I’ve already reviewed one Rockchip RK3368 mini PC with Beelink i68, and found out that although HDMI 2.0 up to 2160p60 was working, there was still some work to do to have 4K 60 fps videos playing smoothly, and compared to Rockchip RK3288 device performance was – as expected – significantly lower. But I now have a new RK3368 device to play with as GeekBuying has now sent me their Tronsmart Orion R68 Meta with higher specifications including Gigabit Ethernet support, 802.11ac support, and 16GB storage (vs just 8GB for Beelink i68 sample I received previously).
GeekBuying sent me the package via DHL, which seems the preferred courier of many resellers who provide samples. Tronsmart Orion R68 is in a retail package with complete specifications at the back. There are two models for Orion R68: Meta (2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, GbE, and AP6335 wileress module) and Pro (1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Fast Ethernet, and AP6212 wireless module). There are two stickers on the side of the box clearly mentioning the exact model, and I received the Meta version.
Once I started to open the package and take out the box and accessories, everything looked pretty familiar… although the cables, remote and power supplier were neatly stored in small boxes, instead of being thrown into the box like in Beelink i68.
The package includes the device, a USB OTG adapter, a 5V/2A power adapter with US and EU plugs, an HDMI cable, an IR remote control that requires two AAA batteries, and a Quick Start Guide in English. The guide is the only part that differs from Beelink accessories, as it has some Tronsamrt branding and is of better quality.
The device itself also looks the same, but with Tronsmart branding. One of the side comes with an SD card slot, two USB 2.0 host ports, a micro USB port, while the rear panel features a power button, the DC power barrel, another USB port, HDMI output, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and optical S/PDIF.
If you are an early adopter, you may have gotten the device with a Fast Ethernet port, so how do I know I have the Gigabit version?
You need to check the serial number on the bottom of the case. If you serial number starts with 3368, your Ethernet port is limited to 10/100M, while it starts with Z368, you’re the lucky owner of the Gigabit Ethernet version. If your boxes is already running, you can also go to “About device”, and if the model number is R68G and the Firmware version 20xx, you have a Gigabit version. I understand all new Orion R68 Meta TV boxes will ship with Gigabit Ethernet from now on, so you should not worry about getting a Fast Ethernet version as long as you order from GeekBuying. Unfortunately, firmware are not compatible, and Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet models different models… That’s quite a messy situation, and hopefully Tronsmart will provide updates for both versions, and not let the few hundreds (thousands) who bought the first models down.
I’ve opened the box with some plastic tools, and surprisingly the enclose is a little different. but the sticker on the board indeed shows it’s made by Netxeon with the board name being RK68G V2.0 instead of RK68B V2.0 for the Beelink box. The board connectors layout may be the same, but the board itself is a little different, as there are two Samsung K4B4G1646Q-HYK0 DDR3L chips on the back of the board (1GB RAM)…
.. and two more on the top of the board. So they’ve gone with a 4 RAM chips design instead of 2 RAM chips to get 2GB RAM on the board. The WiFi module is also better as AP6335 replaces AP6330 in order to add 802.11ac support on top of WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
Foresee NCEFBS98-16G eMMC 4.51 flash provides 16 GB storage, and others chips include GL852G USB 2.0 hub, Pulse Electronics H5007NL 1000Base-T magnetics module, and Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver.
I’d like to thanks GeekBuying for providing Tronsmart Orion R68 Meta sample. If you are interested, you can consider buying the Meta version for $99.99 [Update: You’ll get $15 discount with coupon TCCUBHVW], and the Pro version for $74.99 on their website. It’s also available on eBay and Aliexpress for various prices, but in the case of R68 Meta, please make sure whether you’ll get the Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet version from these sites.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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