Beelink X45 Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04/18.04

Beelink X45 Board

The Beelink X45 mini PC is now available, and Lightinthebox.com have provided a unit for review. It is very similar in style to Intel’s latest NUC Windows mini PC, the NUC7CJYSAL reviewed earlier. However it contains an Intel Celeron Processor J4105 SoC which is a quad core processor bursting up to 2.50 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. It is physically small consisting of an approximately 4.5″ by 4” case about 1¾” tall with a front panel that includes the power button and a couple of USB ports and a headphone jack with the rest of the ports including two HDMI (2.0) ones at the rear: The specifications include: A key point to note is the Beelink X45 comes with 64GB eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 4GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) with space and connectors for both an mSATA and SSD. Starting with a …

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Review of Firefly-RK3399 Board with Android 8.1 Firmware

Firefly-RK3399 Review Android 8.1

Last week, I tested Android 7.1 on NanoPC-T4 Rockchip RK3399 SBC, and this week, I’ve given a try at Android 8.1 (Beta) on Firefly-RK3399 Board. Since it’s still a beta version, I’m expecting some issues and we’ll have to see how it performs at this stage of development. Firefly-RK3399 Kit Assembly I had to do some assembly before starting the board.  It took me some 30 minutes to complete, so I’ll quickly go through the steps. Beside the default kit, the company also sent me a fansink ($7.9) and an M.2 to SATA board + required cable ($16) which will be part of the assembly instructions. The first step is to peel off the protective films on both sides of the acrylic case. I then fastened my own 2.5″ hard drive with four screws provided in the default kit. I then installed the M.2 to dual SATA adapter board in the M.2 socket on the top of the board, inserted …

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NanoPC-T4 Review with Android 7.1 Firmware

NanoPC T4 Connected

NanoPC-T4 is one of the many Rockchip RK3399 SBCs now available, and as we’ve seen in the “unboxing review” the company sent me two samples. So far, I’ve been reviewing RK3399 boards with Linux distributions in posts such as “Checking Out Debian and Linux SDK for VideoStrong VS-RD-RK3399 Board” and more recently “AIO-3399J Development Board Review with Ubuntu 16.04“. But in this NanoPC-T4 review, I’ll switch to Android, specifically Android 7.1, as I’ll soon try Android 8.1 on Firefly-RK3399 which might make for an interesting comparison between the two versions of the OS, before switching to Linux with Pine64 RockPro64 board which I received yesterday. First Boot with NanoPC-T4 Development Board I had already assembled  the board in the first part of the review, so I just added the two WiFi antennas, the optional USB to serial debug board, and connected various accessories and cables from left to right: USB keyboard and mouse, HDMI cable to 4K TV,  USB 3.0 …

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Arm Announces Cortex-A76 CPU with Laptop-class Performance, Mali-G76 GPU, Mali-V76 8K VPU

Arm Cortex A75 based processors are only found in a few SoCs and devices, but Arm keeps on innovating, and they’ve now announced a new suite of of IP with Cortex-A76 CPU enabling 35 percent more performance, and Mali-G76 GPU with ML support and 30 percent higher efficiency and performance. SoC based on those new CPU and GPU IP will provide “laptop-class” performance, and the company also announced Arm Mali-V76 VPU with support for 8K video decoding and encoding. Arm Cortex A76 After Cortex A75, the Arm Cortex-A76 CPU is the second high performance processor core based on DynamIQ technology, and beside the 35 percent  performance gain mentioned in the introduction, it also offers 40 percent improved efficiency, as well as delivers 4x compute performance improvements for AI/ML at the edge. Highlights of Cortex A76: Architecture – Armv8-A (Harvard) with  Armv8.1, Armv8.2, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only),  cryptography and RAS extensions ISA support – A64; A32 and T32 (at the EL0 …

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ULEWELL Z28 MINI is a $40 RK3328 TV Stick with 2GB RAM, 16GB Storage, and a USB 3.0 Port

