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Infocus CS1 A83 (C2107) Android Tablet Review

December 16th, 2014 4 comments

I’ve already shown some picture, listed specs and reported Antutu benchmark results for Infocus CS1 A83 Android tablet powered by Allwinner A83T octa core processor. I’ve been using this tablet as my main mobile device for about a week, and for about 3 to 5 hours a day, and I’m now ready to write a full review reporting my experience with this Full HD tablet.

General Impressions

I mainly use a tablet to browse the web, check emails, play some casual games like Candy Crush Saga, watch some YouTube videos, and Skype calls, and I could not really fault the tablet for any of these applications. Having said that, my reference device is only ThL W200 smartphone powered by Mediatek MT6589T processor with a 5″ display @ 1280×720, and for all the tasks listed Infocus tablet is much better because it’s more responsive, the 1920×1200 is crisp, and the cameras are working (for now). I could get a GPS fix quickly too, but GPS is something I tested thoroughly on the tablet.

Battery life is also good for my needs as a charge of the 3,550 mAh battery lasts for well over 24 hours, and takes 2 hours to complete (8% to 98%). They say the first impression is what count, and CS1 A83 (aka C2107) does a good job at that since it boots in about 15 seconds. I’ve only experienced two major annoyances with the volume down button, which requires a strong press to work, and Wi-Fi connectivity does not always work after getting out of standby, requiring a reboot. I worked around the latter issue, but setting Wi-Fi always on in the settings.

Benchmarks: Antutu, Vellamo, and 3DMark

Benchmarks are useful as a quick way to evaluate a device’s performance, but they should not be the only reason for your to buy a particular tablet, smaprthone, or any other device.

I’ve already run Antutu last week, but I’ll include it again today, which shows a score (26,000) a little  lower that what you’d get with an Amlogic S802 device (4x Cortex A9 @ 2 GHz + Mali-450MP6 GPU).

Infocus CS1 A83 Antutu Score (Click to Enlarge)

Infocus CS1 A83 Antutu Score (Click to Enlarge)

I’ve also run two more benchmark to evaluate browser, and multicore performance with Vellamo 3.1 , and 3D graphics with 3DMarks Ice Storm Extreme.

Vellamo 3.1 and Ice Storm Extreme Scores (Click to Enlarge)

Vellamo 3.1 and Ice Storm Extreme Scores (Click to Enlarge)

Vellamo Score browser score is about the same as LG Nexus 4 smartphone (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro – APQ8064), and at 3,448 points for 3Dmark Ice Storm Extreme, InFocus C2107 is certainly not a gaming beast, but as we’ll see below it’s still very much usable.

Internal Storage and Wi-Fi Performance

Internal storage performance is important for overall system responsiveness, as for example while installing apps some system slow down considerably due to I/O activity, and for boot and app loading time. So far, InFocus CS1 A83 is the best device I’ve ever tested with regards to eMMC performance thanks to 58.87 MB/s read speed, and 29.36 MB/s write speed. Benchmark app used: A1 SD Benchmark. Please note that InFocus CS1 A83 us the only tablet in the chart below.

Infocus_C2107_Internal_Storage_Performance

Read & Write Speed in MB/s (Click to Enlarge)

I’ve also tested the tablet Wi-Fi performance by transferring a 278 MB file over SAMBA using ES File Explorer. I obviously placed the tablet in the same location I normally place TV boxes and development boards.

Throughput in MB/s

Throughput in MB/s

The tablet transferred the file at 2.72 MB/s (21.76 Mbps) on average which puts it in the middle of the pack. It’s quite possible I should not really compare Wi-Fi performance of a tablet with the one of media player, since these are different form factors. Your environment, including your router firmware, may also greatly impact the relative Wi-Fi performance between devices.

Performance is average, but I never lost Wi-Fi connectivity during active use. The first couple of dauys everything worked fine, but then I started to be unable to connect to my Wi-Fi router when getting out of stack. First I rebooted the tablet to work around the issue, but finally I went to Wi-Fi Settings-> Advanced (Via … green icon on top right),, and set “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep” to always. This may affect battery life a little bit, but at least this annoying Wi-Fi issue went away.

