CubieTruck Metal Case Kit Getting Started Guide and Review

I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit just over a month ago, but just like for Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite, the board could not get HDMI EDID info from my Panasonic TV, which led to a crash at boot time. CubieTech has now fixed the issue, so I’ve finally been able to complete the review with Cubieez (Cubie Easy) distribution, pre-installed on the board, and based on Debian 7.6. You can get the full hardware specs on my previous post, but the kits is comprised of four parts: CubieTruck development based on Allwinner A20 dual core processor, a rugged metallic enclosure, a 128GB SSD, and a 5,300 mAh battery acting as a UPS. I’ll start by showing how to setup the board, test SATA and Gigabit Ethernet performance,  check if the battery acts as expected, try to use the board as a desktop replacement with LibreOffice, Chromium, and so on, and […]

Unboxing of BuyForSure 4KH 2160p/H.265 Android Media Player Powered by HiSilicon Hi3798M SoC

BuyForSure (BFS) is a company that sells various item on Aliexpress and Ebay, and then might also be involved in some product development (TBC). A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an inexpensive HiSilicon Hi3798M based TV box (quad core Cortex A7) supporting 2160 (4K UHD) video output and decoding, HEVC/H.265 video decoding, and featuring a USB 3.0 port. The company asked me if I wanted to receive a sample, and I accepted because few companies promote HiSilicon and MStar based products for oversea markets. So they send me their BFS 4KH TV box, my first HiSilicon device, and early next year, I’m likely to receive Zidoo X9 based on Mstar MSO9180 from another company, so that’s another story… Today, I’ll start by taking pictures of the media player and its board, and in several days I’ll post a review showing what this $50+ box is capable of (or […]

Unboxing of Amlogic S812 based Sunchip CX-S806 Android Media Player

Sunchip CX-S806 is my third Android media player based on Amlogic S812 processor, after Eny Technology EM8S (which I haven’t received yet, because the firmware is not really ready yet), and MINIX NEO X8-H Plus with a stable firmware, but some disappointment with regards to peripherals performance (eMMC, Ethernet,…), and poor support for H.265 / 4K videos in XBMC/Kodi, at least for now, since I’m sure they’ll work out the video issue with subsequent firmware / Kodi releases. CX-S806 has lower specs compared to NEO X8-H Plus, and does not come with an air mouse, but it costs about half of the MINIX box, so we’ll have to see how it performs. For now, I simply post pictures of the device and the internal board, since I’ve already posted CX-S806 specifications previously. CX-S806 Unboxing Sunchip sent me the box via DHL, and I received it in the black and gold […]

A Quick Look at SAMART Strong Black “Free” DVB-T2 Receiver in Thailand

Thai government has made digital television a priority, so they’ve launched a program to give a 690 Baht voucher ($21) to all households in Thailand. The voucher is send by registered mail to your home, and delivery has to be signed by a Thai person. Then you can go to a shop equipped with a Thai ID card and house registration book copy, present this voucher, and get a free (except for tax payers of course) DVB-T2 receiver, or use it to buy something a more advanced set-top box or digital TV package with 690 Baht discount. We decided to get a free DVB-T2 receiver, and ended up with a box called SAMART Strong Black supporting SD and 1080p video streams over DVB-T2, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), and with a USB port to connect devices for recording programs or time-shifting. SAMART is a Thai company whose name means “can” (formal) […]

Infocus CS1 A83 (C2107) Android Tablet Review

I’ve already shown some pictures, listed specs and reported Antutu benchmark results for Infocus CS1 A83 Android tablet powered by Allwinner A83T octa core processor. I’ve been using this tablet as my main mobile device for about a week, and for about 3 to 5 hours a day, and I’m now ready to write a full review reporting my experience with this Full HD tablet. General Impressions I mainly use a tablet to browse the web, check emails, play some casual games like Candy Crush Saga, watch some YouTube videos, and Skype calls, and I could not really fault the tablet for any of these applications. Having said that, my reference device is only ThL W200 smartphone powered by Mediatek MT6589T processor with a 5″ display @ 1280×720, and for all the tasks listed Infocus tablet is much better because it’s more responsive, the 1920×1200 is crisp, and the cameras […]

ODROID-XU3 Lite Board Ubuntu Review – Setup, Usability, and Performance

After testing ODROID-XU3 Lite with Android 4.4, and finding a workaround to some HDMI issues, I could finally try out Ubuntu, or rather Lubuntu with LXDE instead of Unity, in Hardkernel low cost octa-core development board. I’ll start this review by explaining how to install and setup Lubuntu on the board, followed by running various program to test the system usability as a desktop computer with LibreOffice, Chromium, XBMC, and 3D graphics, and finally run some performance tests with Phoronix Test Suit, build the Linux kernel natively, and transcode a video with avconf. Setting Up Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite All firmware images for ODROID development boards, can be found on odroid.in website, and if you want Ubuntu 14.04 image, go to ubuntu_14.04lts folder, to select the latest firmware file for your board. The latest image for ODROID-XU3 (Lite) is currently ubuntu-14.04.1lts-lubuntu-odroid-xu3-20141105.img.xz, it’s the same for micro SD card or eMMC […]

MINIX NEO X8-H Plus Review

I posted pictures of MINIX NEO X8-H Plus media player a few days ago, and in this post I will report my impressions and testing results for the box, the first Amlogic S812 device I’ve fully reviewed so far, which adds H.265 video decoding up to 2160p, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi to the original MINIX NEO X8-H. You can check my previous post for the full specifications of MINIX NEO X8-H Plus. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions The package includes both MINIX IR remote, and MINIX NEO M1 RF air mouse. I did not use the infrared remote at all, and instead I mostly used the provided air mouse, together with Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse when I needed to input text, or for comparison. NEO M1 comes with a built-in battery, and Off/On button, and can be used as a standard remote control, or as a wireless […]

Android 4.4 and Ubuntu 14.10 Tested on Ugoos UM3 mini PC (Rockchip RK3288)

A few days ago I posted pictures of Ugoos UM3, a cute mini PC powered by Rockchip RK3288 quad core Cortex A17 processor, with 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, a few USB ports, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac connectivity. There are so many Rockchip RK3288 based TV boxes and sticks on the market, that it has become difficult to differentiate, so Ugoos has decided to support not only Android 4.4 like all their competitors, but also Ubuntu 14.10, and they’ve provided an alpha release of dual boot Android / Ubuntu images for Ugoos UT3 and UM3 models. Yesterday, I flashed the latest Android/Ubuntu firmware for UM3, and tested the image, so today I can report my findings. First of all, I’d like to point out that I received an earlier sample with various flaws that I reported to Ugoos, and they’ve already committed to fixes: 5V/2A power adapter is not powerful […]

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