MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu 18.04 Mini PC Launched for $180

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Introduced in 2016, MINIX NEO Z83-4 was an Intel Cherry Trail Windows 10 (Home) mini PC powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, which was followed by MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro the next year with basically the same hardware specifications but based on Atom X5-Z8350 processor running Windows 10 Pro instead.

The company has now launched another version with MINIX NEO Z83-4U model that comes with 64GB storage, and more importantly comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.04, a rarity in today’s low power mini PC world.

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu Mini PC

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu mini PC specifications with bold highlights showing differences against NEO Z83-4 Pro model:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.92 GHz (Turbo) with 12 EU Intel Graphics HD graphics 400 @ 200 / 500 MHz (2W SDP)
  • System Memory –  2 or 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output
    • HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz
    • mini DisplayPort (N.B.: an active adapter is required to convert Mini DP signal to HDMI or DVI)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power button and LED, RTC battery, Kensington lock ready
  • Power Supply – 12V/3A
  • Dimensions – 12.7 x 12.7 x 4.0 cm (with VESA mount)
  • Weight – ~350 grams

MINIX NEO Z83-4U ports layoutThe mini PC ships with a WiFi antenna, a power adapter, an HDMI cable, a VESA mount, and a User Manual in English. I’ve been told the Ubuntu 18.04.1 image was made in collaboration with Ian Morrison (Linuxium) who published several mini PC reviews, and has made some good work helping to create Linux images that work on Intel entry-level mini PCs.

The company promotes MINIX NEO Z83-4U mini PC for commercial applications such as Digital Signage, POS and Thin Clients. The official launch will be on March 4th, 2019, but the mini PC is already sold on GeekBuying and Aliexpress for under $180, and you’ll also find out a cheaper MINIX NEO Z83-2U model with 2GB RAM instead in the same links.

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tkaiser
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tkaiser

Funny times. Instead of Gemini Lake thingies that are twice as fast new devices in 2019 with old Z8350 instead. Maybe related to Intel’s shortage of Gemini Lake SoCs or everything low-end?

Most probably I miss something… ah, maybe the NEO Z83-4U only indicating that the box comes pre-installed with Ubuntu?

boudy
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boudy

$180 for low spec, 3 year old tech….hmmm

Member

this is clearly better then my old allwinner A10 based Minix, but i did not pay 180$ for it ^_^

blu
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blu

Well, at least they’re not trying to push win10 on a 2GB box..

dgp
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dgp

>Maybe related to Intel’s shortage of Gemini Lake SoCs or everything low-end?

My guess would be they either already had parts they need to use up or they got a good deal on someone else’s left overs.

Johannes
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Johannes

Unfortunately AMD is not picking up the slack. Ryzen Zen architecture scales extremely well but not so much to the lower ranks. The Ryzen embedded looks like a very interesting product but it’s hardly appearing in the market. Perhaps price is too high? The Z8350 is very, very cheap, also compared to the newer Gemini Lakes (if you could buy them…)

TLS
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TLS

AMD doesn’t have anything this entry level or low power, at least not yet.
This is the closest they have, but they’re expensive https://www.amd.com/en/products/embedded-ryzen-v1000-series

blu
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blu

The thing is, AMD have plenty of chips in that price range (A6-9220C et al) but those are not in the sweet performance range, and vice versa — their sweet performance range chips are out of the price range.

TLS
Guest
TLS

He mentioned Ryzen/Zen, not good old Bulldozer.

blu
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blu

Ergo my re-iteration — AMD older uarch is within the price range, the new uarch is not in the price range, even though the entry models run at as low as 12W, which is ok for a notebook-class device.

TheLinuxBug
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The only thing of any relevance in this post is that they are releasing it with Ubuntu already setup to support all the hardware. The price of this is of no actuall consequence as there have been 4GB Ram, 64GB eMMc , Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” machines going on Amazon for $160 USD (Prime 2 day shipping) and lower . I am not sure its worth ~$20 to just have an already installed Ubuntu, especially since, if it was me, I would end up reloading it my self to verify no weird backdoors or other shady stuff in their OS release.

Not to mention, I am yet to find anything in this form factor that comes with appropriate cooling (and a fan) built in. One of the units I got literally used a thermal pad and a square piece of aluminum that filled the whole top of the case. It was awful under any continuous loads and would constantly throttle. The only way to make it usable was to remove their cooling solution, add a real heat sink and a 5v fan to the box to provide passive air flow in the box. I highly doubt this one is much better….

I mean, not trying to rain on your parade, but this just doesn’t seem anymore new/relevant/better than it was like 1.5 years ago.

my 2 cents.

Cheers!

TLS
Guest
TLS

Ethernet via PCIe, Wi-Fi via SDIO? Also, the SoC only supports eMMC 4.51, so not sure how they can claim 5.1 support. I’m also not sure how they can claim 4K support over HDMI, as Intel’s own spec only claim 1080p with this CPU SKU – https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/datasheets/atom-z8000-datasheet-vol-1.pdf