Cincoze DS-1402 modular embedded computer review – Part 1: Specs, unboxing, teardown, and first boot

Cincoze DS-1402 Industrial Computer Review

Cincoze has sent me a sample of the DS-1402 modular embedded computer for review. The system is offered with a range of 12th Gen Alder Lake-S or 13th Gen Raptor Lake-S processors and features various expansion options with two PCIe slots, two CMI module slots, a CFM module slot, and three MEC (mini PCIe) module slots. The review sample is equipped with an Intel Core i9-12900E 16-core Alder Lake-S processor, 64GB DDR5 memory, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA GTX1630 graphics card inserted into one of the PCIe slots. The company also fitted the embedded system with two CMI modules on the front panel with four GbE (Intel I210) RJ45 each. Cincoze DS-1402 specifications When we first wrote about the Cincoze DS-1400 series in 2022 only 12th Gen Alder Lake-S processors were available, but the company has now added 13th Gen Raptor Lake-S processors to the list of options. […]

SONOFF ZBMicro Review – A Micro Zigbee USB Smart Adapter tested with eWelink and Home Assistant

Sonoff Micro ZB USB Smart Adapter Cover

We’ve just published the review of the SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Ultra, and as promised the next one will be the SONOFF Micro Zigbee USB Smart Adapter (ZBMicro for short). When we first received the device we wondered what improvements could be made beyond the first Wi-Fi version as it’s so small. However, after using it for a while, we found it to be a pretty good product. Besides functioning as a smart USB switch for turning devices on and off, it supports fast charging, data transfers, and can act as a Zigbee router. Additionally, it can be used with other platforms that adhere to the Zigbee 3.0 standard. From our market observations, competing devices similar to the ZBMicro lack features like fast charging or switching capabilities, making the SONOFF USB adapter more appealing compared to competitors at a similar price point. Compared to its predecessor (WiFi version), the ZBMicro has […]

RT-Thread Vision board review – Part 1: OpenMV on Renesas RA8D1 Cortex-M85 microcontroller

RT-Thread VIsion board vs WeAct STM32H743

I am always interested in real-time operating systems (RTOS) for microcontrollers (MCUs) with my past backgrounds in µC/OS-II, mbed, and FreeRTOS. When the opportunity arose to get my hands on the RT-Thread Vision Board, thanks to the RT-Thread team and CNX Software, I was excited to check it out. This board, a collaboration between RT-Thread and Renesas, packs a powerful Renesas RA8D1 Cortex-M85 MCU and comes pre-loaded with OpenMV firmware. OpenMV’s MicroPython engine lets you jump right into embedded vision development, perfect for experimenting with computer vision tasks. But the real power lies in RT-Thread’s ability to handle tasks very quickly, which we’ll explore with C/C++ development in part two. This first part will focus on getting you familiar with the hardware using the OpenMV firmware, making it a smooth entry point for beginners. Plus, I have a collection of other Renesas evaluation boards, so you can bet I’ll be […]

SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Ultra Review – eWelink app, Matter Bridge, Turbo Mode for extended range, and Home Assistant

SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Ultra Review

We have received two more Zigbee smart home products from ITEAD to review. It appears that SONOFF has strategically introduced a variety of Zigbee devices in the first half of this year. The first one we will be reviewing is the SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Ultra, which we believe will eventually replace the Zigbee Bridge (2020) and Zigbee Bridge Pro (2022) and comes with additional features, such as being a Matter Bridge. The second device we’ve received is the SONOFF Micro Zigbee USB Adapter for which we’ll post a review in the next few days, But first, let’s dive into the SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Ultra review. Overview SONOFF Zigbee Bridge Ultra (Ultra for short and also called SONOFF ZBBridge-U) is a multi-functional device. Compared to its predecessor, the Zigbee Bridge Pro, the Ultra shows big improvements in features and hardware specs. It boasts a much more powerful chip (Rockship RV1109 vs. […]

