K3 Wintel Keyboard PC Specs, Unboxing and Teardown

Keyboard computers have made a – rather quiet – comeback with products like PiPo K1 and T20 keyboard PCs running Windows 10 and/or Android 4.4, and Geekbuying has now sent me another model with K3 Wintel keyboard PC powered by Intel Atom Z3735F processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash. I’ll go through the specifications first, before taking pictures of the keyboard, and tearing it down to see how it has been made.

K3 Keyboard computer specifications

The hardware specifications are similar to other Bay Trail mini PCs and sticks except for the added keyboard:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz / 1.83 GHz (Turbo) with Intel HD graphics
  • System Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3L
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD card slot
  • Keyboard – 76-key keyboard with touchpanel
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, and VGA
  • Audio I/F – HDMI, 3.5mm earphone jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host
  • Misc – Power Button, power LED, RTC battery
  • Power Supply – 5V/2.5A
  • Dimensions – 287 x 125 x 26.5 mm
  • Weight – 304 grams

The keyboard is said to run Windows 10 activated, i.e. with a proper license. They also claim that while TV sticks get hot easily, the keyboard PC has much better thermal performance. We’ll see.

K3 Keyboard PC Unboxing

I’ve received the device in a complete bland carton box, so I’ll get the package content immediately.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The QWERTY keyboard PC comes with a 5V/2.5A power supply, and an “Intel Tablet PC” Quick Start Guide.

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Click to Enlarge

All ports and buttons are on the back of the keyboard with the power button, audio jack, HDMI and VGA outputs, two USB 2.0 host ports, Gigabit Ethernet, the power jack, and a micro SD card slot.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The keyboard is slightly at a fixed angle, and this cannot be adjusted higher or lower.
K3_Profile

K3 Keyboard PC Teardown

Most of the time, a teardown starts on the bottom of the device, but with this keyboard computer, there’s nothing to do here.

K3_Keyboard_PC_BottomInstead you need to slide a sharp tool, preferably in plastic, at the top to take the keyboard itself from the case.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

So we can see why the keyboard can claim better  cooling than sticks, as a metal plate is attached on top of the processor, memory and flash, with a thin thermal pas making contact with a large metal sheet holding the keyboard.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

A close up on the board reveals some of the chips used in the design: Realtek ALC5640 audio codec, Davicom DM9621ANP USB 2.0 to Fast Ethernet controller, Genesys Logic GL850G USB hub, Realtek RTL8723BS WiFi module, and Analogix ANX6210 displayPort to VGA converter. The chip in 48 QFN package on the right reads something like SH66F80Q. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but based on the PCB traces it’s used to handle the keyboard. The board is named “K702-Z3735F-V1_1”.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

I had to loosen five screws, including one under the white thermal pad to take out the board. The logo close to the center of the board probably refers to CHIPHD design company, whose website is chiphd dot com (potential harmful site according to Google and Firefox browser), but the company’s contact details are also available on another website. The RTC battery can be found under the black tape on the right, and the three screws with red “glue” and used to hold the cooling metal plate in place.

K3_Keyboard_Processor_CoolingI did not want to mess with that before the review, so I’ve taken a side picture that shows the processor, metal plate and thermal pad.

I’d like to thanks GeekBuying for providing a sample for review, and if you are interested you could purchase the device for $114.99 on their website ($99.99 with FLVMNIMQ coupon). Few other sites sell the product, but it can also be found on eBay, and Banggood. K3 appears to have the same exact design as T20 Keyboard PC that runs both Windows 10 and Android 4.4. I’ll complete the review with performance and reliability testing when time permits.

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xxx

Does it have valid win licence?

