ECDREAM A9 Apollo Lake HDMI “TV Stick” Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 17.04

The ECDREAM A9 is arguably the first Intel Apollo Lake ‘PC stick’ available for purchase. However, in reality it is surprisingly large, and when compared to earlier Intel Atom ‘sticks’ and mini PC ‘boxes’ it lies somewhere in between. Measuring 2.3 inches (58 mm) wide and 0.6 inches (16 mm) thick it feels almost double in size of the original Intel Compute Stick (1.5 in/38 mm by 0.5 in/12 mm) and like nearly half of a mini PC (Beelink’s AP34 is 4.7 in/119 mm by 0.8 / 20 mm). Given that you only get two USB ports, an micro SD card slot and the obligatory HDMI and power port, the large size would be better justified if an Ethernet port had also been included given other smaller ‘sticks’ have shown this is possible. However the reason for its size is due to the oversized fan and heatsink… ​ and that […]

CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Windows 10 Firmware, Drivers, and BIOS

In case you’ve installed another operating system like Ubuntu on CHUWI Lapbook 14.1 laptop, and want to re-install Windows 10, CHUWI has released Windows 10 firmware, drivers, and LapBook 14.1 “BIOS” in their forums. So I’ve re-installed Windows 10 on the laptop using the Windows 10 image. You’ll need to download the 8 files CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Windows.part1.rar to CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Windows.part8.rar, and after extracting them you should get a “CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Windows” directory with all necessary files to reinstall Windows. The files take 8GB, so it may not fit on all 8GB flash drives, and you may need to use a 16GB or greater drive. I just copied the files to an 64GB flash drive formatted with NTFS, insert the drive into the USB 2.0 port of the laptop, and I could start the installation process at boot time. However, it quickly failed as it tried to […]

MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 and Benchmarks

I’ve listed specifications and posted photos of MINIX NEO Z83-4 mini PC in the first part of review, and while NEO Z83-4 is yet another Intel Atom x5-Z8300 device, it’s clear the company has made specific efforts for the thermal design with a large heatsink and aluminum bottom cover, and provided a solid 12V/3A power supply. So in the second part of the review, I’ll check how Windows 10 performs in the device, and run some benchmarks to compare it to other low power Intel mini PCs. MINIX NEO Z83-4 Setup & System Information If you’ve connected USB mouse and keyboard, HDMI and Ethernet, a USB 3.0 hard drive to the USB 3.0 port, and the power cord. Pressing the power button on the right side will boot the device. A typical boot will take around 30 seconds to the desktop. My system was already configured with Z83-4 user, possibly […]

How to Unbrick MeegoPad T01 (Intel Atom Z3735F) HDMI TV Stick

When you use one of the Intel Atom Z3735F mini PCs, there’s very little chance to brick it as long as you use the pre-installed operating systems. But if you play around with the BIOS, or use one of the recent dual boot firmware that re-flash the BIOS when you switch OS, there’s a real possibility to completely brick your device. Ian Morrison (Linuxium) and Deadhp1 posted separate instructions to flash the BIOS and recover their devices. Both bricked MeegoPad T01, and deadhp1 used CH341a USB programmer which only supports 3.3V/5V, while the SPI flash on T01 only support 1.8V. It worked for him, but it could potentially fry the flash. So it’s probably better to with Ian’s solution involving EZP_XPro USB Programmer and some SOIC8 Test Clips. Once you get the hardware, you’ll need to download on install EZP XPro Flash 1.4 on a Windows PC. Now follow the […]

How-to Autostart a PC Automatically When Connecting it to the Mains Power

I’ve decided it would be good if I could just hide the computer under the table, as I never use the DVD writer, and I can access USB ports for removable storage or debug board via a USB hub on my table. The only problem is that I would have to go under the table to press the power button each time I want to power on the computer. Feasible, but not very convenient. Every morning, I connect a power strip to the mains supply for my computer, monitor, and related equipment, so it would be good if the computer could just start when I connect it. I found out there’s an option in the BIOS of my main board to do just that. Most other people seem to use that feature to be able to automatically restart their computer after a power failure so that they can access it […]