UDOO X86 II SBC Combines Intel Braswell SoC with Microchip ATMega32U4 “Arduino” MCU

UDOO x86 II

UDOO X86 development board was first introduced in a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 with a quad-core Intel Braswell processor coupled with an Arduino 101 compatible Intel Curie module for real-time I/O processing. Early July of next year (2019) the Intel processor and module seems to be going so well and have a bright future together with UDOO X86 board and accessories becoming broadly available. But life can be cruel at times, and Intel announced their plan to discontinue Intel Curie and other IoT projects just a few weeks later with the last shipment scheduled for July 2018. SECO, the company behind UDOO, could only order so much stock of Intel Curie module, so they had to design an alternative, and here we are with UDOO X86 II SBC offering many of the same features but replacing Intel Curie module by a Microchip ATmega32U4 MCU compatible with Arduino Leonardo.   Two UDOO X86 II models – Ultra and Advanced Plus – …

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ZOTAC Unveils ZBOX PRO Embedded Mini PC Line-up

Zotac ZBOX PRO CI329 nano

ZOTAC  is known for their ZBOX consumer and business mini PCs, but they are now entering the embedded computing market with the launch of ZBOX PRO line-up based on their commercial offering but with more robust designs for medical equipment, industrial robots, casino game systems, IoT gateways, ATMs, and more. The company launched 5 models features various Intel processors from Celeron to Core-i7, but I’ll focus on the three passively cooled low power models in this post. ZBOX Pro CI329 nano Specifications mostly follow the ones of ZBOX CI329 Nano model with differences highlighted in bold or stricken-through: SoC – Intel Celeron N4100 quad-core processor (1.1GHz up to 2.4GHz, 4MB cache) with Intel UHD Graphics 600 System Memory – 2x DDR4-2400MHz dual-channel SO-DIMM slots, up to 8GB Storage 1x 2.5″ SATA 6.0 Gb/s HDD/SSD bay 1x M.2 2242/2260 key-M socket for SSD SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader Video Output 1x HDMI 2.0, max resolution 4096×2160 @ 60Hz 1x DisplayPort 1.2, max resolution …

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$249 Litebook Linux Laptop Runs Elementary OS

While you can install Linux on most laptops by yourself, it’s not always easy to find a laptop pre-installed with Linux, especially for the cheaper models. So it’s encouraging to see products like Litebook, a laptop with Elementary OS based on Ubuntu, and powered by an Intel Celeron N3150 “Braswell” processor with 4GB RAM, a 512GB hard drive, and a 14.1″ Full HD display. Litebook laptop specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N3150 quad core “Braswell” processor @ 1.60 / 2.08 GHz with Intel HD graphics System Memory – 4GB RAM (soldered) Storage – 512GB hard drive (upgradeable), micro SD slot, optional 32GB mSATA SSD Display – 14.1″ display with 1920×1080 resolution Video Output – HDMI 1.4 port Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, stereo speakers Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports Camera – 720p front-facing camera Battery – Replaceable battery (capacity unstated) with an estimated 9 hours of battery life Dimensions …

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Intel Gemini Lake Celeron & Pentium Processors Will Replace Apollo Lake Processors in 2018

While Laptops and mini PCs powered by Intel Apollo Lake low lower Celeron and Pentium processors are slowly starting to show up, and should go into full swing in 2017, Intel is also working on their successors, which according to a leaked roadmap for 2017-2018 will be Gemini Lake processors. Gemini Lake will also have a 4 to 6 Watts TDP, and come in a BGA package, but there’s nothing much else we know, except the first processors should become available in Q4 2017 or Q1 2018. Other families include mid-range Cannon Lake family with 5.2 to 15 W TDP with some Core M and Core ix processors, and the higher-end Coffee Lake family succeeding Kaby Lake and Skylake processors. Another slide shows Gemini Lake processors will target the same products as Braswell and Apollo Lake processors with 2-in-1 laptops, ultra-thin notebooks, and mainstream notebooks. I’m pretty sure we’ll also see Celeron Nxxx and Pentium Jxxx Gemini Lake processors in …

