ODROID-H2 Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 19.04

ODROID-H2 Review

After many months of delays due to Intel not mass-producing Gemini Lake processors, Hardkernel started selling ODROID-H2 again, more exactly ODROID-H2 Rev. B, and the end of last month, and the company sent me a full kit for evaluation. You can check out ODROID-H Rev. B with Type 3 case and the assembly instructions in the first part of the review. I’ve now had time to play with the board using the pre-installed Ubuntu 19.04 operating systems so I’ll report my experience in this second part. Note that ODROID-H2 does not rely on a custom version of Ubuntu, and instead you can download and flash Ubuntu 18.04 or 19.04 ISO directly from Ubuntu website. First Boot and System Information I had already connected two SATA drives inside the enclosure, one SSD and one HDD, but before booting the device I connected an HDMI cable, one Ethernet cable, USB keyboard & mouse, as well as the power supply. The board booted …

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Beelink L55 Review – An Intel Core i3-5005U Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 & Ubuntu 18.04

Beelink L55 Review

With the shortage of Gemini Lake processors, some manufacturers have taken to releasing new mini PCs using older CPUs. The Beelink L55 is one such example and uses Intel’s Broadwell I3-5005U CPU which is a dual-core 4-thread 2.00 GHz processor with Intel’s HD Graphics 5500. The L55 is a ‘NUC’ style mini PC and physically consists of a 128 x 126 x 46 mm (5.04 x 4.96 x 1.81 inches) box case with a front panel that includes the power button, a headphone jack and a couple of 3.0 USB ports and then on the rear, two more 3.0 USBs, two 2.1 USBs, HDMI (1.4), DP and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Note that there is no SD or micro SD card slot. The full specifications include: The L55 comes with either a 256GB or 512GB (as tested in this review) M.2 SSD with pre-installed Windows 10 Home version 1809 together with a single slot of 8GB DDR3 RAM. The L55 …

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Beelink GT1 Mini 2 TV Box Gets an Amlogic S905X3 Processor

Amlogic S905X3 TV Box

Beelink GT1 Mini TV Box powered by Amlogic S905X2 was launched with Android 8.1 in October 2018, and the company informed us they have an upcoming upgrade, the Beelink GT1 Mini 2, with the same form factor by an upgraded Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor. GT1 Mini 2 is not the first TV box announced with S905X3, as we previously covered Elebao X3 that was supposed to launch at the end of May. So there clearly has been delays, but this time the launch should be closer as Beelink also shared benchmarks and system information from Android 9.0. Beelink GT1 Mini 2 Beelink GT1 Mini 2 preliminary specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor @ 1.9 GHz with Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU System Memory – 4GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 64GB eMMC flash, Micro SD slot Video & Audio Output HDMI 2.1 up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDCP 2.2, 3D, ALLM (Auto low latency mode) support 3.5mm …

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XIDU PhilPad 2-in-1 Hybrid 2K Laptop Review

XIDU PhilPad Review

I had never heard about XIDU laptops and tablets, and it’s apparently the brand name of “Shenzhen Baohuazhong Co Limited” that was founded in 2014 and specializes in the design, development, manufacturing, distributions, and support for computer systems. I came to know about the company as they approached me to review one of their laptops, namely XIDU PhilPad XT133A model with an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core Apollo Lake processor coupled with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, and equipped with a 13.3″ touchscreen display with 2K (2560×1440) resolution. XIDU PhilPad Specifications SoC – Intel Celeron N3350 dual core Apollo Lake processor @ 1.10 GHz / 2.40 GHz (Turbo) with 12EU Intel HD graphics 500 GPU; 6W TDP System Memory – 6GB DDR3 Storage – 64GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Display – 13.3″ touchscreen IPS display with 2560 x 1440 resolution Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone and speaker Camera – 5MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera Connectivity Dual band …

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New Raspberry Pi 4 VLI Firmware Lowers Temperature by 3-5°C

Raspberry Pi 4 VLI Firmware Idle Temperature

The other day I tested Raspberry Pi 4 with an heatsink since previous multi-threaded benchmarks clearly made the board throttle when running those without any cooling solution. The guys at the Raspberry Pi Foundation somehow noticed my post, and I received an email from Eben Upton explaining a new Raspberry Pi 4 VLI firmware had “some thermal optimizations that are not installed by default on early production units.” I did not understand VLI at first, but eventually understood this referred to the firmware for VIA VL805 PCIe USB 3.0 controller on the board. The Raspberry Pi Foundation provided me with a test version of the firmware, which they’ll release in the next few days, or weeks after testing is completed. Now if you’re going to test a platform that will throttle due to overheating, it’s very important you do so at constant room temperature. I work in a office where the air conditioner is set to 28°C, so that’s about …

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Raspberry Pi 4 Benchmarks – Heatsink Edition

Raspberry Pi 4 Heatsink

A few days ago, I ran some benchmarks in Raspberry Pi 4, and quickly found out that using the board without a cooling solution will cause serious performance issues, as in some cases my board was slower than Raspberry Pi 3 model B due to severe overheating. After playing with LibreELEC yesterday, I’ve now reinstalled Raspbian Buster Desktop on the board, and fitted it with a largish heatsink and some old thermal paste. So I’ll run benchmarks again with and without heatsink. I’ll only run sbc-bench this time. SBC Bench Installation Open a terminal windows or connect to the board through SSH and run: Raspbian Buster will automatically fetch the latest operating systems packages upon first boot, but apparently not the latest firmware: So I ran rpi-update to get the very latest firmware as well, and rebooted the board: Normally, you should not have to do it, but Raspberry Pi 4 is really new, so I expect frequent changes at …

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Raspberry Pi 4 Benchmarks & Mini Review

Raspberry Pi 4 Review

Raspberry Pi 4 has just been released with many improvements over Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ including a faster processor, a proper Gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 interfaces, and 4K video support. That’s the theory, but how does it work in practice? I can now let you know as I’ve received a Raspberry Pi 4 sample courtesy of Cytron, and ran some tests and benchmarks on the very latest boards from the Raspberry Pi foundation. System Info Before starting with the benchmarks, let’s go through some basic system info: For reference, you’ll find Raspberry Pi 4 Linux boot log here. Phoronix benchmarks Let’s go ahead and install the latest version of Phoronix benchmarks: Now let’s run the test to compare the performance of Raspberry Pi 4 model B to some other Arm Linux boards including Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. For reference, my office has an ambient temperature of around 28 to 30°C, and I’ve monitored the CPU temperature with …

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Lenovo Project Limitless 5G Laptop and Snapdragon 8cx Benchmarks

Snapdragon 8cx PCMark 10 Application benchmark

Last December, Qualcomm unveiled Snapdragon 8cx processor for laptops, or as the company calls them “always-on always connected mobile PCs”. Only 4G LTE was mentioned at the time, but a few months later it was confirmed that the processor would find its way into 5G always-connected mobile PCs. Qualcomm made two main announcements at Computex 2019 about their new Arm processor for laptops. First, they announced a partnership with Lenovo for Project Limitless, the first 5G PC powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform, and the company released some benchmarks to demonstrate the high performance and long battery life of their solution. Lenovo Project Limitless 5G Laptop The press release did not reveal that much information, but we do know Project Limitless features Qualcomm Snapdragon 8C 5G compute platform with Snapdragon X55 5G modem enabling download speed of up to 2.5 Gbps, and it will be the first 5G laptop available once it becomes available in early 2020. …

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