ULEWELL-Z69-TV-Stick

While we’ve already covered many Rockchip RK3328 TV boxes and development boards, if you want a TV stick form factor the choice becomes much more limited. So far I was only aware of Rikomagic RKM V3 , but today I’ve come across  ULEWELL Z28 MINI, selling for about $40 on Aliexpress with 2GB RAM, 16 GB storage, HDMI 2.0a, and a USB 3.0 port. ULEWELL Z28 MINI TV stick specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 2 GB RAM Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264. 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8 Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (2.4 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 1x USB 3.0 port Misc – Power button and LED Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port Dimensions – 94 x …

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Vorke V5 Plus Kaby Lake Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04

The Vorke V5​ Plus​​ mini PC​ just goes to show how initial impressions can be very misleading. Arriving in a plain manila-coloured box with the protection film on the top of the ​device starting to peal​-​off the minimalist contents ​only ​included a round-pin (European?) power supply and a small B&W ‘user’ manual. The mini PC ​has an Intel Celeron Processor 3865U from the Kaby Lake mobile range which is a dual-core (dual-thread) non-turbo 1.8GHz processor. However this SoC also includes an Intel HD Graphics 610 processor capable of 4K support at 60Hz through DisplayPort, ​although only [email protected] on HDMI (1.4). Additionally ​the SoC​ supports DDR4 RAM in dual-channel configuration. The V5 Plus ​model ​which​ comes with ​both ​​memory and storage although it is sold without them as a ​barebones V5 model. Physically the V5 looks similar to a NUC and the pre-populated V5 Plus ​included a single SODIMM stick of Samsung DDR4 Synchronous 2400 MHz memory and a HOODISK 64GB …

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Hikey 970 Development Board is Now Up for Pre-order for $299.99

Four A.I. development boards compliant with 96Boards specifications were announced at Linaro Connect HK 2018 last month: HiKey 970, Ultra96, as well as ROCK960 PRO & Enterprise Edition. So for we only knew pricing for Ultra96 ($249), but I’ve now noticed Hikey 970 “Super Edge AI Computing Platform”  is now up for pre-order for $299.99 on Lenovator website, with shipping planned for the end of April. [Update: Also found on Seeed Studio for the same price] Hikey 970 specifications: SoC – Huawei/Hisilicon Kirin 970 with 4x Cortex A73 @ 2.36GHz,  4x Cortex A53 @ 1.8GHz, Arm Mali G72-MP12 GPU, NPU (Neural Processing Unit) with 256MAC/cycle @ 960MHz System Memory – 6GB 1866MHz, 4 Channel LPDDR4x Storage – 64GB UFS storage, micro SD card slot, PCIe Gen3 on M.2 M key connector Video Output – HDMI 1.4 type A up to 1080p60 (TBC), 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI (via HS expansion connector) Video – MPEG2 @ 80 Mbps, MPEG4 @ 50 Mbps, …

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Ugoos UT5 Pro is a Rockchip RK3399 based TV Box with a 3.5″ SATA Bay

It’s already possible to connect a 3.5″ SATA drive to Rockchip RK3399 based hardware with products like Vorke Z3 TV box exposing an external SATA connector, or development boards such as ODROID-N1, Orange Pi RK3399, or Firefly AIO-3399J. None of those solutions offers a neat way to store your hard drive, so you’d have cables and the drive exposed to dust, unless you make your own case. Ugoos UT5 Pro TV box offers an easier way to neatly connect a 3.5″ SATA drive since it includes an internal SATA slot. The device also features a USB 3.0 device port allowing user to connect the box directly to their computer to transfer files. Ugoos UT5 Pro specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 dual core Cortex-A72 + quad core Cortex-A53, Arm Mali-860MP4 GPU with support for OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL, DX11 System Memory – 4GB DDRIII-2133 (2GB option) Storage 32GB eMMC flash (optional:16/32/64GB) SATA slot for 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives up to 8TB …

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