Rear and Front Facing Cameras

Rear Camera

The 8MB rear camera does the job, and it clearly delivers better pictures than ThL W200 smartphone, but it struggles in low light conditions for for still pictures and videos, I suppose like most devices. I was also impressed by its ability to take close pictures such as text on books or PCBAs thanks to its autofocus, which at times takes about 1 or 2 seconds to focus. Beside slow focus, and poor quality in low light conditions, the lack of flash may be one of the main downside.

Since photos speak more than words, I’ve include photos samples, as well as video samples at night and day time which I’ve uploaded to YouTube, such make sure you watch them at the max (native resolution).

Video Samples


Other video samples:

Font-facing camera

The 2MP front facing camera is mostly used for selfies, and video conference, so I’ve taken a few close shots of pets and statues.

I’ve also use Skype with the device, and it worked as expected, although the picture is quite dark, and I have not found a way to adjust the front-facing camera brightness, so you’d have to make sure you call in a well lit environment for an optimal visual experience.

Video Playback

In order to test video playback, I simply installed Antutu Video Tester, and run to test to find out Allwinner A83T gets a very good score of 631 points which makes it close to the top of the rankings. This app uses the stock video player test audio/video codecs, and video quality.
Allwinner_A83T_AntutuVideo_Tester_1

Allwinner_A83T_Antutu_Video_Tester_2The device fails to play a realVideo 4 video, and can’t decode ac3 (Dolby Digital 5.1) and DTS audio.

As a comparison a device such as Open Hour Chameleon (Rockchip RK3288) can play all video files, but also fails to decode AC3 and DTS (with the stock player), and only gets 263 points due to the poor video quality of Rockchip RK3288 processor (so far, and hopefully firmware upgrades can fix this). To work around the audio issue, you could also install XBMC / Kodi which (most probably illegally) decodes AC3 and DTS by software.

Battery Life

Battery life is an important feature of mobile devices. For my usage, i.e. 3 to 5 hours per day watching YouTube videos, browsing the web, checking emails, some games, and Skype video calls, a full charge is good for over 24 hours.

In order to get a more standardized evaluation of the battery life, I’ve been recommended to use LAB501 Battery Life app which provides ways to test battery life for web browsing, video playback (720p), and gaming use cases. I planned to fully charge the tablet, and stop the test when the battery level reached 15%, however for some reasons the browser test stopped at around 50% twice. A full charge sometimes stops at 98%, and won’t go to 100% even after one hour or more. Wi-Fi was on, and brightness set to 50% for all tests.

Here are the results:

  • Browsing (98% to 53%) – 229 minutes (3h50). Extrapolating a linear discharge, it would have last around 7 hours
  • Video (100% to 12%) – 397 minutes (6h37). It should be good enough for 3 to 4 full movies on a charge.
  • Gaming (99% to 15%) – 276 (4h36)

Allwinner_A83T_Dashboard_Power_SavingThe tablet also comes with a Dashboard app showing CPU, memory & Storage usage, as well as battery charge, and option to clean junk, boost memory (by killing apps), and as shown above, set some power savings parameters. I’ve only used the tablet in Normal mode, but if you need extra battery life, or a boost in performance for game, these may be options to consider.

Miscellaneous

Bluetooth

Both file transfer  and Bluetooth Smart (BLE) worked just fine. The latter was tested with Vidonn X5 smartband.

GPS

I haven’t done much testing with GPS, and at first I thought the tablet may not have GPS, because there are not options for GPS in the Settings. Eventually, Google Maps, Nike running+, and GPS test confirmed the tablet supports GPS, and can get a GPS fix relatively fast, at least when I have an internet connection. I have not tried to roam outside.

Infocus_CS1_A83_GPS_testGaming

I’ve played Candy Crush Saga, Beach Buggy Bleach, and Riptide GP2 on the device, and all three games played rather nicely, albeit I noticed a little of sluggishness in Candy Crush Saga. The two racing games played quite well, but it’s probably because they adapt the level of details to the device used.

