MINIX NEO J50C-4 Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Pro

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Wireless Keyboard Mouse

Intel Gemini Lake processors and associated have been products  available for several months, and although I’ve published several Gemini Lake reviews, those were courtesy of Linuxium, which means MINIX NEO J50C-4 is my very first Gemini Lake mini PC. We’ve already looked at the hardware and accessories in MINIX NEO J50C-4 Pentium J5005 Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Windows Remote, M.2 SSD, and Teardown, and focused on MINIX NEO W2 remote control in a separate review post.  So in the second part of the review, I’ll focus on my experience with Windows 10 Pro, before likely publishing a third part about Ubuntu / Linux in a few weeks. Initial Setup, BIOS, and Booting MINIX NEO J50C-4 from the M.2 SSD The review will be a little different than usual since I’m on the road, and as a result I did not take all my accessories with me to travel light. I also had to find a room with …

MINIX NEO W2 PC Remote Control Review in Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04

MINIX NEO W2 Backlight Keyboard

MINIX NEO W2 is sold as a Windows 10 remote control with one side acting as an actual remote with shortcuts to useful Windows functions and programs, another side as a keyboard, as well as a motion sensors to use it as an air mouse. I received it with MINIX NEO J50C-4 Windows 10 Pro mini PC, so I tested it today both with Windows 10, and Ubuntu 18.04. Batteries and Backlight I’ve already looked at the package and remote hardware in the NEO post linked above, so let’s get to it by first installing two AAA battery on either side of the keyboard side. A cool feature you’ll immediately noticed is that both sides of the remote control are actually backlight, with Fn and CapsLock key also changing color to red when they are enabled. The backlight is automatically turn off after 4 seconds, but as you can see below the Caplocks and Fn keys status remains visible in …

Sunvell H3 Allwinner H3 TV Box with 2GB RAM Sells for $27.99 (Promo)

There aren’t that many Allwinner H3 TV boxes with some models coming to mind being Zidoo X1 or Beelink X2, but of which appear to be phased out. If you are just looking for Android boxes, Amlogic S905X/S905W boxes are probably better options due to better support for video playback, but if you have desktop/server Linux in mind, then Allwinner H3 may be considered, and Beelink X2 used to be supported in Armbian, but is now EOS (End-of-Support). Nevertheless, it should still be possible to run Linux on Allwinner H3 TV boxes with some efforts, and GearBest now has a promotion for Sunvell H3 TV box which comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB flash, and sells for $27.99 plus some small shipping fee ($0.68 here). Sunvell H3 specifications: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Arm Cortex A7 with quad core Mali-400MP2 System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 64 GB …

Snapdragon Wear 3100 Smartwatch Platform to Deliver Longer Battery Life

Qualcomm Wear 3100 Block Diagram

Qualcomm introduced Snapdragon Wear 2100 in 2016 for wearables, and the processor ended up in several products such as LG Watch Style / Sport smartwatch. Since then the company released other Wear platform for specific applications such as 4G kid watches with Snapdragon Wear 2500, or wearable IoT applications with Snapdragon Wear 1250 offering NB-IoT and eMTC connectivity. The company has now announced Snapdragon Wear 3100 “smartwatch platform” still based on four Arm Cortex A7 cores, but also including a new ultra-low power co-processor to further extend battery life. Snapdragon Wear 3100 “MSM8909w” or “APQ8009w” specifications: CPU – Quad core Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz GPU – Qualcomm Adreno 304 GPU Co-processor – QCC1110 Display – Up to 640×480 at 60fps via MIPI and/or SPI interfaces Cellular Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 LTE modem with peak download speed of 1 Gbps, and peak upload speed of 150 Mbps RF – WTR2965 Qualcomm RF front-end solution (RFFE); QPA4630/QSW8573/QET4101 RFFE with GaAs …

Make Your Phone Readable under the Sun with Anti-glare Covers, Sunshades, etc…

phone-sunshade

So I rented a bicycle to have a small cycling trip, and since I like to take smaller roads, and did not know the way, decided to use my phone as GPS. This works normally well while walking, but I realized this “solution” is rather a disaster while cycling. I don’t have a phone holder for bicycle, so instead I used a armband on my forearm, until somehow my phone fell and I broke the glass screen, and moved it up to my upper arm. The reason I first moved it to my forearm was because it’s easier to read, but in any cases, I really struggled to look at the GPS map due to the brightness of the phone – set to the maximum –  as sunlight and resulting glare, especially when looking at an angle made it impossible to use. So I had to wait for the rare shadows along the way, or stop from time to time …

Khadas is Working on more RK3399 / RK3399Pro Boards, Projector Development Kit, AR Kit

Khadas Edge-V vs Khadas Edge

Shenzhen Wesion had already unveiled their Khadas Edge board that works both as a system-on-module and a standalone SBC thanks to an MXM3 connector on one side, and traditional HDMI and USB ports on the other. The Rockchip RK3399 board will be launched on Indiegogo a little later. But the company is working on a few more boards and development kits all based on Rockchip RK3399 or the upcoming RK3399Pro processor with neural processing unit (NPU) for AI workloads acceleration. First we have Khadas Edge-V, very similar to Khadas Edge but with a 40-pin IO header replacing the MXM3 connector, and following Khadas VIM form factor and ports, so for example we get an Ethernet port as well as an extra USB 3.0 port instead of USB 2.0 on Edge. As mentioned in Khadas Edge announcement, the company is also working on Khadas Captain carrier board with MXM3 socket. So we have three options for development, and while AFAIK the company …

How to Make a Low Cost DIY SD Card Duplicator

If you have to duplicate many SD cards for example to boot Raspbian on multiple Raspberry Pi board, one option is buy one of those SD card duplicators, but the problem is that they are not really cheap, for example the Systor 1-to-7 cards model sells for $540. Bob Brown, a retired senior lecturer, is now teaching K-12 students how to get started with Raspberry Pi boards, and must prepare bootable SD cards for his class. In order to save time, a duplicator would have been nice, but the price is too high, so instead he went with a DIY solution. You’ll first need some hardware, including a powered USB hub with the number of cards you want to duplicate, and corresponding SD card reader, and a larger micro SD card to hold Raspbian and/or other operating systems (optional, only for Raspberry Pi based duplicator). Mr. Brown made a 10-port SD card duplicator (1-to-9) for just under $100. One the …

STMicro STM32F7x0 & H7x0 Value Line Microcontrollers Deliver Cortex-M7 Performance at Lower Cost

STMicro introduces their first Arm Cortex-M7 microcontrollers in 2014 with STM32F7 series clocked up to 200 MHz. The next year, Atmel – now Microchip – announced SAM S70 & SAM E70 Cortex-M7 MCU families clocked at up to 300 MHz, STMicro up the ante to 400 MHz with their STM32H7 family in 2016, and more recently NXP launched their i.MX RT series “crossover” processor with the Cortex-M7 reaching up to 600 MHz. AFAIK, nobody has tried to push the clock speeds higher, but STMicroelectronics must  recently unveiled  STM32F7x0 & H7x0 Value Line microcontrollers with the same performance level as their earlier STM32F7 and STM32H7 MCUs, but with a lower price by reducing the amount of internal flash. Three Cortex-M7 value line families have been introduced: STM32F730 entry-level MCU @ 216MHz with 64KB flash, 8KB data / instructions cache, 256KB RAM and 16KB+64KB TCM (Tightly Coupled Memory). The microcontroller also includes cryptographic hardware acceleration, a USB 2.0 High Speed port with …