MINIX Z100-0dB review – Part 2: A fanless Intel Processor N100 mini PC tested with Windows 11

MINIX Z100-0dB review Windows11

We’ve already done an unboxing and a teardown of the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB fanless mini PC powered by an Intel Processor N100 CPU, and equipped with a 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM and a 512GB M.2 SSD before quickly trying the preinstalled Windows 11 Pro operating system in the first part of the review. We’ve now had time to test Windows 11 in the MINIX Z100-0dB fanless mini PC in more detail. So we’ll report our experience in the second part of the review with features testing, benchmarks, some storage and networking performance tests, measurements of fan noise and power consumption, and more. We’ll also compare the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB against other Alder Lake-N mini PCs such as the actively-cooled GEEKOM Mini Air12 that we reviewed at the end of last year. Software overview and features testing The System->About window confirms the Z100-0dB mini PC features an Intel N100 processor at 800 […]

GEEKOM A7 mini PC review – Part 3: Ubuntu 22.04 (and Ubuntu 24.04)

GEEKOM A7 Ubuntu 22.04 Linux review

After a GEEKOM A7 mini PC unboxing and teardown, I tested the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS mini PC in Windows 11 Pro, but I’ll now report my experience with the GEEKOM A7 running Ubuntu 22.04.4 to see our well the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS system performs in Linux. I also had to install Ubuntu 24.04 to check the wireless module further, so I’ll report on that too. The Ubuntu 22.04 review will include features testing, several benchmarks, storage, 2.5GbE, and WiFi 6 networking performance testing, a stress test to check thermal performance, as well as fan noise and power consumption measurements. Ubuntu 22.04 installation I resized the Windows 11 partition to get an unused 500GB partition to install Ubuntu 22.04 from a USB drive. But the first time, it did not work as I was asked to disable BitLocker disk encryption in Windows 11 just like I did for the […]

Semtech AirLink XR60 is the world’s smallest rugged 5G router

Airlink XR60 world smallest rugged 5G router

Semtech AirLink XR60 is a tiny 5G router powered by a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor with up to two Ethernet ports (1Gbps and 5 Gbps), WiFi 6 connectivity, GNSS navigation, and an optional RJ45 serial port. Semtech is better known for its LoRa low-power transceivers, but the company acquired Sierra Wireless last year, so they’ll now have a wider range of wireless products to offer, and the AirLink XR60 5G gateway is the first we cover here on CNX Software since the merger between the two companies. Semtech Airlink XR60 specifications: SoC – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor Memory – 1.2 GB RAM (that should be the free memory) Storage –  1.7 GB (available storage) Networking 5G cellular Sierra Wireless EM9291 5G NR Sub-6 M.2 module Peak downlink – 2800 Mbps Peak uplink – 300 Mbps 4×4 MIMO 4x SMA antenna connectors Dual SIM (Nano-4FF) Carrier – AT&T, FirstNet 4G, T-Mobile, Verizon, […]

LibreVNA open-source USB vector network analyzer (VNA) works in the 100kHz to 6GHz range

LibreVNA Open source hardware vector network analyzer vna

Jan Käberich’s LibreVNA is an open-source hardware USB vector network analyzer (VNA) based on a Spartan-6 FPGA, an STM32 microcontroller, and RF circuitry with MAX2871 and Si5351C chips. The open-source VNA supports two channels and works in the 100kHz to 6GHz frequency range. Vector network analyzers are expensive pieces of electronic test equipment used to measure the magnitude and phase of high-frequency electrical networks costing several thousand dollars. They are commonly used in radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineering applications. Last year, we wrote that Pico Technology released PicoVNA 5 software for Linux, Raspberry Pi, and macOS instead of only providing a Windows program for their commercial PicoVNA devices. I thought it was already a good development even if it was closed-sourced, but LibreVNA goes all the way with an open-source hardware design with hardware design files, the FPGA code, STM32 firmware, and PC software (GUI) all open-source. LivreVNA hardware […]

