_Enclosure_Bottom

There are also eight plastic clips, so you’ll have to use some sharp tool, preferably made of plastic too to avoid damaging the casing, to completely pop-up the top cover.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The first thing that surprised with the board is how small Allwinner H3 processor – as well the corresponding heatsink – is compared to more powerful processors.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The board is name Z-H3-OTT_V1.1, and for those who’d like to hack the board, the serial connector is still there with clear marking. The processor is coupled with SKHynix H27UCG8T2ATR-BC NAND flash (8GB), and two SKHynix H5TQ4G63AFR DDR3 SDRAM chips providing 1GB RAM. A Realtek RTL8189ETV module is used for WiFi connectivity. There’s no built-in Bluetooth.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The board can be completely removed from the casing by gently pulling it out. The micro SD  slot and the u-boot and recovery button can be fond on the bottom of the board. The MAC address starts with DCC0DB, meaning Zidoo has continued its partnership with Kaiboer for hardware design and manufacturing, just like it did for Zidoo X9. A thermal pad and metallic plate are attached to the bottom of the enclosure, and make contact with the bottom of the board to make sure the device stays cool during operation.

If you are interested in buying in quantities, you can contact Zidoo directly, but the box is sold retail for $59.99 on GeekBuying, as well as Amazon US, and  Aliexpress.

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Tronsmart Ara x5 mini PC to Feature Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Processor

July 30th, 2015 4 comments

If you’re getting tired of seeing companies launch products after products based on Intel Atom Z3735F with 32GB eMMC and 2GB RAM, and mainly changing the casing, Tronsmart Ara x5 provides some changes, as the upcoming mini PC will feature an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” processor instead of the ubiquitous Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail-T” processor.

Tronsmart_Ara_x5Preliminary specifications for Tronsmart Ara x5:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz (Bust freq: 1.84 GHz) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics (2W SDP)
  • System Memory –  2 GB
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm microphone jack
  • Connectivity – Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 (TBC)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power button, LED on top of device
  • Power Supply – TBD
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A
Cherry_Trail_mini_PCThe fanless box will run Windows 10 by default, and is scheduled for shipping sometimes in August. Price has not been revealed yet.

If you look at the comparison between Atom Z3735F and Atom x5-Z8300 both processor are pretty similar with four cores clocked at about the same base and burst frequencies, 2MB L2 cache, a maximum of 2GB RAM supported, a 171x17mm package supporting UTFCBGA592 sockets, and a similar “recommended customer price” ($17 vs $20). However the Cherry Trail brings some improvement, including a likely faster Gen8 GPU, USB 3.0 support, PCIe support, support for faster RAM (1600 MHZ vs 1333 MHz), 14nm process technology, and support for AES New Instructions (AES-NI) to enable faster data encryption and decryption.

I could not find benchmarks for x5-Z8300, but the CPU performance is likely to be similar to Z3735F based on the comparison above. However, USB 3.0 and PCIe interface – which could be used for WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, or SATA – will certainly provide faster I/Os on the hardware platforms that leverage these.

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PiPo X1 is a Windows 10 Bay Trail HDMI TV Stick

July 24th, 2015 1 comment

PiPo used to the mostly know for its low cost tablets, but then they started launching ARM based mini PCs, and followed with x86 mini PCs such as the popular PiPo X7. Netbook Italia found out the company is now working on a new HDMI TV stick that will run Windows 10, but they must have run out of “lucky” names because the product will apparently be called PiPo X1, a name they already used for a Rockchip RK3188 TV stick

Pipo_X1The hardware is not really interesting, as it has basically the same specs as the other Bay Trail-T sticks on the market:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F  “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust frequency: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics Gen 7
  • System Memory – 2 GB
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (Realtek module)
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 114×34.5×13.9 mm
  • Weight – 40 grams

Pipo_X1_enclosureBeside the Windows 10 version of the stick, PiPo also plans to release a dual boot version with Windows and Android.

In case you don’t care about Windows sticks, and would rather run a fully working Ubuntu on a Bay Trail stick, but Intel Compute Ubuntu with 1GB RAM, and 8GB flash does not cut it for you, Ian Morrison (aka Linuxium) recently provided an ISO image for the Compute Stick (Windows version) with 2GB RAM and 32GB flash.

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Geniatech Showcases Amlogic T866 TV Box with 2 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output

July 21st, 2015 7 comments

Amlogic mostly makes SoCs for tablets, for example the M80x series, and TV boxes such as Amlogic S805 or S812, but they also have a processor family designed for Smart TVs such as Amlogic T866 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.8 GHz coupled with an octa-core Mali-450MP. Somehow, Geniatech has designed ATV1866 TV box based on the latter support two HDMI inputs, and one HDMI output.

