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.
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.
I’ve received the device in a complete bland carton box, so I’ll get the package content immediately.
The QWERTY keyboard PC comes with a 5V/2.5A power supply, and an “Intel Tablet PC” Quick Start Guide.
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.
Most of the time, a teardown starts on the bottom of the device, but with this keyboard computer, there’s nothing to do here.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.