Beelink U59 Review – Windows 11, Ubuntu on a Jasper Lake mini PC

Beelink U59 review

Coupling a German submarine with a North American lake seems a perfect match in this topsy-turvy supply-constrained COVID-19 broken world we find ourselves in but that’s just what Beelink has figuratively done by launching their new Intel Jasper Lake mini PC, the U59. Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows 11 and Ubuntu 20.04. Beelink U59 Hardware Overview The Beelink U59 physically consists of a 124 x 113 x 42mm (4.88 x 4.45 x 1.65 inches) square plastic case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses Intel’s new 10 nm Jasper Lake N5095 processor which is a quad-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz Celeron processor boosting to 2.90 GHz with Intel’s UHD Graphics. The front panel has an illuminated power button, dual USB 3.1 ports, a Type-C USB 3.0 port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a reset pin-hole ‘CLR CMOS’. […]

How to upgrade a mini PC to Windows 11 and install WSL

Windows 11 WSL Ubuntu App

In this short article, I show how to install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and how to force the upgrade of Windows 10 to Windows 11 in a mini PC rather than waiting for Windows to offer it. The reason I’ve coupled these two topics together is not because there is any dependency, but simply as I use WSL to help me perform administrative tasks like downloading and copying files when installing applications on Windows mini PCs. WSL installation Installing WSL has recently become so simple it is worth doing just to gain the flexibility it offers for so little effort. Now you only need to open ‘Windows Terminal (Admin)’ and enter wsl –install: then reboot for Ubuntu to start installing, during which you will be asked to create your user with a password, which finishes in Ubuntu: Further information about installing WSL can be found in Microsoft’s documentation. Now […]

Windows Subsystem for Android introduced on Windows 11

Amazon Appstore Windows 11 Android apps

Following up on the company’s Windows Subsystem for Linux, Microsoft has now introduced the Windows Subsystem for Android that allows Windows 11 users to install Android apps either through the Amazon Appstore or the Microsoft Store. At this time, it is officially reserved for Windows Insiders part of the Beta Channel in the United States on eligible devices running Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm platforms, and at this time 50 apps are available with mobile games such as Lords Mobile, June’s Journey, or Coin Master, the Kindle app for reading books, and kids content that includes Khan Academy Kids and Lego Duply World. More apps are obviously planned, and as I’ll see later there are ways for any Windows 11 users to install Android apps. The Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) is not installed by default, but it will be automatically installed if you either install the Amazon Appstore, the Amazon […]

ASUS PN41 mini PC offers 2.5GbE networking for $169 and up

2.5GbE mini PC

When I looked for an SBC or a mini PC with 2.5GbE networking following the discontinuance of ODROID-H2+ SBC, I focused on systems with dual 2.5GbE ports to closely match Hardkernel’s SBC specifications, and most of those systems were rather expensive. But if a single 2.5 GbE port is enough for your application, then there’s a good alternative to ODROID-H2+ with ASUS PN41 mini PC powered by a choice of Jasper Lake processors, and pricing starting at $169 on Amazon for a barebone model with an Intel Celeron N4500 dual-core processor. ASUS PN41 mini PC specifications: Jasper Lake N-Series SoC (one or the other) Pentium Silver N6005 quad-core processor @ 2.0GHz / 3.3GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD graphics; 10W TDP Celeron N5105 quad-core processor @  2.0GHz / 2.9GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 10W TDP Celeron N4505 dual-core processor @ 2.0GHz / 2.9GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 10W TDP Pentium Silver […]

Windows Subsystem for Linux can be installed from the Microsoft store in Windows 11

Windows Subsystem for Linux Microsoft Store

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that offered a Ubuntu Bash on Windows was first introduced in 2016, as more and more developers required a Linux environment within Windows, and Microsoft kept on improving it with, for instance, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 released in 2019 bringing an actual Linux kernel, improved performance, and Docker support. Until now, WSL was an optional component inside of Windows, requiring you to go to the “Turn Windows Features on or off” dialogue to enable it, and restart your machine. But Microsoft has now announced you can install (a preview of) Windows Subsystem for Linux directly from the Microsoft Store as long as you run Windows 11. The change also means your WSL will be up-to-date as Microsoft pushes new features and bug fixes, and you do not need to modify/update your Windows version to get the latest changes. You’ll still need to go […]

Windows 11 can run on Arm SystemReady ES platforms like Raspberry Pi 4, Solidrun SBC’s, etc…

Windows 11 ACPI ARM64-based PC

While Windows 11 may have some problems running some x86 machines, I previously saw Windows 11 Arm on Raspberry Pi 4 with instructions telling you to download the images from UUP Dump and flash the ISO with Windows on Raspberry Pi Imager. At the time, I did not look into details, and it seemed was some hack involved, but I’ve just been told Windows 11 could also run without modification on some SolidRun’s single board computers, namely MacchiatoBin and CN913x CEx7 evaluation board. Marcin Wojtas explains Windows 11 Pro (version 22000.168) could be installed unmodified on an Arm computer based on MacchiatoBin mini-ITX board equipped with an NVIDIA Geforce GT630 GPU (using EFI Frame Buffer), a SATA SSD, connected through Ethernet (via USB2ETH), plus a mouse and keyboard. So what’s the trick, and what do Raspberry Pi 4 and a board like MacchiatoBin have in common? Answer: Arm SystemReady ES […]

Zotac ZBOX C-series nano fanless Tiger Lake mini PCs announced

Zotac ZBOX-C Tiger Lake

Three new Zotac ZBOX C-series nano fanless mini PCs with Tiger Lake processors have just been listed on the Zotac HK website. We wrote about Simply NUC’s Tiger Canyon Porcoolpine fanless Tiger lake mini PC last week, but getting more choices is great with the ZOTAC ZBOX CI625 nano (Core i3-1115G4), CI645 nano (Core i5-1135G7), and CI665 nano (Core i7-1165G7) mini PCs. The new computers are offered barebone with support for up to 64GB DDR4, SATA and NVMe storage, as well as HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 4K video outputs, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, WiFi 5, and more. ZBOX CI6x5 nano specifications: SoC ZBOX CI625 nano – Intel Core i3-1115G4 dual-core processor @ 3.0GHz, up to 4.1GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD graphics; 28W TDP ZBOX CI645 nano – Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core processor @ 2.4GHz, up to 4.2GHz (Turbo) with Intel Xe graphics; 28W TDP ZBOX CI665 nano – Intel […]

ARM64EC mixes Arm and x64 emulated code in Windows 11 for higher performance on Arm

ARM64EC Windows 11

Windows has been available on Arm for a few years, and while software support has progressed there have always been some limitations, and emulated x86/x64 code on Arm does not usually run as fast as native ARM32/ARM64 code. So far developers had a binary choice: run their x86/x64 app on Arm using emulation, or port the entire app to Arm, But Microsoft has now come up with a solution that mixes x64 emulation and native Arm with ARM64EC (Emulation Compatible). That means developers won’t need to port the complete app to Arm, but instead could do so step-by-step and focus on part of the code where native Arm support makes the most difference. Microsoft explains: ARM64EC is a new application binary interface (ABI) for Windows 11 on ARM that runs with native speed and is interoperable with x64. An app, process, or even a module can freely mix and match […]