$170 Solidrun Cubox-i 4×4 Freescale i.MX6 Mini PC Boasts 4GB RAM, an eSATA Port

Most ARM based mini PCs come with 1 or 2GB RAM, with few exceptions like Nagrace HPH NT-V6 or Tronsmart Draco AW80 Telos featuring 4GB RAM,  but they are mostly optimized for Android, and although they can also run Linux desktop distributions there are often caveats with lack of hardware video decoding for example. Solidrun has now added a new model to its Cubox-I mini PC family with Cubox-I 4×4 powered by Freescale i.MX6 quad core processor coupled with 4GB RAM, and it’s also one of the few mini PCs coming with an eSATA port. SolidRun CuBox-i 4×4 specifications SoC –  Freescale i.MX6 Quad 4x Cortex A9 @1GHz-1.2GHz with Vivante GC2000 (OpenGL/ES 2.0) System Memory – 4GB 64-bit DDR3 @ 1066 MHz Storage – microSD card slot, eSATA II (3 Gbps) connector Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with 3D support Audio Output – HDMi, optical S/PDIF Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (up to 470Mbps), WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 2x […]

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Popcorn Hour VTEN 4K Linux Media Player Unboxing & Teardown

Cloud Media (aka Syabas) sent me their latest Popcorn Hour VTEN media player. It supports HDMI output up to 4K, H.265 video codec, and features an eSATA connector, as well as optical and coaxial S/PDIF connectors. Today, I’ll show some pictures of the kit, and teardown the box to checkout the hardware, and in a few days, I’ll report on the user interface, video playback, and HDMI audio pass-through capabilities. Popcorm Hour VTEN Unboxing The unexpected device was sent via Fedex in the package shown below. It lists some of the key features such as H.265, DSD (Direct Stream Digital), FLAC, Matroska, UPnP, 3D, and 4K Ultra HD support, as well as the specs, and more features and package content in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish. The box comes with an IR remote control and two AAA batteries, an HDMI cable, a SATA cable, a 5V/3A power supply, a quick start guide, and a warranty document. […]

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Orange Pi Plus Development Board Gets Upgraded to Allwinner H3 Processor

Orange Pi boards were recently launched with a form factor similar to the Raspberry Pi Model B+, and featuring Allwinner A20 and A31s processors. Orange Pi Plus was initially fitted with Allwinner A31s processor, but Shenzhen Xunlong Software has now decided to use the latest Allwinner H3 quad core processor instead for this model, adding better CPU performance, and H.265 video decoding up to 4K @ 30 fps, likely at the cost of a slower Mali- 400MP2 GPU against the PowerVR SGX544MP used in Allwinner A31s. New Orange Pi Plus specifications: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.6 GHz with ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – micro SD card slot, SATA interface (via a USB to SATA chip), unpopulated  8GB eMMC on the back of the board (despite picture, see comments section) Video Output – HDMI, AV port Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone Connectivity – 10/100/1000M […]

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Tronsmart Draco AW80 SATA Performance in Android

When Allwinner A80 TV boxes with SATA port were first release, some people hailed SATA performance, especially while seeking during video playback. But at the time, I was skeptical of these claims since Allwinner A80 SoC does not have have a SATA interface, so a USB to SATA bridge must be used, and the performance should be the same as USB hard drives. Unfortunately, I was unable to confirm these doubts, and test SATA performance in my review of Tronsmart Draco AW80 Meta, because at the time, I did not have any spare SATA hard drive or SSD. But since I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit, which include a 120 GB SSD, so I could finally test the device SATA interface. This CHUANG JIU SSD achieves write and read speeds of respectively 8.7 MB/s & 50.5 MB/s for NTFS, and 36.31 MB/s & 179.45 MB/s for EXT-4 using CubieTruck with Debian 7.6, and Bonnie++ benchmark tool. NTFS is usually slower […]

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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 run Phoronix Benchmark. I’ll also explain how to mvoe the […]

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Suptronics X200 Raspberry Pi Model B+ Expansion Board Adds Wi-Fi, RTC, VGA, optical S/PDIF, USB ports, Servo Support, and More

The Raspberry Pi is a nice little board, but in some cases you may want to add some extra ports. Suptronics released the X100 expansion board for Raspberry Pi Model B last year, and they’ve now come up with a little monster called X200 expansion board for Raspberry Pi Model B+ which adds Wi-Fi, a real-time clock + battery, a VGA port, optical S/PDIF output, 3.5 mm mic and audio jack, servo support (ULN2803), and a few USB ports to the low cost board. Key features of X200 expansion board: Input Voltage – 6V to 21Vdc converted to 5V, 3A via step-down DC/DC converter to power the Raspberry Pi. VGA output – HDMI to VGA converter supporting up to UXGA (1600×1200) and 1080p with 10-bit DAC Audio – 3.5mm MIC in jack, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, S/PDIF output, audio I/O connector (Microphone input and stereo audio amplifier 3.3Wx2) Connectivity – WiFi 802.11b/g/n with antenna USB – Self-powered USB hub with […]

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Eweat EW802 Android TV Box (Amlogic S802) Supports External SATA Drives, Features Dual Wi-Fi Antennas

Amlogic S802 does not support SATA natively, so few Android media players based on this quad core SoC comes with SATA hard drive or SSD support. Zoomtak T8 is one of them, but there’s now another options with Eweat EW802, except than having an internal bay for 2.5″ hard drives, it just features an external SATA connector capable of handling both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives, and comes with better specs including dual Wi-Fi antennas, 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash. Eweat EW802 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S802  quad core cortex A9r4 @ 2 GHz with Mali-450MP6 GPU (N.B: It could also be S802-H due to Dolby abd DTS hardware decoding claim). System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 16GB NAND flash + micro SD slot + SATA connector Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with two external antennas, and Bluetooth 4.0 Video Output – HDMI 1.4a and AV (3.5mm jack) Audio Output – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF […]

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HiMedia Q5 Quad Core is an Android TV Box based on HiSilicon Hi3798C SoC with SATA, USB 3.0, 4K Support

HiMedia has been releasing and manufacturing Android TV boxes with SATA interfaces based on Hilison processors including Q5 (single core) and Q5II (dual core) for a couple of years. The company is about to release another one with the same enclosure, based on a new Hilicon Hi3798C quad core SoC, that they’ve aptly named “Q5 Quad Core”. HiMedia Q5 Quad Core specifications: SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz + ARM Mali-450MP6 Octa core GPU. System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash, SATA connector, and MMC/SD 2-in1 card reader Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, and 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi with external antenna Video Out – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K30 and composite Audio Output – HDMI, L/R stereo (RCA), and optical & coaxial S/PDIF Video Codecs – MPEG1/2/4 up to 4K30, H.264/AVC up to 4K30, H.265 up to 4K30, VC-1, REALVIDEO 8/9/10 up to 4K30, and more Audio Format – MP3, WMA, AAC, APE, […]

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