ECS LIVA Mini Box QC710 Desktop – A $219 Windows on Arm Developer Kit

The “Snapdragon QC710 Developer Kit” for Windows 10 on Arm app development was unveiled last May, and it’s now available for $219 on Microsoft Store as the “ECS LIVA Mini Box QC710 Desktop”. The developer kit can also be purchased at a discount for $197.10 by students, parents(!), teachers, and members of the military. I suppose this applies only to the US military and showing your Taliban membership card may not work. The developer kit looks like a standard mini PC and features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform (SC7180), 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, HDMI output, 10/100M Ethernet and WiFi 5, and several USB ports. ECS LIVA Mini Box QC710 Desktop specifications: SoC –  Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform (SC7180) with octa-core Qualcomm Kryo 468 (2x Cortex-A76, 6x Cortex-A55) CPU @ up to 2.4 GHz, Adreno 618 GPU System Memory – 4GB Storage – 64GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card […]

Low-cost AMD Mini PC offered with AMD 3020e APU or Ryzen R1305 embedded processor

While there’s a fair amount of AMD mini PC’s, few target the low-cost segment of the market. Maxtang MTN-FP50 offers a cheaper option with either AMD 3020e dual-core APU or AMD Ryzen Embedded R1305 dual-core processor, and pricing starting at around $250 shipped with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. The mini PC is equipped with two HDMI ports for dual 4K monitor setups, Gigabit Ethernet, five USB 3.0/2.0 ports, and can be upgraded in various ways thanks to SO-DIMM sockets for up to 64GB RAM, M.2 socket for SSD, SATA port for a 2.5-inch drive, and another M.2 slot for the wireless module. Maxtang MTN-FP50 specifications: SoC Mobile processor – AMD 3020E APU with 2-core/2-thread processor @ 1.2GHz / 2.6 GHz (Max Boost frequency, 3x CU Radeon Vega 3 graphics @ 1.0 GHz ; 6W TDP (The manufacturer offers optional AMD 2500U or 3500U 15W processor) Embedded processor – AMD […]

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Khadas VIM4 SBC

MeLE Quieter2 is an ultra-thin fanless mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron J4125 processor

Intel Celeron J4125 Gemini Lake Refresh is found in several interesting hardware platforms include Chuwi Larkbox and Beelink Gemini M mini PC’s, as well as the just-announced ODYSSEY-X86J4125 SBC. There’s now another option with MeLE Quieter2 mini PC, that is even smaller than the Gemini M mini PC, albeit slightly thicker, and more important does without the fan, as a completely fanless, silent design as the name implies. MeLE Quieter2 specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron J4125 quad-core Gemini Lake Refresh processor @ 2.00 GHz / 2.7 GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD Graphics 600; 10W TDP System Memory – 8GB LPDDR4 Storage – 128GB or 256GB eMMC flash, M.2 2280 SATA/NVMe socket, MicroSD card reader Video Output – 2x HDMI 2.0 ports up to 4K @ 60 Hz Audio – 3.5mm headphone+mic jack, digital audio output via HDMI Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port, dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 and  Bluetooth 4.2 USB […]

Using an eGPU with a mini PC

Mini PCs have grown in popularity in part due to their small form-factor offering low-powered basic computing with sufficient ports for connectivity. As such they are useful both in commercial settings such as digital signage as well as with consumers needing a small-footprint or VESA-mounted low-cost computer. However, one drawback is their limited graphical performance due to using CPUs with integrated graphics which results in the options for playing games being somewhat restricted and ‘AAA’ titles typically being unplayable. Lower-priced laptops often share the same drawback and one of the ways that users have addressed their graphical need is by utilizing an external GPU (eGPU) however the commercially available ones are both expensive and require connecting via a Thunderbolt 3 port. Unfortunately, not many Chinese-made mini PCs currently include a Thunderbolt 3 port however now that they have started to include M.2 NVMe ports this has created the possibility of […]

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max mini PC international giveaway

Right before Christmas,  I posted a review of MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max mini PC powered by an Intel Pentium J5005 Gemini Lake processor coupled with 8GB RAM and a 240GB SSD. It’s basically the same as the previously reviewed MINIX NEO J50C-4 except for the extra memory and faster & higher capacity SSD storage. MINIX asked me if I could do a giveaway of three units on CNX Software after the review, and I thought it would be a good idea so here we are. I wanted to complete the review before launching the giveaway and tested MINIX NEO J50C-4 Max with the pre-installed Windows 10 Pro. I worked just as well as the previous model with no CPU throttling and the performance one should expect from a Gemini Lake processor, but you may want to add an extra 8GB memory stick to take advantage of the higher bandwidth provided […]

Beelink GT-R Review – An AMD Ryzen 5 Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04

Whilst Windows mini PCs have traditionally used Intel processors similar small form factor (SFF) devices using AMD based processors have recently been announced and Beelink is amongst the first manufacturers to deliver one with their newly released GT-R mini PC. Available as a barebones device and in various configurations Beelink sent a fully configured model for review. Hardware overview The Beelink GT-R is a slightly larger mini PC physically consisting of a 168 mm x 120 mm x 39 mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case with a plastic top. It is an actively cooled mini PC that uses a (previous generation) Zen+ microarchitecture 12 nm Ryzen 5 3550H mobile processor which is a quad-core 8-thread 2.1 GHz processor boosting to 3.7 GHz with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. The front panel has a power button, two 3.0 USB ports, a headphone jack, and a Type-C USB port […]

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Intel Issues Product Discontinuance Schedule for Gemini Lake Processors

Intel Gemini Lake low power processors based on Goldmont Plus architecture were announced in 2017 as successors of Apollo Lake family with the official launch in 2018 fairly quickly followed by a supply shortage… But the processors have still been used in plenty of sub-$250 mini PCs, and some SBCs like ODROID-H2 or ODYSSEY-X86J4105, as well as a few laptops. More recently, the company announced Gemini Lake Refresh family, but to my surprise, Intel has already issued several product discontinuance notices for the several Gemini Lake (Refresh) processors. Affected Gemini Lake processors include: PCN117653-00 Intel Celeron J4005, J4105, J4115 Intel Celeron N4000, N4100 PCN117657-00 Intel Celeron Processor N4000C Intel Pentium Silver J5005, Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Intel has two end-of-life notifications because the schedule is slightly different: PCN117653-00 Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins: July 6, 2020 Product Discontinuance Demand To Local Intel Representative: October 9, 2020 Last Corporate Assurance Product […]

ASUS PN50 – The World’s First AMD Ryzen 4000U Mini PC

AMD Ryzen 4000-U Series family was announced in January with the 15W processors targetting ultra-thin laptops. It’s already been found in laptops and the first reviews of Acer Swift 3 were positive with the laptop being slim, fast, and offering long battery life. But I had yet to see an AMD Ryzen 4000U mini PC until today, with ASUS PN50 mini PC shipping with a choice of five processors from AMD Ryzen 3 4300U to Ryzen 7 4800U, and a design identical to the company’s PN60 mini PC powered by Intel Kaby Lake Refresh processors. ASUS PN50 specifications: SoC (one or the other) AMD Ryzen 7 4800U 8C/16T processor up to 1.8 / 4.2 GHz with 8-core Radeon Graphics; 12MB L2/L3 cache AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 8C/8T processor up to 2.0 / 4.1 GHz with 7-core Radeon Graphics; 12MB L2/L3 cache AMD Ryzen 5 4600U 6C/12T processor up to 2.1 […]

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