GEEKOM A8 Review – Part 3: Ubuntu 24.04 tested on an AMD Ryzen 8945HS mini PC

GEEKOM A8 mini PC Review Ubuntu 24.04 Linux

We’ve already checked out GEEKOM A8 mini PC hardware with an unboxing and a teardown, before testing the AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS mini PC in Windows 11 Pro, and we’ll now report our experience with the GEEKOM A8 running Ubuntu 24.04 to see how it performs in Linux. We tested most features of the GEEKOM A8 mini PC on Ubuntu 24.04, ran several benchmarks to compare it to the similar GEEKOM A7 mini PC, performed storage and networking performance testing, ran stress test to check thermal performance, and measured fan noise and power consumption under various conditions. Installing Ubuntu 24.04 on the GEEKOM A8 mini PC As usual, we resized the Windows 11 partition to install Ubuntu 24.04 alongside Microsoft OS using a bootable USB flash drive created with the Ubuntu ISO. But you’ll notice BitLocker is enabled so the Ubuntu 24.04 installation can’t proceed. The installation wizard will ask […]

LattePanda Mu review – Part 1: an Intel N100 Compute Module tested with Windows 11, carrier boards with PCIe slots

LattePanda Mu Full Carrier Windows 11 Review

Last April, DFRobot launched the LattePanda Mu x86 Compute Module powered by an Intel N100 Alder-Lake processor with 8GB RAM and a 64GB eMMC flash along with Lite and Full function carrier boards for evaluation. End customers will typically design their own carrier board without having to take of high-speed signals for the LPDDR5 memory and other complexities during the PCB layout. DFRobot has sent us the LattePanda Mu module for review along with the Lite and Full Function carrier boards, a heatsink for passive cooling, and an active cooler so we can compare both cooling solutions.  Let’s have a look at the LattePanda Mu module and accessories before testing the kit with the Windows 11 operating system, including the PCIe x4 slot. LattePanda Mu kit unboxing The parcel included three retail boxes. The smallest box housed the LattePanda Mu Compute Module, a heatsink, and an active cooler. The second […]

ACEBOTT QE007 review – An ESP32-based Smart Home STEAM education kit for 8+ years old kids

QE007 ESP32 Smart Home Starter Kit Review

ACEBOTT QE007 ESP32-based Smart Home Starter Kit is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths) education platform that involves story reading, assembling a wooden house with various electronics sensors wired to an ESP32 board, and learning about electronics concepts (such as voltage and current) and coding with the Arduino IDE through an 18 lesson course. ACEBOTT has various STEAM education kits, and the company sent us the QE007 “IoT Smart Home Starter Kit” for evaluation and review. So I’ll go through an unboxing, report my experience with the assembly process, and the Arduino tutorials by going through some of the eighteen lessons. ACEBOTT QE007 unboxing The kit comes in a nice-looking retail that reads “ACEBOTT Explorer Series QE007” and “ACEBOTT IOT Smart Home Started Kit”. The front of the package also highlights its a STEAM education kit designed for 8+ years old kids. The bottom side gives the backstory […]

GEEKOM A8 Review – Part 2: An AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS mini PC tested with Windows 11 Pro

GEEKOM A8 mini PC Review Windows11 Pro

In the first part of the review, we’ve already gone through a teardown and an unboxing of the GEEKOM A8 AI mini PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor with AMD Radeon 780M Graphics, 32GB RAM (upgradeable up to 64GB) and a 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD. We’ve now had more time to play with the GEEKOM A8, so we will report our experience with the Windows 11 Pro operating system in the second part of the review testing features, running benchmarks, evaluating networking and storage performance, testing the thermal design, and taking measurements for fan noise and power consumption. Software overview and features testing The System->About window in the Settings confirms we have an A8 Mini PC powered by a 4.0 GHz (base frequency) AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor with Radeon 780M Graphics and 32GB of RAM running Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 22631.3593. HWiNFO64 provides more details […]

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