MINIX NEO Z83-4U Review – Ubuntu 18.04, Kodi 18, and Xibo Digital Signage

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Review

MINIX NEO Z83-4U is a Cherry Trail mini PC pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.04. I received a sample a little while ago, and in the first part of NEO Z83-4U review I checked out the specifications and hardware that appears to be exactly the same a MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro mini PC, except for the eMMC flash capacity that has increased from 32GB to 64GB. Since the mini PC comes with an older Atom X5-Z8350 processor, and is designed for commercial applications, I’ve decided to make a slightly different review. We already now how the system is supposed to perform thanks to benchmarks with NEO Z83-4 mini PC running Windows 10 Pro, so I’ll just check the main features are working as expected in Ubuntu 18.04, test audio & video support in Kodi 18.1, and try out Xibo Linux open source digital signage CMS and player on the mini PC. MINIX NEO Z83-4U Initial Setup I connected various USB peripherals, an …

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Package

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu mini PC was unveiled just a few days ago as the first mini PC from MINIX HK running a Linux operating systems, namely Ubuntu 18.04. The company has sent me a sample for evaluation, so as usual, I’ll first have a look at the hardware in the first part of the review, before reporting my experience with the mini PC in a few weeks. MINIX NEO Z83-4U Unboxing The company has done away with the black and green package for their Android TV boxes and Windows mini PC, and instead went with a purple and (Ubuntu) orange package. I already wrote the specifications in the announcement post, but here they are again on the back of the package. The main difference, in terms of terms, against MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro (Windows 10 Pro) mini PC is that the storage has been upgraded to 64GB flash since we don’t need to bother with Windows retail license terms …

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu 18.04 Mini PC Launched for $180

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu Mini PC

Introduced in 2016, MINIX NEO Z83-4 was an Intel Cherry Trail Windows 10 (Home) mini PC powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, which was followed by MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro the next year with basically the same hardware specifications but based on Atom X5-Z8350 processor running Windows 10 Pro instead. The company has now launched another version with MINIX NEO Z83-4U model that comes with 64GB storage, and more importantly comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.04, a rarity in today’s low power mini PC world. MINIX NEO Z83-4U Ubuntu mini PC specifications with bold highlights showing differences against NEO Z83-4 Pro model: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.92 GHz (Turbo) with 12 EU Intel Graphics HD graphics 400 @ 200 / 500 MHz (2W SDP) System Memory –  2 or 4GB DDR3L Storage – 64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash + micro SD slot Video Output …

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 …

MINIX NEO U9-H TV Box Gets Android 7.1 Firmware

MINIX-NEO-U9-H-Android-7.1-Nougat

MINIX NEO U9-H is generally considered one of the best Android TV boxes if you are after an Android experience, as opposed to a pure Android TV experience. I found the firmware solid and performing on very capable hardware when I reviewed the device in 2017 although there were a few bugs here and there for the version of the firmware I tested. The device is still the main TV box model sold by MINIX, but so far, you had to run the older Android 6.0 OS. The good news is that you can now upgrade your box, if you wish to do so, to a more recent Android 7.1 operating system. There’s no specific changelog for the release, and you can find Android 7.1 for MINIX NEO U9-H on MEGA.An important caveat is that it’s not an OTA update, so you’d have to use USB Burning Tool – also included with the firmware – to flash the new version …

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Pentium J5005 Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Windows Remote, M.2 SSD, and Teardown

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Review

MINIX has just announced a new Windows 10 Pro mini PC with MINIX NEO J50C-4 mini PC that just looks like their previous models like MINIX NEO N42C-4, except it comes with a Pentium Silver J5005 “Gemini Lake” processor. The company sent me a sample together with some accessories, and it will be interesting to see how it performs. But before I’ll go through the specifications, checking the devices and some extra accessories namely NEO W2 windows remote control, and an M.2 SSD pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro. Finally, I’ll have a look at the internals in the first part of this review. MINIX NEO J50C-4 Specifications SoC – Intel Pentium Silver J5005 quad core “Gemini Lake” processor @ 1.50 / 2.80 GHz with 18 EU Intel UHD Graphics 605 (10W TDP) System Memory – 4GB DDR4 upgradable to 16GB via 2x SO-DIMM slots Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.1 flash, 1x 2280 M.2 SATA III SSD slot up to 512GB …

A Quick Look at MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter, and Windows 10 M.2 SSD Card for N42C-4 Mini PC

MINIX NEO C Plus USB-C Adapter Android 7.1

A couple of weeks ago, MINIX announced their NEO C Plus USB type C adapter with 9 ports including two HDMI outputs. The company has now sent me samples of the adapter, as well as an M.2 SSD for MINIX NEO N42C-4 pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro. I’ll first have a look at the accessories I received before testing MINIX NEO C Plus adapter with Android 7.1 running on NanoPC-T4 board. MINIX NEO C Plus and M.2 SSD Unboxing I received two USB-C multiport adapter with dual HDMI output which are identical, except for the color with one white version and a silver version, as well as a “128GB M.2 SSD for MINIX NEO N42C-4”. The USB-C adapter comes with a bilingual English-German user manual. We learn some interesting information and limitations from the device. First, the adapter is only certified to use with MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, and some of the limitations include: Total USB output is limited …