Mekotronics R58 review – Part 1: Rockchip RK3588 mini PC unboxing & teardown

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.

Mekotronics R58 Unboxing

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.

Teardown

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.

FPC to SATA adapter for Samsung Q45/Q70 television

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…

First boot to… Android 12 TV OS

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.

Continue reading Mekotronics R58 review – Part 2: Android 12 on Rockchip RK3588 CPU.

Share this:

Support CNX Software! Donate via PayPal or cryptocurrencies, become a Patron on Patreon, or buy review samples

14 Replies to “Mekotronics R58 review – Part 1: Rockchip RK3588 mini PC unboxing & teardown”

  1. The SATA cable is supposed to be provided inside the package. I did not get it, but they’ll send one so I can show how it works.

    1. They don’t exactly ban TV boxes, but they require a broadcast license which, for an individual not living in Bangkok, would be very expensive to get.

      Digital signage players or mini PCs would indeed be a way around it. What I’m confused about is the tax invoice for the device shows “media player”, and I was not asked to provide any documents. Maybe the law has changed, I’m not sure.

      1. The HDMI-in is intriguing on these new Rockchip devices. I’d be interested in what possibilities Android makes of it in either the stock image or third party apps.

        But such a feature might draw the ire of said jurisdictions regarding content licensing if used ‘improperly’?

  2. I would really like to see some in depht comparisation between this and the Rock5. For example power usage at idle. At standby, at max cpu usage , … . Then temperature when both devices use same thermal paste and cooler. Sometimes the voltages are higher deaigned with same chip. Then one device have same speed like other but higher power draw.

    1. Unfortunately, we don’t know when Rock5 will really launch. Now is four months past February. June’s almost gone too, still with no info about exact release date. From 2020 to 2022. I’m afraid, we will see the product in 2023.

  3. “..as little as $169 with 4GB and 32GB eMMC flash..
    Unfortunately, for ARM, the price $169 is not ‘little’

          1. Intel doesn’t have the same low level of energy consumption, have TPM and a bunch of hardcoded security holes we discover every month.

      1. Depends on your perspective. I just ordered a Pentium 7505 equipped Chromebook for $190.
        It was on a big discount and has just 4GB of RAM but still…
        I guess ARM is not that competitive price wise.
        At least if you want ARM you can get it for a decent price.

          1. MoneyMike, that’s gold right there, love it. Intel is a no go for me, has been for decades.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement
Advertisement