Others

Multitouch app showed the touchscreen supports five touch points max.

The auto brightness works, but is not really well suited to my eyes / preferences, so most of the time, I set the brightness manually. The good thing is that in the dark, I can set the brightness low enough, so that I don’t need third party apps like Lux Lite. I wish it would be possible to teach the device the level of brightness depending on lighting conditions.

The stereo speakers at the back of the tablet are clear and loud, much louder than my smartphone speakers, but this is probably to be expected.

Video Review

I’ve also shot a video review to show a bit more of different options, benchmark results, gaming (Candy Crush Saga, and Riptide GP2), GPS, PDF reader (Acrobat) performance with a large PDF file (ODROID mazagine), and more. The video has been shot with a sports camera, explaining the lens distortion (fisheye effect).

Conclusion

I really like this tablet, as the screen is sharp, performance is good enough for my need, as well as battery life. The main annoyances for me are the Volume down button not working well, and auto-brightness not configurable.

Here are the list of cons and pros based on my experience.

PROS

  • Clear and crisp 1920×1200 display
  • Fastest internal storage I’ve tested so far
  • Good video playback (based on Antutu Video Tester results)
  • Decent Battery Life – > 24 hours on a charge for my usage
  • Auto focus allows for clear pictures even at close distance (in good light conditions).

CONS

  • Volume down only working when pressing hard (Probably only with my early sample)
  • Wi-Fi may fail to reconnect after getting out of standby (Work around -> Set Wi-Fi always on).
  • Video / still picture quality poor in low light conditions, and lack of flash
  • Some games may feel a little sluggish (Candy Crush Saga)
  • Front-facing camera image is darker than usual in Skype, but this may be a Skype issue, rather than a problem with the tablet’s camera (TBC)
  • Auto-brightness can’t be customized (but it should be fixable via a paid app)

Allwinner and Foxconn sent me an early sample of the tablet, and it’s not available for sale just yet. I’m not even sure of the exact name, maybe it will be sold as InFocus C2107, or maybe InFocus CS1 A83. Price on the invoice was $170. As reference, I’ve checked the price for Amlogic M802 / Mediatek MT6592 tablets with a 7″ display using 1080p or 1920×1200 resolution, 2GB RAM, 16GB flash, and other similar specifications which should provide similar performance than the Infocus tablet.  On such model is Chuwi-VX3, which sells for about $180 to $190 but also includes 3G support, so Infocus CS1 A83 should be cheaper than this model, and $150 to $170 including shipping would be a competitive price (IMHO).

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Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra Could Feature a 12.9″ Display, a 64-Bit ARM Processor, 6 GB RAM, and More

December 16th, 2014 3 comments

That’s only a leak, but if true, the upcoming Sony Xperia Tablet Ultra would be a real beast with a 12.9″ IPS TRILIMINOS touchscreen display with 3840 x 2400 resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit Octa core processor @ 2.86 GHz coupled with 6GB LPDDR4 RAM, and 64GB internal storage.

Sony_Xperia_Z4_Tablet_UltraSony’s tablet ould also come with an HDMI 1.4 input port allowing 4K recording up to 30 fps, which looks like an odd feature for a tablet. The battery capacity would be rather large as well as 12,100 mAh, yet thickness only 8.6 mm, which might be possible due to the massive screen. It would most probably run Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Via Mike Cane and Padnews.

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Mediatek MT8173 Quad Core big.LITTLE ARM Cortex A57/A53 Processor Code Submitted to Linux Mainline

December 11th, 2014 6 comments

Mediatek is not exactly known to compliant with open source licences, or be involved with the open source community. But the company is certainly going into the right direction with their cooperation with Google leading to source code release for Android One smartphones, and the recently launched Mediatek Labs for community projects, starting with LinkIt One IoT platform. Mediatek is also regularly submitting code to the Linux ARM Kernel mailing list, and yesterday code was submitted for Mediatek MT8173 SoC, a 64-bit ARMv8 processor with two Cortex 53 and two Cortex 57 cores in big.LITTLE configuration. As far as I know, it could be the first Mediatek SoC with “big” Cortex A57 cores.

