Beelink MINI S Review – A Low-cost mini PC tested with Ubuntu 22.04 and Windows 11

Beelink MINI S review

Whilst the first mini PCs were relatively simplistic using low-powered Intel Atom processors with minimal memory, storage, and ports, more recent mini PCs have become so advanced they can challenge SFF builds for both performance and functionality. However, such mini PCs come with prices to match. Beelink has now released the MINI S which is a mini PC that goes back to the basics and is based on a cut-down version of their earlier Beelink U59 mini PC and priced to match. Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu and compared it directly against the U59. Beelink MINI S hardware overview The Beelink MINI S physically consists of a 115 x 102 x 41mm (4.53 x 4.02 x 1.61 inches) square plastic case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s new 10 nm Jasper Lake N5095 processor which is […]

Beelink SER3 & SEi8 mini PCs review – Part 2: Ubuntu 22.04

Previously, I reviewed Beelink’s new SEi8 and SER3 mini PCs running Windows 11, so in this part, I will cover Ubuntu 22.04. Hardware Recap The SEi8 is an actively cooled Intel mini PC that physically consists of a 124 x 113 x 41 (4.88 x 4.45 x 1.61 inches) square metal case with a plastic top and uses Intel’s 14++ nm Coffee Lake Refresh Core i3-8109U processor from 2018 which is a dual-core 4-thread 3.00 GHz mobile processor boosting to 3.60 GHz with Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 655. In comparison, the SER3 is an AMD mini PC and is physically very similar, consisting of a 126 x 113 x 40mm (4.96 x 4.45 x 1.57 inches) square metal case. It is also actively cooled and uses AMD’s 14 nm Zen Ryzen 3 3200U Picasso processor from 2019 which is a dual-core 4-thread 2.6 GHz mobile processor boosting to 3.5 GHz […]

Kodi 20 “Nexus” Alpha 1 gets AV1 hardware decoding, DietPi 8.5 released

I’ll combine two unrelated short news about software releases for TV boxes, Raspberry Pi, and other SBCs: Kodi 20 “Nexus” Alpha 1 media center, and DietPi 8.5 lightweight Debian-based image for SBC’s. Kodi 20 “Nexus” Alpha 1 The first alpha release of Kodi 20 “Nexus” is out with one highlight being support for AV1 hardware video decoding in Android and x86 (VAAPI) platforms with AV1-capable GPU or VPU. Other notable changes include: FFMPEG upgraded to version 4.4 Plenty of subtitle related changes: Added Steam Deck built-in controller support Initial support for M1 native including native windowing/input handling Pipewire support in Linux Various PVR improvements including in terms of performance when a large number of channels is displayed You’ll find more details in the announcement. The RetroPlayer project based on Kodi, but adding some game-related features, has also released some test images based on Kodi 20. Note that since it’s an […]

MeLE Quieter3Q Review – Ultra-thin fanless mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 22.04

MeLE has released a new and updated version of the Quieter mini PC called the Quieter3Q. Like before, it is a passive mini PC but now features the latest low-powered Intel Celeron Jasper Lake CPU and an upgraded PCIe 3.0 x2 M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slot. MeLE has kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu and connecting an eGPU. MeLE Quieter3Q Hardware Overview The MeLE Quieter3Q is physically the same as before consisting of a 131 x 81 x 18.3mm (5.16 x 3.19 x 0.72 inches) rectangular plastic case with a metal base plate. The top half of the case is finely grooved to mimic the fins of a heat spreader but is made of plastic rather than metal to allow reception to the WiFi antennas as one is directly connected to it. As a passively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s […]

Beelink SEi8/SER3 review – Intel Core i3-8109U and AMD Ryzen 3 3200U mini PCs face off in Windows 11 (part 1)

In the past, new mini PCs were released as a result of new processors coming to market. However, with the pandemic and its consequences on the supply chain, some Chinese manufacturers’ survival response has been to source old processors in order to continue presenting new devices. It could be argued that for this approach to be successful these alternative older processors should at least be comparable in performance terms to the latest processors that are currently, or theoretically potentially, now available. In terms of low-end Intel mini PC processor chronology which started with Bay Trail and then Cherry Trail followed by the Lakes of Apollo and Gemini, the current benchmark is Jasper Lake. A good example of this adaptation to market circumstances is Beelink’s release of their latest additions to their SEi and SER product lines which feature the older Intel Core i3-8109U (Coffee Lake) and AMD 3200U processors respectively. […]

Morefine S500+ Review – An AMD Ryzen 7 5700U mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04

Morefine has recently released their S500+ series of mini PC series which features models with either a Zen 2 or Zen 3 AMD mobile processor. Morefine kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu. Morefine S500+ Hardware Overview The S500+ physically consists of a 149 x 145 x 40mm (5.87 x 5.71 x 1.57 inches) square metal case with a plastic top. As an actively cooled mini PC, it is available with either an AMD Zen 2 or Zen 3 mobile processor. The review model came with AMD’s 7 nm Zen 2 Ryzen 7 5700U Lucienne processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 1.8 GHz mobile processor boosting to 4.3 GHz with Radeon Graphics. The front panel has a power button, a light to indicate power, two USB 3.1 ports, and a Type-C USB 3.1 port with Alternate Mode. The rear panel includes a […]

Beelink SER4 Review – Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04, and “overclocking” AMD Ryzen 7 4800U SoC

Beelink has released the SER4 which is the latest in their ‘SER’ mini PC series and it features a Zen 2 AMD mobile processor. Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu and dabbled with ‘overclocking’. Beelink SER4 Hardware Overview The Beelink SER4 physically consists of a 126 x 113 x 40mm (4.96 x 4.45 x 1.57 inches) square metal case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses AMD’s 7 nm Zen 2 Ryzen 7 4800U Renoir processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 1.8 GHz mobile processor boosting to 4.2 GHz with Radeon Graphics. The front panel has an illuminated power button, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Type-C USB 3.1 port with Alternate Mode, dual USB 3.1 ports, and a reset pin-hole ‘CLR CMOS’.  The rear panel includes a gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 3.1 port and a USB 2.0 port, […]

OASIS – ROS 2 based Smart Home operating system integrates with Kodi

OASIS is a Smart Home operating system based on ROS 2 that currently implements computer vision, input streaming, and general automation features, and can be integrated into Kodi media center. The operating system was recently released by Garrett Brown (a.k.a. garbear or eigendude), who is also known for being the RetroPlayer developer from Team Kodi/XBMC, and provides a complete implementation of the Firmata protocol for communicating with Arduino boards, plus additional support for temperature and humidity sensors, I2C, servos, sonar, SPI, stepper motors, and 4-wire CPU fans. Two main use cases are computer vision and input streaming at this time. The illustration above shows the former with the Kinect 2 driver ported to ROS 2, a background subtractor on all camera feeds using bgslibrary C++ background subtraction library, and Kodi as the visual interface. The second, input streaming, can be seen below with a Lego train (including a Falcon spaceship!) […]