NanoPi Duo Starter Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Assembly

NanoPi Duo is an inexpensive Allwinner H2+ quad core board with 256MB or 512MB RAM that can fit into a breadboard, and FriendELEC also provides a starter kit with a carrier board, heatsink, enclosure, USB debug board and cable, as well as optional accessories such as an half-length SSD drive. The company sent me two kits for review, so I’ll first check out what I got, and show how to assemble the kit, before actually playing with the board and kit next month. NanoPi Duo Starter Kit Unboxing I got a bunch of boxes and bubble wraps in the package… … and indeed received two identical kits. Each kit comes with a NanoPi Duo board with soldered headers, a mini Shield for NanoPi Duo, a heatsink and thermal pad set, a micro USB to USB cable, a USB to TTL debug board and cable, and acrylic case, and user manuals […]

Testing KingDian N480 240 GB M.2 SSD in MeLE PCG03 Apo Mini PC

MeLE PCG03 Apo Apollo Lake mini PC supports M.2 80mm SSD’s, but at the time of the review I did not have such accessories, so I only tested the computer with its 32GB eMMC flash and external USB drives. I’ve now received Kingdian N480 240GB SSD courtesy of GearBest, so I’ll install it in the mini PC, test it in Windows 10, and install Ubuntu 16.04. KingDian N420 M.2 SSD Hardware Installation I’ve received a big carton box for the SSD, but finally the retail package is minimal. You’ll find the SSD and a screws in the package. You’ll note the device supports both M.2 Key B and Key M sockets. I’ve already explained how to open MeLE PCG03 Apo, basically loosen 6 screws, and then I just had to insert the SSD with the right orientation (check the 4 / 5 pins on each side), and use the screw […]

Beelink AP34 Ultimate Fanless mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu

The AP34 Ultimate combines the passive cooling of an Apollo Lake N3450 SoC with 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in a small box form-factor mini PC. Together with the device comes a pair of HDMI cables, a power adapter, VESA mount with screws, and a couple of leaflets covering basic information. Not only does this device have three USB 3.0 ports, full size SD card, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone jack and HDMI port, it also has a (vacant) M.2 slot allowing additional storage with the full specification being: although there was no included remote control. The device comes pre-loaded with activated Windows 10 Home 64-bit and plenty of available free space at (initially before updates) just over 43GB. The Windows performance is unremarkable and the reason for this is obvious looking at the basic benchmarks. The reason being that the eMMC is slow which is disappointing for an ‘ultimate’ […]

Beelink S1 Mini PC Comes with Up to 8GB RAM, Supports M.2 SSD & SATA Storage, and Cortana via a Built-in Microphone

While many Apollo Lake mini PCs are sold by Chinese manufacturers, few of come with up to 8GB RAM, and include an internal 2.5″ SATA bay. But Beelink S1 mini PC does, and it also include an M.2 SSD slot, so you can have fast storage for the operating system using an SSD, and cheap and larger storage for your data with the SATA bay. If you are a fan of voice commands, a built-in microphone working with Cortana is also included. Beelink S1 mini PC specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core Apollo Lake processor @ 1.10 GHz / 2.20 GHz (Burst frequency) with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200/700 MHz  (6W TDP) System Memory – 4 or 8 GB DDR3 Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash, internal SATA bay, M.2 SSD slot up to 512 GB, micro SD card slot up to 128GB Video Output […]

Intel to Launch Optane Memory M.2 Cards for Desktop PCs Next Month for $44 and Up

Intel launched their first Optane SSD based on 3D Xpoint technology for the enterprise/datacenter market last week, and now the company has announced 16GB and 32GB consumer grade Optane memory will start selling in April starting at $44. The cards will follow M.2 card (80mm) form factor, use a dual PCIe NVMe 3.0 interface, and currently only works with Optane compatible motherboards with 7th generation Intel Core processors. Intel promises boot times that are twice as fast, 28% better overall performance, and 65% faster game level loads thanks to vastly improved random I/O performance. We can see some of the specs for both cards on Intel website. I reproduced some of the performance reliability data in the table below. 32GB Optane Memory 16GB Optane Memory Sequential Read (up to) Up to 1350 MB/s Up to 900 MB/s Sequential Write (up to) Up to 290 MB/s Up to 145 MB/s Random […]

Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X is the First SSD based on 3D Xpoint Technology

3D Xpoint – pronounced “3D cross point” – was introduced in 2015 with the promise of delivering a 1000 times boost in performance and durability compared to NAND flash, and a density that 10 times better than DRAM. The next year, expectations were lowered quite a bit, when Intel presented a comparison between a high performance “NAND” SSD and a 3X point SSD prototype showing 7.23 times higher IOPS performance. The company has now launched its first 3D Xpoint product with Optane SSD DC P4800X with 375GB capacity. Optane SSD DC P4800X specifications: Capacity – 375GB Interface – PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe Form Factor – Add-in-Card (AIC); Half-height, Half-length, Low-profile Latency (typical) R/W – <10μs Quality of Service (QoS)  99.999% 4kB 5 Random Queue Depth 1, R/W: <60/100 μs 4kB Random Queue Depth 16, R/W: <150/200 μs Throughput IOPS Random 4kB R/W – Up to 550/500k IOPS Random 4kB 70/30 […]

Voyo (V1) VMac Mini Apollo Lake Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10

Voyo VMac Mini, also sometimes referred to just Voyo V1, is an actively cooled mini PC powered by Intel Celeron N3450 or Pentium N4200 Apollo Lake processor. I’ve received samples for both, and already taken pictures of the device and motherboard. So in the second part I’ll review the mini PC checking out system info, running some benchmarks on both, and see how it performs as an entry-level desktop PC. Voyo VMac Mini Setup and System Information Setup is pretty straightforward, as you just need to connect mouse and keyboard, Ethernet, the mini HDMI to HDMI cable, optionally the included USB WiFi dongle, the power supply, and finally press the power button to get to Windows 10 desktop logged in as “admin” user in about 30 seconds. Some Apollo Lake mini PCs support HDMI 2.0 video output, but this requires a DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 bridge chip, which not included […]

Fasetto LINK 256GB to 2TB SSD Portable WiFi NAS is Powered by Samsung Exynos 7420 Processor

Fasetto LINK is a wireless portable storage for your smartphone, camera, or other device, includes 256GB, 512GB, or 2TB SSD storage, and – for some reasons – is based on a rather powerful Samsung Exynos 7420 octa-core processor coupled with 4GB RAM. The device can also take expansion blocks to add extra battery or/and LTE connectivity via pogo pins. LINK specifications: SoC – Samsung Exynos 7420 octa core big.LITTLE processor with 4x Cortex A57 core @ 2.1GHz + 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 1.5Ghz, and Mali-T760 MP8 GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 256GB, 512GB, or 2TB Samsung NVMe SSD Connectivity – 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0, optical LTE via expansion block Expansion – 17-pin ball connector USB – USB type C port Battery – 1,300 mAh battery (2 weeks standby; 5 hours streaming); optional 1120mAh expansion block (total: 4 weeks standby; 8 hours streaming) Dimensions – 5.08 x […]