Mediatek_MT8125

Code snippet from mt8173.dtsi related to CPU cores:

cpus {
+		#address-cells = <1>;
+		#size-cells = <0>;
+
+		cpu0: cpu@0 {
+			device_type = "cpu";
+			compatible = "arm,cortex-a53";
+			reg = <0x000>;
+			enable-method = "psci";
+		};
+
+		cpu1: cpu@1 {
+			device_type = "cpu";
+			compatible = "arm,cortex-a53";
+			reg = <0x001>;
+			enable-method = "psci";
+		};
+
+		cpu2: cpu@2 {
+			device_type = "cpu";
+			compatible = "arm,cortex-a57";
+			reg = <0x100>;
+			enable-method = "psci";
+		};
+
+		cpu3: cpu@3 {
+			device_type = "cpu";
+			compatible = "arm,cortex-a57";
+			reg = <0x101>;
+			enable-method = "psci";
+		};
+	};

A short DTS file was also submitted for MT8173 tablet EVB (evaluation board):

+#include "mt8173.dtsi"
+
+/ {
+	model = "mediatek,mt8173-evb";
+
+	aliases {
+		serial0 = &uart0;
+		serial1 = &uart1;
+		serial2 = &uart2;
+		serial3 = &uart3;
+	};
+
+	memory {
+		reg = <0 0x40000000 0 0x40000000>;
+	};
+};

The memory section normally defines the location and size of the RAM (0x40000000 correspond to 1GB), but in this device tree file the location and size is shown twice, maybe because its a 64-bit platform addressed with 2x 1GB RAM (TBC) using 32-bit buses. An explanation of this would be welcomed.

That’s about all I know for know, except the new processor shares a lot with MT8135 and other MT65xx series. I search for MTK8173 / MT8173 did not yield interesting results so far.

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Allwinner A83T Tablet Unboxing, First Boot, and Benchmarks

December 6th, 2014 11 comments

Allwinner & HonHai Procesion Industry, better known as Foxconn, sent me an Infocus tablet based on Allwinner A83T processor with eight Cortex A7 cores up to 2GHz, and a PowerVR SGX544 GPU. Today, I’ll list the specifications of this tablet, show unboxing pictures, first boot video, and run Antutu benchmark.

Infocus New Tab CS1 A83 / C2107 Specifications

The invoice calls the tablet “New Tab CS1 A83″, but Android reports the model as C2107, so I’m not fully sure what will be the actual name. It might well be New Tab CS1 A83, as I could find an Infocus an earlier Infocus New Tab CS1 tablet powered by Allwinner A31.

Anyway, here are the specifications I could derive from the device, and running Antutu/CPU-Z on the device:

  • SoC – Allwinner A83T octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 2.0 GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP GPU supporting OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, DX 9.3.
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Display – 7″ capacitive touchscreen, 1920×1200 resolution.
  • Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Camera – 8.0 MP rear camera, 1.9 MP front-facing camera
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG?
  • Sensors – Orientation, G-sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer, light sensor, gyroscope
  • Misc – Power and volume buttons,
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Battery – 3250 mAh (TBC, based on older CS1 specifications)  3,550 mAh (Liliputing opened the tablet)
  • Dimensions – 190 x 108 x 89 mm
  • Weight – 290 grams

Infocus CS1 A83 Pictures

I got the tablet from Foxconn Hong Kong via DHL, in the following white Infocus package.

Infocus_C2107_PackageThe tablet comes only with a 5V/2A and its USB cable, but it might be because I’ve got an early sample, and once it become available, there may be a user’s manual, screen protector, and many other accessories like a pair of headphones.

Allwinner A83 Tablet and power Adapter (Click to Enlarge)

Allwinner A83 Tablet and power Adapter (Click to Enlarge)

On the front, we’ve got the display and the 2MP front-facing camera. Stereo speakers are located on the bottom of the back of the tablet, and the rear camera on the top.

