Kodi 19 “Matrix” released with AV1, HDR, tvOS support

Kodi 19 add-ons

Kodi is an open-source media center that was initially designed for the XBOX game console, but was quickly ported to other platforms such as Windows and Linux, and eventually to low-cost Android TV boxes and single board computers such as Raspberry Pi. A new stable release of the software comes out every couple of years, and the developers have just announced the release of Kodi 19 “Matrix” a little over two years after Kodi 18 “Leia” release. The default user interface may look similar to the one for Kodi 18, but there have been many changes over the last two years with some of the highlights including: Skin/Look-and-Feel Screen redesign, especially for music with new metadata displays and changes to playlist views New “now playing” view Artwork and image file improvements Video Playback AV1 software decoding Windows 10 – HLG HDR and static HDR10 playback Android – Static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR More OpenGL bicubic scalers Metadata and […]

Beelink SEI Review – A Core i3-10110U Mini PC Tested with Windows and Ubuntu

beelink sei review

Beelink has launched a new range of mini PCs called the SEi Series. Similar in size and appearance to an Intel ‘NUC’ they are available in various configurations. Beelink sent a Core i3-10110U SEi model for review which is the version that has now replaced their i3-1005G1 model which they had to discontinue due to the lack of processor availability. There is also an i5-8259U model in the series. Beelink SEi Hardware Overview The SEi physically consists of a 124 x 113 x 41mm (4.88 x 4.48 x 1.61 inches) rectangular plastic case. It is an actively cooled mini PC and uses Intel’s 14 nm++ Core i3-10110U Comet Lake processor which is a dual-core 4-thread 2.10 GHz processor boosting to 4.10 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics for 10th Gen Intel Processors. The front panel has a power button, a headphone jack, a Type-C USB 3.0 port, and two USB 3.0 ports. The rear panel includes the power jack, two HDMI […]

Rock Pi X Review – An Atom x5 SBC running Windows 10 or Ubuntu 20.04

Rock Pi X Review

The ROCK Pi X is the first x86 SBC (single board computer) from Radxa and resulted from repeated enquiries about running Windows on their earlier ROCK Pi 4. The ROCK Pi X comes in two models (Model A and Model B) with each model having either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM and either 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of eMMC storage. Additionally, the Model B includes WiFi and Bluetooth together with supporting Power over Ethernet (PoE) although this requires an additional HAT. Both Seeed Studio and Radxa provided samples and in this review, I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu and also discuss the thermals. Rock Pi X Hardware Overview The ROCK Pi X is similar in size to a Raspberry Pi board… but with slightly different ports and port locations even when compared to the Raspberry Pi 4. It is physically slightly larger than its specification size (85 mm x 54 mm) as the ports […]

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max mini PC review with 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max Review

Back in 2018 MINIX Introduced NEO J50C-4 Windows 10 Pro mini PC based on Intel Pentium J5005 Gemini Lake processor and fitted with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash. It never got released in this configuration, as due to Gemini Lake processors shortage the company relaunched it with a 64GB eMMC flash in 2019. Since then, the company launched the NEO J50C-4 Plus with a 240GB SSD and 4GB RAM, which I did not review. But now the Hong Kong company has introduced a new model with NEO J50C-4 Max equipped with 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD. I’ve just received a sample, but since the design and specifications are the same as the earlier NEO J50C model except for the SSD and RAM capacity, I’ll focus this mini review on the main differences, and small issues I had last year. NEO J50C-4 Max Unboxing The package looks familiar… And so are the specifications except for the 8GB DDR4 (upgradeable to […]

MINISFORUM EliteMini H31G Coffee Lake Mini PC Review with Windows & Linux

EliteMini H31G RAM & SSD

MINISFORUM have launched their EliteMini H31G which combines a desktop CPU with a discrete graphics card in a mini PC form factor. It supports various Intel 9th and 8th gen desktop processors combined with an NVIDIA Geforce GTX1050 Ti graphics card and targets both gamers and content creators. Available as a barebones device and in various configurations MINISFORUM sent a fully configured model for review. Hardware overview The MINISFORUM EliteMini H31G is a remarkably small mini PC for what it offers and physically consists of a 154 mm x 153 mm x 62 mm (6.06 x 6.02 x 2.44 inches) rectangular plastic case with a metal base. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses Intel’s LGA 1151 socket and supports desktop processors up to a maximum TDP of 65W. The review model came with an Intel Core i5 9500F Coffee Lake processor pre-installed which is a six-core 6-thread 3.00 GHz processor boosting to 4.40 GHz. The included and […]

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

MINISFORUM X35G Review

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 […]

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

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, […]

AMD Ryzen Embedded SBC Review with Ubuntu 20.04

AMD Ryzen Embedded Ubuntu 20.04

Last June, we reviewed DFI GHF51 Ryzen Embedded R1606G SBC with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC. We had to send back the board to Taiwan, as the company wanted to double-check some of the issues we reported, and we got the board to review it with Ubuntu 20.04. So I downloaded Ubuntu 20.04.1 ISO flashed it to a USB flash drive, and could install it on the eMMC flash drive without issue. I selected to keep Windows 10, so I have a dual-boot system on a 32GB eMMC flash. Yes, I do like a challenge! 🙂 DFI GHF51 Ubuntu 20.04 System Info We can check some of the information from the system in the terminal:

So I have a 7.9GB partition to play with Ubuntu 20.04.1, but I could do all tests without issues, although I had to remove Phoronix benchmark program and data after completing the benchmark. Features Testing There may also be some issues with drivers, so I […]