Vorke V1 Braswell mini PC Unboxing and Teardown

Vorke V1 is a Braswell mini PC pre-loaded with Windows 10, powered by an Intel Celeron J3160 quad core with 4GB RAM, 64 GB internal storage, and two important features if you want to use it as a desktop PC: support for internal 2.5″ hard drive, and dual display support via HDMI and VGA ports. GeekBuying sent me a sample for review, and I’ll do a two part review, starting with pictures of the device, and its internal, before publishing the second part testing the performance, stability and features of the mini PC. Vorke V1 Unboxing There’s not much to say about the package, as it’s just a bland carton box with a sticker with Vorke V1 name, processor and memory info. The mini PC ships with a 19V/2.1A power supply and a power cord, as well as a mounting bracket and 5 screws for 2.5″ SATA SSD or HDD. […]

ARM Cortex-R8 Real-Time Processor targets SSDs, LTE Advanced and 5G Modems, and Other Embedded Applications

ARM Cortex-A processor may get all the media buzz as they are found in popular consumer devices such as smartphones, but ARM also provides Cortex-R processors with real-time capabilities that are found in cars, hard drives, and other embedded systems requiring high reliability, fault tolerance, and deterministic real-time responses. The company has just announced Cortex-R8 real-time core that should double the performance of Cortex-R7 core, and targeting mainly storage devices such as SSDs and HDDs, as well as next generation LTE and 5G modems. Cortex-R8 key features: Microarchitecture – 11-stage pipeline with instruction pre-fetch, branch prediction, superscalar and out of order execution, register renaming, parallel execution paths for load-store, MAC, shift-ALU, divide and floating-point. Also features a hardware divider and is software compatible with the ARM9, ARM11, Cortex-R4, Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 embedded processors. Instruction Set – ARMv7-R architecture with Thumb-2 and Thumb. Support for DSP extensions, as well as an […]

Voyo V3 Intel Atom x7-Z8700 mini PC Review with Windows 10

Voyo V3 is one of the first Cherry Trail mini PCs based on Intel Atom x7-Z8700 quad processor that promises both higher CPU and GPU performance, and more I/O connectivity compared to Intel Atom x5 platforms.  I’ve already posted pictures of the device and its guts in the first part of the review,  so today in part 2 of the review, I’ll focus on testing how the device perform with its pre-installed operating system: Windows 10 Home. Setup and System Information There’s no much to say about setup for this device, since all you have to do is to connect the cable, and press the button to access Windows 10 desktop. There are however two interesting aspect of the boot process: As you connect the power supply, you’ll see the power button blue LED lit, but it does not mean it has started. I could see the power consumption was […]

WeTek Play+ Amlogic S905 Android Set-Top Box Features a Tuner with a SmartCard Reader and an mSATA SSD Bay

When WeTek announced the WeTek Core, some people were disappointed that they did not include a tuner like in the original WeTek Play, but the company has been working on a successor called Wetek Play+ that is based on Amlogic S905-H quad core processor and supports DVB-S/S2, DVB-C/T/T2, ISDB-T and ATSC tuners with a smartcard reader, as well as an extra store with an half-size SSD slot. WeTek Play+ specifications: SoC –  Amlogic S905-H (Revision C) quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0GHz with  penta-core Mali-450MP GPU @ 750 MHz System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC 5.0 flash + micro SD card slot + mSATA SSD socket (implemented via USB to SATA) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with HDCP 2.2 support, and AV port Audio – HDMI, AV (stereo), optical S/PDIF Tuners – Support for DVB-S2, DVB-C/T/T2, ISDB-T and […]

Add an SSD, WiFi, and RTC to Your Raspberry Pi 2 Board with a $49 CSB502SSD Add-on Board (Crowdfunding)

If you wish your Raspberry Pi 2 could be a little more responsive, including WiFi connectivity and keep the time even when network is not available, and a few extra goodies then Pi 2 Design‘s CSB502SSD add-ons board (Raspberry Pi HAT) could be worth a look. CSB502SSD technical specifications: Storage – mSATA socket for up to 1TB on-board storage via PL2571 USB to SATA bridge controller USB – 2x extra USB 2.0 ports Connectivity – GWF-3M08 WiFi 802.11 b/g/n module (Ralink RT5370) with IPEX connector and up to 150 Mbps connection. Real Time Clock – DS1339 with 16mm coin cell battery backup and programmable alarm. Sensors – 1-Wire DS18B20 temperature sensor to monitor the health of SSD drive. 64-bit ID to identify the shield Power Supply – 8V-24V DC input (Up to 27.5W) for peripherals and Raspberry Pi 2. Dimensions – Full size Raspberry Pi 2 I/O Shield Since the […]

Add an SSD to Your Laptop with a $5 Optical Drive Caddy Adapter

Performance of computers are often limited by their hard drive performance, and if you’ve ever upgraded from a mechanical hard drive to a SSD, you’ll be fully aware of the massive boost achieved by that upgrade. Many laptops come with a hard drive and a DVD drive, and if you’re not using the DVD drive that much or at all, you could purchase an ultra cheap optical drive caddy adapter to install an SSD into your laptop, or just another 2.5″ hard drive if you need extra storage. You’ll need to insert the SSD into the caddy, and replace the CD/DVD drive by the caddy. I’ve been informed of this trick via a link on eBay taht’s for an optical caddy adapter specifically for Lenovo IdeaPad Z50-70 B50-30, but if you search for “hdd optical caddy” you’ll find several “universal” optical caddy adapter for HDD and SSD with 12.7mm or […]

Review of Voyo V2 Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC with Battery and SSD

Voyo V2 is another Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC pre-installed with Windows 10 Home, but it has some interesting features such as a 64GB SSD connected via a USB to SATA bridge on top of the regular 32GB eMMC, and a 5,000 mAh battery acting as a UPS. Since I have already received several of such platforms including MeLE PCG01, Wintel W8, and MeLE PCG03 and that there are usually few differences in regular benchmarks, I’ll focus on what varies between platforms: Windows activation status, storage and network performance, as well as power consumption. System Info and Windows Activation One of the shortcoming of this mini PC is that it only comes with a full sized USB port, and a micro USB port. So if you plan to use it as a PC with USB keyboard and mouse, you’ll need to use a USB hub, or at least a USB […]

Voyo V2 mini PC Unboxing and Teardown

Voyo V2 would be yet another Intel Atom Z3735F based mini PC if it did not have a battery, and 96GB internal storage with 32GB eMMC flash, and a 64GB SSD. Most Atom mini PCs only comes with 32GB, and based on my experience, internal storage fills pretty quickly with Windows 10 or 8.1, especially if you intend to use the device as a desktop PC, and that even may be an issue with Linux distributions, albeit to a lesser extend. However, a lot of questions were asked about that “64GB SSD”, with even some readers suggesting it might be an internal SD card instead of SSD :). Today, we’re going to find out the truth as GearBest kindly sent me a sample for review. Voyo V2 Unboxing The mini PC package has a sticker in Chinese showing the brand (VOYO), model (MiniPC-Box_V2), and listing memory ans storage as “2GB+32GB […]