Infocus_New_Tab_CS1_A83

Infocus New Tab CS1 A83 (Click to Enlarge)

The other ports are power and vol +/- buttons on the side, and micro USB port, headphone jack and micro SD card slot on the top of the device.

Infocus_CS1_Buttons_PortsFirst boot

The tablet came fully charged, and pressing the power button one or two seconds boots the tablet, and Infocus tablet boots in just 15 seconds, it’s the fastest boot ever for the Android devices I’ve reviewed so far. You can watch the video below to see the unboxing and first boot for this tablet.

At first I thought Google Play was not installed in the tablet because I did not see the Google Play Store app in the list of apps.

App List and About Tablet Screenshots (Click for Original Size)

App List and About Tablet Screenshots (Click for Original Size)

But I eventually found out the Play Store was installed when I accessed it in Chrome, and looking again in the list of apps, the small icon on the top right is for the Play Store.  I don’t know if this is standard in all Android 4.4 tablet, or Foxconn customized it. The About Tablet section in Android section shows the model number is C2107, the processor UltraOcta-A83, and Android 4.4.4 runs on top of Linux 3.4.39.

The only problem I found during the first few minutes of usage is with the volume down button. I need to press it quite hard, and it won’t work. I don’t have this problem with the volume up button.

Allwinner A83 / Infocus C2107 Tablet Benchmarks

Alwinner A83T is a very new processor, so I ran CPU-Z to get information about both the processor and the tablet.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

CPU-Z correctly detects the processor as an octa-core Cortex A7 clocked between 480 MHz and 2.02 GHz, and with an Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU. The model number is C2107 (C2107_CN) and the manufacturer Infocus. Kernel developers may be interested to learn / know AllwinnerA83T is an sun8i platform. Screen resolution is 1920×1200 pixels, 1506 MB RAM is accessible in Android (the rest being used for the VPU, and other hardware buffers), and the internal storage partition 12.40 GB.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The battery capacity (1,000 Mah) reported by CPU-Z is most probably incorrect. The tablet has a bunch of sensors as reported in the specifications.

Now time for Antutu 5.3 benchmark.

Infocus CS1 A83 Antutu Score (Click to Enlarge)

Infocus CS1 A83 Antutu Score (Click to Enlarge)

With 26,326 points, Infocus New Tab CS1 A83 is a mid range tablet, with a score between Xiaomi MI 2 (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro – APQ8064) and Xiami Redmi Note (Mediatek MT6592).

That’s all for today. I plan to use the device for about a week, mainly browsing the web, checking email, watching videos, and playing games. I’ll also make sure to test the rear and front camera, evaluate the battery life (Is there a standard tool), runs some more benchmark, and report any issues I may have had in the full review. let me know if you’d like me to test anything specific.

The tablet is not currently up for sale, but the proforma invoice I received specifies the price is $170 per unit.

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Intrinsyc Introduces Snapdragon 810 Powered Mobile and Tablet MDPs, DragonBoard Development Kit

November 28th, 2014 3 comments

Intrinsyc has recently announced availability for three development platforms based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 ARM Cortex A53/A57 processor, namely a smartphone Mobile Development Platform (MDP), a tablet MDP, and a DragonBoard development kit integration Open-Q 8094 system-on-module, making these one of the first ARM64 development platforms available to individual developers, or at least small software development companies (approved by Qualcomm). All three platforms will run Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Intrinsyc Snapdragon 810 MDP Smartphone

Snapdragon_810_MDPIntrinsyc MDP/S specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (8994)  64-bit octa-core processor with 4x Cortex A57 cores, 4x Cortex A53 cores, Adreno 430 GPU, and Hexagon V56 DSP
  • System Memory – 3 GB LP-DDR4
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC 5.0  micro SD slot (under battery door)
  • Display – 6.17” QHD (2560×1600) 490ppi, 10-finger multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Video Output – micro HDMI type D
  • Audio
    • Headset jack with ANC support
    • 8 microphones (2 analog/ 6 digital) with support for Qualcomm Fluence Pro technology and Snapdragon digital pen technology
    • Ultrasound emitter for gesture applications
    • Mono speaker
  • Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 2.5 GHz/5 GHz,  Bluetooth 4.1, Qualcomm IZat Gen8C GPS
  • Cameras
    • 13 MP rear camera with OIS, Dual LED flash (4K at 30 fps, 1080p @ 60fps)
    • 4 MP front camera with AF (1080p at 120 fps)
  • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyro, 3-axis magnetometer (compass), ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, pressure sensor, temperature and humidity sensor, UV sensor, and Mobeam sensor (for barcodes)
  • USB – micro USB 3.0 OTG port
  • Misc – Volume, power, and home buttons, finger print reader, tri-color status/notification LED
  • Battery – 3020 mAh Lithium-ion battery. Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 support when used with optional HVDCP charger

