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 […]

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

mele quieter3q review

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)

Beelink sei8 ser3 review

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. […]

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

Beelink SER4 review

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, […]

Higole F7G Plus Review – An affordable rugged tablet tested with Ubuntu 20.04 & Windows 11

Higole F7G Plus rugged tablet review

Ruggedized industrial-use PCs are typically expensive so it is refreshing to see Higole F7G Plus, an Intel Gemini Lake Refresh tablet, being offered at an affordable price. Higole kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at functionality and performance running on Ubuntu and also its Windows performance. Hardware Overview The Higole F7G Plus is a 10.1 inch IPS touch screen rugged industrial fanless tablet that uses Intel’s 14 nm Gemini Lake Refresh N4120 processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 1.10 GHz Celeron processor boosting to 2.60 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics. Designwise, meeting the MIL-STD-810G standard which is the de facto ‘ruggedized’ standard for consumer products and covers whether the device can work in a broad range of environmental conditions including surviving dropping, is evidenced by the thick protective shell around the tablet. To ensure its IP67 Certification for waterproofing each of the ports are covered by detachable rubber […]

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W mini review – Benchmarks and thermal performance

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Heatsink

The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W board yesterday with the main difference against Raspberry Pi Zero W board being the much faster Raspberry Pi RP3A0 SiP with a Broadcom quad-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at 1.0 GHz and overclockable to 1.2 GHz. I received my sample shortly after publishing the announcement, and I had time to test it. Since the main difference is the processor, I’ll focus this review on benchmarks and whether additional cooling is required for the board. Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W kit unboxing If you purchase the board for $15, that’s all you’ll get, but Raspberry Pi Trading sent me a kit with Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W SBC, a USB OTG adapter, a mini HDMI to HDMI adapter, the CSI camera cable, and four rubber pad for the enclosure that comes with three covers: full, hole for 40-pin GPIO header, or […]

LIVA Q1L Review – pfSense, Ubuntu 20.04, Windows 10 tested on a dual Ethernet “Ultra Tiny PC”

pfsense LIVA Q1L review

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) have a series of mini PCs called LIVA which includes the diminutive Q range from which the LIVA Q2 was previously reviewed. Now it is the turn of the LIVA Q1L which although announced over a year ago has just been received for review and the results from various testing are detailed below. Hardware Overview The Q1L physically consists of a 74 x 74 x 34.6 mm (2.91 x 2.91 x 1.36 inches) rectangular plastic case. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses slightly older Apollo Lake processors and the review model came with an N4200 CPU which is a quad-core 4-thread 1.10 GHz processor boosting to 2.50 GHz with Intel’s HD Graphics 505. The front has a power button, two USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 ports, and one USB 2.0 port whilst the rear includes an HDMI port, two gigabit Ethernet ports, and the […]

Cincoze GP-3000 review – An expandable Xeon-based GPU computer

cincoze gp-3000 review

Cincoze GP-3000 is an expandable high-performance GPU computer. It consists of either a 9th or 8th generation Intel processor-powered embedded computer which can be expanded with Cincoze’s proprietary GPU Expansion Box (GEB) capable of housing up to dual 250W full-length graphic cards. Additional I/O expansion is also possible through the use of various modules. With a total 720W power budget the GP-3000’s additional GPU performance massively accelerates complex industrial AI and machine vision tasks. As a rugged computer, the GP-3000 has passed a series of stringent quality assurance tests and industry standards including MIL-STD-810G military standard, E-mark for in-vehicle applications, and EN50155 (EN 50121-3-2 only) for rolling stock environments. It can withstand hot and cold temperature extremes, shock and vibration, and high electromagnetic radiation. In this review, I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu and also discuss the thermals. Hardware Overview The GP-3000 (see PDF datasheet) loaned […]