Dudefoxlive
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Dudefoxlive

Can this PC run two displays?? i plan to try and run this as my main PC for a while and i was woundering if it can run two displays so i can have everything that i am used to.

kmz
Guest
kmz

Hi, I’ve sent you a tweet waiting for your reply, but i try my luck here as well. I’m interested into buying the K3 keyboard pc, i wanna put a 4gb ram, what kind of ram is compatible? this one for example?

http://www.rueducommerce.fr/Composants/Memoire-PC/Memoire-portable-SoDimm/KINGSTON/4908926-Barrettes-memoire-portable-Kingston-SO-DIMM-DDR3-PC3-12800-4Go-1600-MHz-CAS-11-1-35V.htm#moid:MO-F9A69M25923631

and my second question is: is 8gb supported? thx

kmz
Guest
kmz

thx a lot for yur fast answer, which one would you advise to buy? is the RAM difference really a big change in overall performance?

moreover, i can’t seem to find any website that sells the Pipo kb2, is it out yet?
having the battery for the pipo is a really good point, have you tried or tested this unit already?

kmz
Guest
kmz

that’s what i thought, usually chinese manufacturer have delays in their lunching schedule…

but i have another question: i do know that you need to plug it in to work (no battery included) but if i’m using a big portable battery (the one for smartphones and laptops) like 20-30000 mAh to have a decent lifespan, and pluging it by usb, will it power the unit?

kmz
Guest
kmz

so i just need to find a power bank that powers at 5v/2.5A? i just googled that and one of the first result is this model: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kayo-Maxtar-7000mah-Battery-Smartphones/dp/B00RVT7VQY
seems compatible to you? if yes how do you estimate the battery life with mAh ? for instance this one at 7000, and one at 20000-30000mAh?

kmz
Guest
kmz

great answer, many thanks again! that’s pretty impressive to give 3hrs with a 4800 mAh power bank, with a huge one (20-30000) it’s almost certain that it can last all day long, like 8-10 hours maybe, but 3 hrs is already a nice autonomy considering the diy method. like you said i think the point is really to check the compatibility and the right power supply for the battery and resistance of the cable.

concerning the hardware itself, is there any luck to plug a 4g antenna and sim slot in the unit? i can tether with my phone and i have a 4g dongle but if i can save a usb port that would be great even if i plan to add a usb hub to have 4 ports mini

kmz
Guest
kmz

that’s what i thought, but sometimes chinese manufacturer leave some open slot or unfinished product for a further upgrade so i was hoping it was the case with this model but that’s fine anyway

a rather silly question, but i live in france, so by any miracle, is there a trick to take off the 4-5 keys of the keyboard to replace them in the “good order” to make the keyboard azerty instead of qwerty and then reassign the keys on windows with a sofware or manually? you see what i mean?
another option is not taking off the keys physically to put them back but at least a software method, then i can buy an azerty plastic sticker and put it on the keyboard

kmz
Guest
kmz

of course the french keyboard is what i thought first, but my point is: by changing in windows into the french keyboard, will it effect the actual typing on the physical keyboard, for instance after switching if i press the Q of qwerty will it type a A instead?

kmz
Guest
kmz

perfect thx, would you mind checking my quick draft just to double check that the configuration is right? the picture is here: http://hpics.li/aaab216

By the way, what is the diameter of the DC jack? 2, 2.5 or 3.5mm?

kmz
Guest
kmz

i think i’ve found one, it seems it has enough current (output up to 3.4A): http://www.amazon.fr/TeckNet-G%C3%A9n%C3%A9ration-Technologie-Smartphones-t%C3%A9l%C3%A9phones/dp/B00FBCJ184

how can i be sure about the diameter? i mean, i don’t need the kit with all the adapters, i’d rather prefer to buy a spare cable if the first one has a pb, they’re extra cheap

kmz
Guest
kmz

yes for sure, i bought the cable anyway, i have an old psp so no loss

any other possible upgrading or modding on the device that might come to your mind? really a pity not being able to add some ram even though i know it’s not the only key to enhance performance, still appreciable to have the choice

A Thompson
Guest
A Thompson

I have one of these K3 keyboard mini PC but when I did a restore on it the PC crashed.
All it does is boot to the Intel inside inside screen and then reboot.

I have tried to activate the USB ports in the Bios to install another operating system but it does not register the USB stick.
The stick has been formatted to install Linux and has been used on another laptop successfully.
Prior to the crash it did recognise usb sticks.

I can get in to the Bios but am not certain what I need to change.
Regards
Andrew Thompsom