This developer smartphone has some serious specs, and should ship late December 2014 for $799. Please note that there does not seem to be any 3G/LTE support. More details are available on the product page.

Intrinsyc Snapdragon 810 MDP Tablet

Snapdragon_810_MDP-TIntrinsyc MDP/T specifications are somewhat similar to the 810 MDP/S, but with more RAM and storage, a larger screen (possibly even the first 4K UHD screen on a tablet), a larger battery, stereo speakers, and a dual 3D gesture camera, but less sensors:

  • SoC – Qualcom Snapdragon 810 (8994)  64-bit octa-core processor with 4x Cortex A57 cores, 4x Cortex A53 cores, Adreno 430 GPU, and Hexagon V56 DSP
  • System Memory – 4 GB LP-DDR4
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC 5.0  micro SD slot (under battery door)
  • Display – 10.1” UHD 4K (3840×2160), 10-finger multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, dual display capable (tablet + HDMI)
  • Video Output – micro HDMI type D
  • Audio
    • Headset jack with ANC support
    • 8 microphones (2 analog/ 6 digital) with support for Qualcomm Fluence Pro technology and Snapdragon digital pen technology
    • Two ultrasound emitters for gesture applications
    • Front-facing stereo speakers
    • 8-channel audio over HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 2.5 GHz/5 GHz,  Bluetooth 4.1, Qualcomm IZat Gen8C GPS
  • Cameras
    • 13 MP rear camera with OIS, Dual LED flash (4K at 30 fps, 1080p @ 60fps)
    • 4 MP front camera with AF (1080p at 120 fps)
    • Dual 3D IR gesture camera
  • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyro, 3-axis magnetometer (compass), ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, temperature and pressure sensor, and ambient humidity sensor.
  • USB – micro USB 3.0 OTG port
  • Misc – Volume, power, reset, and home buttons.
  • Battery – 7,560 mAh Lithium-ion battery. Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 support when used with optional HVDCP charger, and Qualcomm WiPower charging capable.

The tablet will ship by mid December 2014, and can be purchased for $999. Check out the product page for more information.

DragonBoard Development Kit based on Snapdragon 810 (APQ8094)

ARM64_development_boardIntrinsyc DragonBoard 64-bit ARM development board technical specs:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 4x Cortex A57, 4x Cortex A53, Adreno 430 GPU and Hexagon v56 DSP
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash + 2x SATA + 1 MicroSD card slot
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11n/ac, Bluetooth 3.0/4.1, GNSS (GPS and GLONASS)
  • Video Output / Display I/F  – HDMI, 1x MIPI dual 4-lane DSI + touch panel
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 + 2x USB 2.0 + 1x USB 2.0 micro-AB
  • Camera I/F – 3x MIPI CSI with support for 3D camera configuration
  • Expansions
    • PCI Express Slot with support for Gigabit Ethernet card
    • 4x Expansion headers for additional features, test, and debug

The kit is comprised of a baseboard, and an OpenQ-8094 SoM, which can be procured separately for commercial applications.

This “Early Adopter” board is currently only available to “select customers approved by Qualcomm” for $499, but as time passes by, individuals will hopefully be able to purchase as board, as is the case with other DragonBoards.

