Posts Tagged ‘bben’

Bben MN10 Apollo Lake PC Stick Comes with 3GB RAM, 64GB Flash, Windows 10 Home or Pro

August 31st, 2017 7 comments

Back in April, BBen showcased their “Micro computer”, an Apollo Lake mini PC in stick form factor, at the Hong Kong Global Sources Electronics Fair, which was scheduled to launch in July. With about one month delay, the company is now selling Bben MN10 PC Stick starting at $157.30 including with an unlicensed Windows 10 installation, but also offer Windows 10 Home, and Windows 10 Pro for an extra $21.39 and $30.33 respectively.

BBen MN10 HDMI TV stick specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3350 dual core processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.4 GHz, 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 650 MHz; 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 3 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Video Output – HDMI port
  • Audio – HDMI + 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Misc – Fan and ventilation holes,
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 110.6 x 45.5 x 13.8 mm
  • Weight – 70 grams

The specifications are somewhat similar to ECDREAM A9 PC Stick, with the same processor, mostly the same interfaces, and active cooling, but the RAM is limited to 3GB, storage is larger at 64GB, and the BBen model adds an audio jack. MN10 will feel more like an actual stick with a 45.5 mm width compared to 58 mm for ECDREAM model.The mini PC ships with a power adapter, a HDMI cable, a user guide, and a warranty card. In case you plan to connect a USB hard drive, the company recommends a low power external hard drive (5V/1A), or to connect it via “the USB 2.0 port”, which in this case must be mean connect it via a USB 2.0 hub, and not directly to the USB 3.0 port. The product is not listed on the company website just yet, but eventually we should find it on the company’s “mini PC” page.


Intel Mini PCs Sold with Ubuntu on Aliexpress

August 4th, 2017 7 comments

Many low power mini PCs equipped with Intel Bay Trail, Cherry Trail, Braswell, or Apollo Lake processors have been launched over the years, but most of those come pre-loaded with Windows 10, and many readers of this blog prefer to run a Linux distribution. It’s usually possible to install Ubuntu by yourself, but not always, and when you buy a Windows 10, this increases the price by several dollars (around $20). The ideal case would be to get such low power, low cost mini PCs pre-installed with a recent version of Ubuntu, without having to worry (too much) about hardware support, nor having to pay the “Windows tax”. MeLE used to sell Ubuntu mini PCs on Aliexpress, but sadly not anymore, so I went to Aliexpress to look for those Ubuntu mini PCs, and BBen offers three operating systems options for some of their systems with “Windows 10 Activated”, “Windows 10 pre-loaded” and “Ubuntu”.

The last two options have the same price, and the “Windows 10 Activated” adds $17 for the discounted Windows 10 license. I found two such models with an Ubuntu option: MN-C200 mini PC (left) and MN9 TV stick (right) powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processor starting respectively at $148.99 and $97.99 including shipping with 2GB RAM and Ubuntu, but you can also select 4GB RAM model. I could not find any more recent Apollo Lake models sold with Ubuntu pre-installed on any Aliexpress sellers. BBen does not specify the Ubuntu version used, so I asked for that information for the MN-C200 model, and the answer is somewhat perplexing at first:

It is 16.04 Ubuntu version.
But we don’t suggest the Ubuntu system. because you couldn’t adjust the time after we have set it well for you. Please know that.
We also have another mini pc that supports Ubuntu. You could have a look.
Thanks for your work and understanding. Any other question or anything I could do for you, just contact me freely. I will do my best to assist you.

The good news is that Ubuntu 16.04 is installed, but somehow it’s not possible to adjust the time in MN-C200, while it’s no problem with MN9 TV stick? I guess they mean the front panel clock display shown in the top photo does not work in Ubuntu, which may not be a big issue.

I continued searching for other Ubuntu computers up to $150, and many sellers are using “Ubuntu” are a SEO word, just to indicate that you could install it yourself, and/or get more traffic to their page. The only other alternative I found was MeegoPad T02, but it comes with an unsupported Ubuntu 14.10 version. The only advantage is that it’s quite cheaper than BBen MN9 at $80.84 shipped. So overall the choices are extremely limited, if you want a computer pre-installed with Ubuntu.

Bben to Launch an Apollo Lake HDMI TV Stick Powered by Intel Celeron N3450 Processor

April 17th, 2017 4 comments

Intel is planning to launch “Michigan City” Apollo Lake Compute Sticks sometimes with year, but Bben, after launching MN17A Apollo Lake mini PC, may be able to launch their own Celeron N3450 TV stick before Intel does, as Netbook Italia reports the company showcased such product at the Hong Kong Global Sources Electronics Fair.

Bben Applo Lake “Micro Computer” (foreground) vs Cherry Trail Stick (background)

Bben Micro computer  specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz, 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz; 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 2 to 4GB DDR3
  • Storage – 32 or 64 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI port (likely limited to 1.4 version with 4K @ 30 Hz max resolution/framerate)
  • Audio – HDMI + 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Misc – Fan and ventilation holes
  • Power Supply – TBD via power barrel
  • Dimensions & Weight – TBD (Metal housing)

The stick, whose name is still to be decided, will run Windows 10 or Android (version TBD), including a dual boot version. The first part of the video below introduced the Cherry Trail TV sticks, before a short description of the Apollo Lake one, and other products.

The new TV stick should be released this summer for a yet-to-be-determined price. You’ll likely be able to purchase it from Bben Official Aliexpress store once it comes out.

$175 Bben MN17A Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake Mini PC Comes with an mSATA SSD Slot

February 16th, 2017 9 comments

The first Apollo Lake mini PC available from China was Voyo V1 VMac Mini with a Celeron N3450 or Pentium N4200 processor, but there’s now a new model with Bben MN17A with Celeron N3450, 4GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC flash, and the ability to add your own storage via an SSD bay.

Bben MN17A mini PC specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz and 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz; 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR3L (up to 8GB)
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash (Options for 16, 64 or 128 GB) + mSATA SSD bay + micro SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4b port up to 4K @ 30 Hz
  • Audio – HDMI + 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Fast Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.2 (Intel 3165 wireless card)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) type C port, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – Reset and power buttons, power LED
  • Power Supply – 12V/1.5A via power barrel or USB type C port
  • Dimensions – 145 x 70 x 17.35 cm

The device comes with a fan, so we’ve yet to get an fanless Apollo Lake mini PC coming out of China. The specifications are fairly similar to the ones of Voyo VMac Mini, except for the slower Fast Ethernet port, a full HDMI port replacing a mini HDMI port, and better wireless connectivity with 802.11 ac and BLE 4.2. The SATA bay is a small advantage over Voyo VMac Mini which can also be upgraded but needs a teardown. The product page does not mention whether it’s an mSATA or M.2 interface, but after a chat with Bben, they confirmed it was a mSATA interface.

You can get the computer with 4GB RAM and 32GB for as low as $175 shipped, as long as you select an unlicensed version of Windows 10. If you want an activated version of Windows 10, it will cost you $14.50 extra. You may also consider purchasing from BBen official Aliexpress store instead with pricing starting at $167.50 + shipping. For reference, Voyo V1 Vmac Mini mini PC with Celeron N3450, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, and Windows 10 Home activated sells for $159 including shipping.