Mekotronics R58 is a cost-optimized Rockchip RK3588 mini PC and SBC that sells for as low as $169 with 4GB and 32GB eMMC flash. The company has now sent me a model with 8GB RAM and 64GB flash for evaluation, and in the first part of the review, I’ll do an unboxing, check out the hardware more closely, and boot it up for a quick check.
There’s no retail package so to speak with just a white box and a sticker reading “MINI 8+64G” indicating the RAM and storage capacity for the device.
The mini PC ships with a 12V/3A power adapter and cord, an IR remote control with two AAA batteries, two WiFi antennas, an HDMI cable, and a USB-A to USB-C cable probably to flash the firmware if needed.
The mini PC is housed in a metal enclosure with plenty of ventilation holes at the top, and the rear panel features two WiFi antennas, a Gigabit Ethernet port, one HDMI input port, two HDMI output ports, and a 12V DC jack.
One side comes with a DisplayPort connector, as well as a SATA port that looks non-standard to me.
The front panel comes with an IR window, a reset pinhole, a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port with Display Alt. Mode, meaning the mini PC supports up to four 4K displays, a recovery pinhole, and a power button. There are also four openings on the side for wall mounting.
The mini PC has screws everywhere, but I decided to start with the bottom, removing the four rubber pads and loosening the screws underneath.
It’s necessary to do a full teardown, but not needed, if you just want to connect a USB-to-serial debug board or change the RTC battery, as the best way is to simply remove the four screws from the front panel, and slide the top cover.
This will give you access to the top of the board. I’ve taken out a few more screws to get a closer look and a clearer photo of the components and board design.
The board named “MINI-PC-RK3588-4D32-V1.0” on the silkscreen is fitted with a heatsink on top of the Rockchip RK3588 processor meaning the metal enclosure is not directly used for cooling. The number of chips is limited with a Samsung KLMCG4JETD-B041 eMMC 5.1 flash with 64GB capacity, two Samsung K4UBE3D4AA-MGCR 32Mbit LPDDR4X chips for a total of 8GB RAM, an AMpak AP6275P WiFi 6 2T2R and Bluetooth 5.0 module connected over PCIe, Rockchip RK806-1 PMIC, and an MHPC M3295NL Gigabit Ethernet transformer.
On the left side, we have two 4-pin serial port connectors, the SATA connector that definitely not standard, and two more 4-pin headers for GPIOs. I’m not sure how we are supposed to use the SATA connector. There are some FPC to SATA adapters found in TVs, so it must be something similar. I’ll have to ask Mekotronics for details.
There’s not much to see on the bottom side, except a Realtek RTL8211F Gigabit Ethernet transceiver, marking for the two serial ports, as well as the 3-pin serial console port (bottom right) I missed in the photo of the top side of the board…
So let’s connect HDMI, Ethernet, RF dongles for a keyboard and a mouse, and the power supply to see what OS is preinstalled on the device.
That would be Android operating system and more specifically Android 12 TV OS with support for Google Play.
The Android image comes with Linux 5.10.66, and if you click on the screenshot above, you’ll get an original resolution of 3840×2160 meaning we’ve got a 4K user interface instead of the usual 1920×1080 user interface found in most devices in recent years.
To quickly test the Google Play Store and 3D graphics performance, I installed 3DMark and ran the Wild Life benchmark.
A score of 4,015 points is almost four times higher than the 1,077 points I got in Khadas VIM4 SBC (Amlogic A311D2).
I’ll stop for today, and spend more time testing the Mekotronics RK3588 mini PC with Android 12 for the second part of the review. Debian 11 and Ubuntu 20.04 are also supported, but I’ll probably test a Linux distribution with Rock5 SBC instead.
I’d like to thank Mekotronics for sending a review sample of the R58 mini PC. If you are interested, you can find more details on the product page.
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.