Via Liliputing and LinuxGizmos

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International Deals for Black Friday 2014

November 26th, 2014 10 comments

Every year, right after Thanksgiving comes Black Friday which “officially” opens the shopping season for Christmas, and the next Monday is called Cyber Monday, a much more recent day on the calendar, as it offers Online deals. Both are mostly US centric, but Chinese e-retailers have decided to jump on the Black Friday / Cyber Monday bandwagon, so just like for Black Friday 2013, I’ve decided to list a few offer available online for international buyers. Please make check to check my little shopping guide to avoid pitfalls, such as “fake” discounts, where the original price is inflated to misguide prospective buyers.

Black_Friday_2014DealExtreme

DealExtreme’s Black Friday promotion campaign has not officially started, but they’ve already announced their program:

From November 28th to December 1st, DX Black Friday Shopping Carnival will be grandly open!

This year, DX will bring you with the most beloved brands at affordable prices with amazing discounts up to 90% off!

In addition to the amazing discounts, DX also offers our customers coupons worth a combined total value up to $100,000! You simply need to login to your DX account to get one! (Please note that $5 gift card will be valid on orders of $15 or more, the $10 gift card will be valid on orders of $30 or more)

What’s more, 700 pieces free DX 2015 calendar which includes coupons valued up to $500 inside will send out during the campaign! (All calendars will be shipped out in mid December)

Not only that, 50 orders will be randomly selected to receive extra discount! (10*100% off, 15*50% off, 25*30% off)

BuyInCoins

BuyInCoins’ Black Friday Special Deals alledgedly includes discounts for smartphones, tablets, and accessories, but the few products I checked were not discounted. Hopefully, real discounts will show up on Friday.

GeekBuying

Geekbuying’s Black Friday Shopping  Carnival has already started, where they claim up to 60% discount, and organize $0.01 deals, with limited quantities of course.

GeekBuying_Flash_Sales

That’s one of the flash sales that just ended, and included Tronsmart Vega S89. It’s nearly impossible to get one, but if you do it’s jackpot.

They also have genuine deals for several mini PCs including:

Tinydeals

Tinydeals calls their event Black Friday Tech Deals Week as it lasts 7 days, and discounts up to 65% are allegedly available, and they have 24-hour flash sales. I could not really find deals for “well-known” Chinese gadgets there

GearBest

I think GearBest will have something for Black Friday, but until then, they have a Pre-Black Friday Sale with “massive early bird discounts”. I could not find any mini PCs or TV boxes there, and the smartphone I checked, namely Landvo L200, sells for the usual $90+.

AliExpress

Aliexpress have “activities” for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Promotions include coupons, for example $5 for Draco AW80, and the official sale will start exactly on Friday, included discounted smartphones and tablets, for example Xiaomi Mi3 will sell for $244 which seems to be a discount of about $30 to $40 on normal, as well as electronics accessories, clothing, and more. Since it’s not started yet, you can check discount, add interesting products to your basket, and once the sale begins you should be able to buy cheaper than usual.

Some potentially interesting discount are:

Strangely I cound not find any deals for Android mini PCs.

Banggood

Banggoodhas a Black Friday Sale, but only focused on quadcopter, or I end-up on the wrong page.

FocalPrice

FocalPrice has a Black Friday Mega Sale with alledgedly discount up to 70%. Unfortunately discounts are not that Mega, as for example Landvo L200 smartphone mentions above sells for $88, or about $4-5 cheaper than the normal price.

MCM Electronics

MCM Electronics is an online store for electronics hobbyist based in the US, but they also ship internationally. They launched a Black Friday Sale with boards such as Intel Galileo ($69), and various items including soldering irons, batteries, tablets, tool kits, and so on.

That’s all I found for now. If you find interesting deals available worldwide, feel free to share them with the community by commenting below.

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$249 Jolla Tablet Runs Sailfish OS 2.0 on a Quad Core Intel Processor (Crowdfunding)

November 20th, 2014 No comments

After launching the Jolla phone last year,  Jolla has now unveiled the Jolla Tablet running the company’s Sailfish OS, and just like Nokia N1, powered by a quad core Intel processor. Instead of directly using a pre-order system like with the Jolla smartphone, they’ve decided to launch an Indiegogo campaign, and price the tablet much more aggressively than the phone, as perks started at just $189 for early backers.