$166 Mustool MT13S thermal imager doubles as multimeter

Mustool MT13S 2-In-1 Thermal Imager Multimeter

Mustool MT13S is a relatively inexpensive 2-in-1 thermal imager and multimeter with a 2.8-inch touchscreen display and an IR camera with a 192×192 resolution. Thermal cameras used to be quite expensive, but in recent years, we’ve seen cheaper models such as the HT-102 thermal camera for Android smartphones and M5Stack T-Lite Wi-Fi thermal camera, but those integrate fairly small 32×32 and 32×24 pixels IR arrays, The Mustool MT13S provides a higher resolution 192×192 thermal camera and doubles as a 10,000-count multimeter for about $166 plus shipping on Banggood or around $177 including shipping on Aliexpress. Mustool MT13S specifications: Thermal imaging Sensor – Uncooled focal plane Image capture frequency – 20Hz Thermal imaging resolution – 192 x 192 Display image resolution – 240 x 240 Field of view (FoV) – 50.0(H) × 50(V)/72.1(D) Emissivity – 0.1-0.99 is tunable and 0.95 is the default Temperature Range – -20°C to +550°C Accuracy – […]

STMicro ST60A3H0 and ST60A3H1 60 GHz transceiver ICs aim to replace USB cables

ST60A3H0 ST60A3H1 60 GHz transceivers

STMicro ST60A3H0 and ST60A3H1 are short-range 60 GHz transceiver ICs that tunnel eUSB2, I2C, SPI, UART, and GPIO signals and aim to replace USB and other cables in consumer devices such as digital cameras, wearables, portable hard drives, and small gaming terminals. They should also find their way into industrial applications such as rotating machinery where cable use may be challenging. The smaller ST60A3H0 chip provides more flexibility and requires an external antenna, while the ST60A3H1 chip is a fully integrated solution with a built-in linear antenna. Both are capable of USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480 Mbps and support UART, GPIO, and/or I2C signals so they are not limited to USB cables and can be used in a range of applications. ST60A3H0 and ST60A3H1 key features and specifications: 60 GHz V-Band transceiver for short-range contactless connectivity up to 480 Mbit/s eUSB2, UART, GPIO, or I2C RF tunneling Low […]

Waveshare R7FA4 PLUS A and B boards are clones of the Arduino UNO R4 Minima and WiFi

Arduino UNO R4 WiFi clone

Arduino board clones have been around for many years, but I don’t think I have ever seen clones of the new Renesas-based Arduino boards so far. Waveshare changes that with the R7FA4 PLUS A that clones with Arduino UNO R4 Minima, and the R7FA4 PLUS B board duplicating the Arduino UNO R4 WiFi. The Waveshare boards are not 100% clones with some small differences in the PCB layout, support for 5V and 3.3V shields, an additional 6-pin “power output header” with 5V, 3.3V, and GND signals, and a USB communication jumper to select between the Espressif ESP32-S3 and Renesas RA4M1 microcontrollers. Waveshare R7FA4 PLUS A and B specifications: Microcontroller – Renesas RA4M1 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU @ 48 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256KB flash Wireless (B model only) – ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module based on ESP32-S3 dual-core Xtensa LX7 microcontroller with 512KB SRAM, 384KB ROM, WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, PCB antenna […]

Banana Pi BPI-M6 SBC features SenaryTech SN3680 quad-core Cortex-A73 AI processor

Banana Pi BPI-M6

Banana Pi BPI-M6 is a credit-card single board computer based on SenaryTech SN3680 SoC comprised of a quad-core Arm Cortex-A73 processor, an Arm Cortex-M3 real-time core, an Imagination GE9920 GPU, and an NPU delivering up to 6.75 TOPS. The board ships with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB eMMC flash. Its layout is fairly similar to the one of the Raspberry Pi 4 with four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a 40-pin GPIO header, a USB Type-C port for power, and two micro HDMI ports. However, only one of those is for HDMI output, as the second is for HDMI input, and there’s also an M.2 Key-E socket for expansion. Banana Pi BPI-M6 specifications: SoC – SenaryTech SN3680 (also known as Synaptics VS680) with CPU – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A73 processor up to 2.1GHz MCU – Arm Cortex-M3 real-time security core @ 250MHz GPU – Imagination PowerVR Series9XE GE9920 GPU VPU – 4Kp60 […]

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