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Star Cloud PCG61 Intel Celeron “Braswell” Ubuntu 16.04 / Windows 10 Pro Mini PC Features Up to 8GB RAM

MeLE showcased their PCG61U mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron N3150 processor and running Ubuntu last April at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. The company has now launched Star Cloud PCG61 on Aliexpress where it sells for $149 and up with either Windows or Ubuntu. Star Cloud PCG61 specifications: SoC – Intel Braswell Celeron N3150 quad core processor @ 1.60/2.08 GHz with 12 EU Gen8 Graphics(6W TDP) System Memory – None, 4 or 8GB DDR3L Storage – 0, 64 or 128 GB mSATA SSD (upgradeable up to 256GB), micro SD card up to 512GB Video Output – HDMI 1.4 & VGA Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm microphone and earphone jack Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n & 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports Misc – Power button, Kensington security lock, reset BIOS button,  mini PCIe slot (likely already used by wireless module) Power – 12V DC input Dimensions & weight – …

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Improve YouTube Video Playback on Low Power Intel mini PCs by Disabling VP9 Support in Chrome or Firefox

I’ve been reviewing several Intel Bay Trail, Cherry Trail, and Braswell mini PCs in the last year or so, and I always end up recommending Microsoft Edge browser over Firefox or Chrome for people wanting to watch YouTube videos, as the last two browsers always drop many frames with the video stuttering regularly. However I noticed that while Edge is playing  MP4/AVC (H.264) video, the other two browser would normally stream WebM/VP9 videos, and it could be the cause of the problem as H.264 can be hardware accelerated, but VP9 not, and the low power processor might not quite powerful enough to handle 1080p VP9 video decoding smoothly. So I investigated the issues with Vorke V1 mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron J3160 processor (6W TDP) with the three browsers by first checking enabled codecs in YouTube HTML5 page. Microsoft Edge has both VP8 and VP9 disabled When I tested  Firefox 47 in other mini PCs VP9 was enabled, …

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Dreamcade Replay is a Retro Gaming Console Powered by Intel Braswell or Cherry Trail Processor (Crowdfunding)

If you are old enough to have played with Sega or Atari game console, and feel nostalgic about playing retro games, Dream Arcades Inc. plans to launch a vintage gaming console powered by Intel Braswell or Cherry Trail processor, running Windows 10 and preloaded with licensed retro games such as Pacman, Asteroids, Canyon Bomber, Slot Machine, Warlords, and many other. The console also has Sega/Atari ports to be used with your old game controllers. Three main products will be offered: Wireless Arcade Controller, Replay Classic game console, and Replay Mobile arcade machine, with the last two using the same hardware with the following preliminary specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x7-Z8700 Cherry Trail quad core processor, or Intel Celeron J3160 (or other) Braswell quad core processor with Intel HD graphics System Memory – 4GB Storage – 64GB eMMC flash + micro SD and SD slots Video Output – HDMI Display (Arcade edition only) – 8 display IPS screen Audio Out – …

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Partaker B4 Intel Celeron N3150 Barebone mini PC Sells for $131

This week-end I received Vorke V1 mini PC powered by Intel Celeron J3160 processor, and with upgradable memory, storage and WiFi as explaining in the first part of the review, and with a $160 price tag after coupon I found it to be pretty good value (Normal price is $200). But still, one person commented that it was too expensive, while another mentioned that some people may prefer to buy extra components such as SO-DIMM RAM, mSATA SSD, and wireless modules locally in order to benefit from a local warranty. So I went on aliexpress to find barebone mini PCs based on Intel Celeron J3160 processor, and I had no luck probably because the processor is relatively recent, so I refocused my search on Intel Celeron N3150 processor which has roughly the same performance, and the one of the cheapest options I could find was Partaker B4 mini PC selling for $131.49 in barebone configure with shipping by DHL. Inctel …

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