Jolla_TabletJolla tablet specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed Intel 64-bit quad core processor @ 1.8 GHz, which should be Z3740(D), Z3745(D) or Z3560 processor.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L-RS
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 32GB
  • Display – 7.85″ IPS display, 2048 x 1536 resolution, 5-point capacitive touch
  • Camera – 5.0MP rear camera, 2.0MP front-facing camera
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack + speaker(s)?
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, light sensor, and proximity sensor.
  • Battery – 4,300 mAh
  • Dimensions – 203 x 137 x 8.3 mm
  • Weight – 384 grams

The tablet will run a new version of the open source operating systems simply called Sailfish OS 2.0, which adds “Ambiances” and “Events” that respectively allow you to easily personalize your tablet, and show all your messages, calendar events, and other info in a single view. Jolla also made a comparison table including the iPad Mini 3, Nexus 9, and Nokia N1, to make it clear which recently announced tablet offers the best value.

Jolla_Tablet_vs_Nexus_9_vs_Nokia_N1_Ipad_Mini_3The lowest price is listed at $189, but it was only offered as an early bird in the crowdfunding campaign, so to make the comparison fair, they should probably have listed the expected retail price ($249), which makes it the same price as Nokia N1, and both Finnish tablets have very similar specs, with a slight advantage to Nokia N1, except for the micro SD slot that’s only found in the Jolla tablet.

There are native apps for Sailfish OS, and more will be added, but the OS can also handle Android apps, which can be downloaded from the Google Play store, probably with a slight performance hit, but it should not be noticeable on apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The company also encourages backers and interested users to be involved in the development of the tablet, and invites people to get their voice heard in their community forum.

To say the least, the campaign has been very successful so far, having raised over $850,000 from over 5,000 backers in less than 24 hours. The lowest pledges ($189 and $199) are now all sold out, but you can still pledge $204 + $20 shipping to hopefully get the tablet in May 2015. VAT is not included either, so it might be added before shipping. The crowdfunding campaign is also not 100% international, as the tablet will only ship to countries part of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the USA, India, China, Hong Kong, and Russia. If your country is not listed, you can ask or vote for it to be added. Further information may also be found on Jolla Tablet’s product page.

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Nokia N1 is a 7.9″ Quad Core Intel Tablet Running Android 5.0 Lollipop

November 19th, 2014 5 comments

Since Microsoft bought Nokia’s smartphone division, the company is not allowed to sell smartphones until after the end of 2015, but that does not mean Nokia is standing still, and they’ve just unveiled Nokia N1 tablet based on Intel Atom Z3580 quad core processor, with a 7.9″ display, 2GB LPDDR3, and 32GB eMMC. The tablet runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it’s also the first device I’ve seen with a micro USB 2.0 type C reversible connector.

Nokia_N1

Nokia N1 specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3580 (Bay Trail-T) quad core processor up to 2.33 GHz (burst frequency) with PowerVR GC6430 GPU up to 533 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3L @ 800 MHz
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC 5.0 flash (no micro SD slot)
  • Display – 7.9″ IPS display, 2048×1536 resolution, 4:3 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 3.
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio port, 2x 0.5W speakers, digital MIC, Wolfson WM8958E audio codec
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 type C reversible connector
  • Camera – 8MP rear camera with auto-focus, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • Sensors – 6-axis Gyro & Accelerometer
  • Battery – 5,300 mAh (18.5Whr) battery.
  • Dimensions – 200.7 x 138.6 x 6.9 mm
  • Weight – 318 grams

Beside running Android 5.0, Nokia’s tablet with also feature with Nokia Z Launcher app, which just landed on Google Play, but is incompatible with all of the 30+ devices I have registered on Google Play, apparently because of my location. The tablet will come with Google Play Store in markets where Google Play is available.

Nokia N1 is not available right, but it will start selling in China on February 19, 2015, before before being released in Russia and Europe. Price will be about $249 before tax. Visit Nokia N1 microsite for more details.

Via Liliputing

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