MINISFORUM X35G review – An Intel Core i3-1005G1 Mini PC tested with Windows & Ubuntu

MINISFORUM have recently launched their X35G mini PC on Indiegogo which differentiates itself from the many Gemini Lake mini PCs by using a 10th generation Intel “Ice Lake” Core mobile processor with Gen11 graphics. Available as a barebones device and in various configurations MINISFORUM sent a fully configured model for review. MINISFORUM X35G Hardware overview Also known as DeskMini X35G, the MINISFORUM X35G is a slightly larger mini PC physically consisting of a 136.5 mm x 121.5 mm x 40.5 mm (5.37 x 4.78 x 1.59 inches) rectangular metal case with a plastic base. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses Intel’s second-generation 10 nm+ Core i3-1005G1 processor which is a dual-core 4-thread 1.2 GHz processor boosting to 3.4 GHz with Intel’s Gen11 UHD graphics. The front panel has a power button, a Thunderbolt 3/Type-C USB port that supports video, and two 3.1 USB ports. Also on the front panel on either side are two small pin-holes with […]

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Intel NUC 9 Extreme “Ghost Canyon” Kit – NUC9i9QNX Review

I’ve previously written about Intel’s (relatively) new NUC 9 range of mini PCs and now I am following up with my experiences of having bought one. Whilst I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu I’ll also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using either OS together with a comparison of gaming, thermals, and power usage as well as a brief look at overclocking potential and implications together with highlighting the issues encountered. NUC9i9QNX Hardware Overview The model I purchased and will be reviewing here is the NUC9i9QNX from Intel’s Ghost Canyon lineup and is formally known as the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Kit – NUC9i9QNX. It contains a “Compute Element” with an i9-9980HK which is an eight-core 16-thread 2.40 GHz processor boosting to 5.00 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics 630. The full specifications of the NUC9i9QNX include: The NUC9i9QNX is sold as a kit which essentially means barebones as it consists of a case containing a baseboard, […]

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CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Education Laptop Review

I started my review of CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Learning Kit a while ago and at the time I showed content from the kit and its first boot. I’ve now spent more time with this very special Raspberry Pi 4 laptop and will focus this review on the education part, namely CrowPi2 software, but will also look at thermal cooling under stress with and without a fan, and try to install another Raspberry Pi compatible board inside the laptop shell. CrowPi2 Education Software It’s quite important to read the user manual before getting started as there are a few non-intuitive steps you may have to take. First I assume the wireless keyboard would just connect after pressing the power button, but it did not. The user manual explains the RF dongle is inside the mouse, and once you connect it you’ll be able to use the keyboard that has some battery charge out of the box, and can be charged […]

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Puffin Cloud Learning Renders Web Pages Up to 14 Times Faster on Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a great little Arm Linux board designed for STEM education. But with many children now have to learn remotely, the board would be useful as a computer replacement, but users may find web browsing on the Raspberry Pi to be rather sluggish. Puffin Cloud Learning is designed just for that use case and promises to make the Raspberry Pi SBC much faster for web browsing, and they tested several websites, and for instance, CNN website loads almost 14 times faster with the Puffin Internet Terminal compared to using Chromium only. How is that possible? Simple: the Raspberry Pi is simply used as a thin client with complex web rendering performed on the company’s encrypted cloud servers where a JavaScript engine is used to pre-process and compress web pages sent to the Raspberry Pi. The company also claims Puffin Internet Terminal is 1200% faster than Chromium using Octane 2.0 and Apple Jetstream benchmarks as examples with a […]

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ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC Review with Ubuntu 20.04 – Raspberry Pi & Arduino Headers Tested

We’ve already reviewed ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC with Windows 10. When combined with Re_Computer enclosure it’s a typical Intel Gemini Lake mini PC but with a twist: Arduino and Raspberry Pi header. The latter works fine in Windows, but at the time, the Raspberry Pi header does not. So Linux is our only option. I’ve now had time to install and test Ubuntu 20.04 on ODYSSEY-X86J4105 single board computer. I did not install Ubuntu on the internal eMMC flash where Windows 10 resides, but instead on a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD. I’ll first run some usual command to check system information, then run benchmarks, and check whether all features are working before focusing the review on the Arduino and Raspberry Pi headers. ODYSSEY-X86J4105 Ubuntu 20.04 System Info We can check some of the information from the system in the terminal: An Intel Celeron J4105 processor with 8GB RAM and the rootfs on a 127GB partition looks good to me. Features Testing Most […]

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Beelink GT-R Review – An AMD Ryzen 5 Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04

Whilst Windows mini PCs have traditionally used Intel processors similar small form factor (SFF) devices using AMD based processors have recently been announced and Beelink is amongst the first manufacturers to deliver one with their newly released GT-R mini PC. Available as a barebones device and in various configurations Beelink sent a fully configured model for review. Hardware overview The Beelink GT-R is a slightly larger mini PC physically consisting of a 168 mm x 120 mm x 39 mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case with a plastic top. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses a (previous generation) Zen+ microarchitecture 12 nm Ryzen 5 3550H mobile processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.1 GHz processor boosting to 3.7 GHz with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. The front panel has a power button, two 3.0 USB ports, a headphone jack, and a Type-C USB port that supports video. Also on the front panel is an […]

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Beelink GS-King X Review with Android 9 – Video & Audio Playback, NAS/File Server Function, and Benchmarks

Last month I received Beelink GS-King X for review and started with an unboxing and teardown to check out the hardware. I’ve now had time to test the device with Android 9 including the file server function, a key selling point since of the device since it supports up to two 3.5″ SATA drives internally. A Tedious and Frustrating Start Eventually, I managed to boot the TV box and access the launcher, but it was no pleasure cruise. The first time, I connected the power, there was nothing at all, with the LED turned off, and no noise from the device. I thought the device was dead. The company asked me to check the power supply, and indeed a quick check with a multimeter confirmed it was dead despite the blue LED (on the power supply) implying the contrary. Nevermind, bad things happen, and the company sent me a new power supply, and the TV box could start… But… Oh […]

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ODYSSEY-X86J4105 Gemini Lake & Arduino SBC Review with Windows 10 Enterprise

I’ve recently received ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC with Re_Computer case, and we’ve had a look at the SBC hardware, installed some internal components like an M.2 SATA SSD, and play around Re_Computer case using Raspberry Pi 4, Beaglebone Green Wireless and Jetson Nano SBC, before assembling the Intel SBC into the enclosure. I’ve now taken the time to test the combo using the pre-installed Windows 10 Enterprise operating systems. ODYSSEY-X86J4105 is very much like any Intel Gemini Lake mini PC, but with the addition of Arduino and Raspberry Pi headers, so we’ll look at those as well. Connections and First Boot For the first boot, I connect USB mouse and keyboard, a HDMI cable to a 4K TV, an Ethernet cable, a USB 3.0 hard drive, and finally the power supply. I actually had a small problem during boot, but we’ll talk about it later as it’s really specific to my setup, and not any issue with the device as a BIOS […]

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