NanoPi NEO3 and NanoPi R2S Gateways Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown

This morning I received a message from DHL informing me of an incoming package from Hong Kong and sent by a company (i.e. an agent) I had never heard of. My first reaction was “Ah” shortly followed by “Why?!”. But in any case, I’ve just received the package, and after tearing the plastic out, I found a FriendlyELEC branded package. So I thought to myself it must be a NanoPi board for review. Wrong! I actually got two NanoPi “boards” namely NanoPi NEO3 with 2GB RAM, and NanoPi R2S both of which are Rockchip RK3328 powered SBC’s designed for Linux headless applications. Unboxing After opening both packages, I realized I did not get the SBC versions, but instead the complete gateways with their respective enclosure. NEO3 is really light since the case is in plastic, while R2S is a bit heavier due to the metal case.  NanoPi NEO3 gateway comes with Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 as well as a […]

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ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC Review with Ubuntu 20.04 – Raspberry Pi & Arduino Headers Tested

We’ve already reviewed ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC with Windows 10. When combined with Re_Computer enclosure it’s a typical Intel Gemini Lake mini PC but with a twist: Arduino and Raspberry Pi header. The latter works fine in Windows, but at the time, the Raspberry Pi header does not. So Linux is our only option. I’ve now had time to install and test Ubuntu 20.04 on ODYSSEY-X86J4105 single board computer. I did not install Ubuntu on the internal eMMC flash where Windows 10 resides, but instead on a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD. I’ll first run some usual command to check system information, then run benchmarks, and check whether all features are working before focusing the review on the Arduino and Raspberry Pi headers. ODYSSEY-X86J4105 Ubuntu 20.04 System Info We can check some of the information from the system in the terminal: An Intel Celeron J4105 processor with 8GB RAM and the rootfs on a 127GB partition looks good to me. Features Testing Most […]

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AMD Ryzen Embedded SBC Review with 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 tested […]

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Beelink GT-R Review – An AMD Ryzen 5 Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04

Whilst Windows mini PCs have traditionally used Intel processors similar small form factor (SFF) devices using AMD based processors have recently been announced and Beelink is amongst the first manufacturers to deliver one with their newly released GT-R mini PC. Available as a barebones device and in various configurations Beelink sent a fully configured model for review. Hardware overview The Beelink GT-R is a slightly larger mini PC physically consisting of a 168 mm x 120 mm x 39 mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case with a plastic top. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses a (previous generation) Zen+ microarchitecture 12 nm Ryzen 5 3550H mobile processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.1 GHz processor boosting to 3.7 GHz with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. The front panel has a power button, two 3.0 USB ports, a headphone jack, and a Type-C USB port that supports video. Also on the front panel is an […]

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CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Learning Kit Review – Part 1 – Unboxing and First Boot

Last month, we wrote about Elecrow introducing CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop and electronics learning kit for its launch on Kickstarter crowdfunding website. The company has now sent one of its kits to CNX Software for evaluation and review. I’ll start by checking out the content of the package, and boot it up, before publishing a more detailed review in a few weeks. The package is fairly big and highlights it’s made for kids over 8 years old with close to 100 course resources and over 20 electronics modules. The back of the package list the main features and package contents with for example a 11.6″ Full HD display, Raspberry Pi 4 4GB board running a customized (Linux) system or Retropie for game emulation, electronics components and modules like servos and motors, as well as some resources for gaming including two USB gamepads. The first things we get when opening the package are some “Minecraft carton papers” and the user […]

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Beelink GS-King X Review with Android 9 – Video & Audio Playback, NAS/File Server Function, and Benchmarks

Last month I received Beelink GS-King X for review and started with an unboxing and teardown to check out the hardware. I’ve now had time to test the device with Android 9 including the file server function, a key selling point since of the device since it supports up to two 3.5″ SATA drives internally. A Tedious and Frustrating Start Eventually, I managed to boot the TV box and access the launcher, but it was no pleasure cruise. The first time, I connected the power, there was nothing at all, with the LED turned off, and no noise from the device. I thought the device was dead. The company asked me to check the power supply, and indeed a quick check with a multimeter confirmed it was dead despite the blue LED (on the power supply) implying the contrary. Nevermind, bad things happen, and the company sent me a new power supply, and the TV box could start… But… Oh […]

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ODYSSEY-X86J4105 Gemini Lake & Arduino SBC Review with Windows 10 Enterprise

I’ve recently received ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC with Re_Computer case, and we’ve had a look at the SBC hardware, installed some internal components like an M.2 SATA SSD, and play around Re_Computer case using Raspberry Pi 4, Beaglebone Green Wireless and Jetson Nano SBC, before assembling the Intel SBC into the enclosure. I’ve now taken the time to test the combo using the pre-installed Windows 10 Enterprise operating systems. ODYSSEY-X86J4105 is very much like any Intel Gemini Lake mini PC, but with the addition of Arduino and Raspberry Pi headers, so we’ll look at those as well. Connections and First Boot For the first boot, I connect USB mouse and keyboard, a HDMI cable to a 4K TV, an Ethernet cable, a USB 3.0 hard drive, and finally the power supply. I actually had a small problem during boot, but we’ll talk about it later as it’s really specific to my setup, and not any issue with the device as a BIOS […]

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ODYSSEY-X86J4105 SBC Unboxing and Re_Computer Case Review

Seeed Studio ODYSSEY-X86J4105 is an Intel Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake SBC that also happens to integrate an Arduino compatible Microchip SAMD21 Arm Cortex M0+ microcontroller that makes it suitable as an all-in-one Arduino platform. But it can do much more with 8GB RAM, an optional 64GB eMMC flash, HDMI & USB-C DisplayPort 4K video outputs, dual Gigabit Ethernet, and support for both SATA and NVMe storage. The board runs Windows 10 Enterprise by default (if you purchase the board with an eMMC flash), and supports Linux distributions as well. Seeed Studio sent me a review sample, so I’ll start by checking out the hardware first. ODYSSEY-X86J4105 Unboxing I received ODYSSEY-X86J4105864 with a built-in 64GB eMMC flash pre-loaded with Windows 10 Enterprise. Let’s have a quick look at the board with USB, Ethernet and video output ports previously described, as well as built-in dual-band Wi-Fi 5 & Bluetooth 5.0 module, and M.2 sockets for NVMe and SATA SSD, SATA HDD/SSD, as […]

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