Amlogic_T866_TV_BoxThe box does not appears to support video recoding from the HDMI input, nor time-shifting, but the company showcased picture-in-picture (PiP) functionality, showing either input used in full screen or windowed mode on top of the Android user interface. HDMI version is 2.0 for the output, with H.265 codec supported, but I could not find details about the HDMI inputs.

The box is running Android 4.4 for now, but will certainly run Android 5.0 at launch. The company is still developing the product, and it’s unclear when it will be released.

Via ARMDevices.net

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Remix Mini Android Mini PC Offers a Better Desktop Experience (Crowdfunding)

July 21st, 2015 7 comments

Android mini PC are great to consume content, but when I tried to blog with one, I found many shortcomings which made it not such as good user experience, and writing articles on an Android mini PC everyday, it would seriously decrease my productivity.  That’s probably why Chinese start-up Jide Tech decided to work on Remix OS, based on Android 5.0 but with customizations for a better desktop experience including multitasking support, resizable windows, shortcuts support, a taskbar, and more. The company has now launched a Kickstarter campaign for a low cost mini PC powered by Allwinner A64 and Remix OS.

Remix_MiniThey called it Remix Mini, and dubbed it the “First True Android mini PC”.  Two versions are available, one with 1GB RAM + 8GB storage, and one with 2GB + 16GB storage.

Specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H64 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz
  • System Memory – 1 or 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 8 or 16GB eMMC
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 output up to 4K @ 30Hz
  • Audio Output – HDMI and 3.5mm audio jack for headphones
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Dimensions – 124.3 mm x 88.2 mm x 26 mm

Remix_mini_ports
The mini PCs ship with a power adapter, but no other cables. Jide Tech previously ran another crowdfunding campaign for a Remix OS Tablet, successfully funded, and uploaded several demos on their YouTube account. Here’s the one showing how the taskbar works.

After several days into the campaign, the project raised well over $500,000 out of its $50,000 target. Beside the software customization, the price of the hardware certainly is a contributor, as the 1GB RAM version goes for $30, and the 2GB version for $40, the latter being the most popular. Shipping does not come cheap however. It’s $10 to $15 to some Asian countries the US, and Oceania, but goes up to $20 to $30 to most of the rest of the world. But even after including shipping, the product appears to be fairly cost-effective. Delivery is scheduled for October 2015.

You can also visit Jide Tech website for more details.

Via Liliputing

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Tronsmart Orion R68 64-bit ARM TV Box Sells for Up to 50% Discount

July 18th, 2015 7 comments

We’ve seen several Rockchip RK3366 TV boxes being announced recently such as Eny EKB368 or Beelink i68, and it’s no surprise that Tronmart decided to launch their own model Orion R68 based on the latest Rockchip processor.

Tronsmart_Orion_R68

Two models are available: Orion R68 Meta with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, GbE, and 802.11 ac WiFi, and Orion R68 Pro with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, Fast Ethernet, and 2.4 GHz 802.11n WiFi. The latter appears to be the same Beelink i68 TV Box going for $66.

Tronsmart Orion R68 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3368 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with PowerVR G6110 GPU
  • System Memory- 1 GB DDR3 (Pro); 2GB DDR3 (Meta)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (Pro); 16GB eMMC flash (Meta); SD card slot up to 64GB for both models
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity
    • Pro – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (AP6212 module), Bluetooth 4.0
    • Meta – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n + 802.11ac (AP6335 module), Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – Power button, IR receiver, update button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 12.0 x 12.0 x 2.4 cm
The mini PCs run Android 5.1 operating system, and ship with an infrared remote control, an HDMI cable, a power adapter, and a user’s manual.

Orion R68 Meta normally sells for $99.99, and Orion R68 Pro for $74.99, but Tronsmart and GeekBuying have organized a promotion, where you can get the box for up to half price either:

  • Random draw for 10%, 20%, 30% or 50% coupon
  • 50% coupon for people already owning a Tronsmart device. All you need to do is post a picture of your device on twitter or Facebook, and send an email to [email protected]

The promotion should still be going on, since it’s scheduled to run until July 23, but they’ve sold the first 500 pieces, and I’ve noticed the random draw does not work right now, but you can still try your luck to get a coupon if your own an older Tronsmart TV box.

Thanks to Jake for the tip.

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