MiniPC News February 2015

There won’t be any major news in the next couple of weeks, at least not from China-based manufacturers.
Chinese New Year is next week (Happy New Year to our Chinese readers – according to Analytics we have quite a few).

So, the news:
– Minix Z64 launched just a few days ago and there’s a tutorial on how to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu already (here).
– Egreat A9 is now for sale on GeekBuying, and so are Egreat I6 and the Ainol Mini PC.
– Qualcomm launched a tiny Mini PC (or, how they called it “4K Streaming Adapter”).

Mini PC Spotlight: Himedia Q5 Quad

We’ve recently started a series of posts dedicated to Mini PC’s that are already on market and could use some more attention.
We are revisiting today the Himedia Q5 Quad, a Mini PC that we covered back in June 2014, before it was launched.

Since then the Q5 quad went through a major hardware overhaul (back in October) and several firmware updates, earning it’s place in MiniPCDB’s Spotlight.

What makes Himedia Q5 Quad special?
This is the third generation of the “Q5” line, and Himedia certainly took the feedback from the first two versions when building this.
The first generation was also the first Android Mini PC built by Himedia, and the switch from the “classic” Realtek-based media players to Android was not easy. The first generation had several issues with supported file formats, including DVD ISO, which didn’t make clients happy.
But that’s no longer the case, Android evolved a lot since then, Hisilicon’s chipset evolved also.
Speaking about the chipset, Hi3798C is a close relative of the Kirin CPU used by Huawei on it’s flagship phones, and at this time it’s still one of the few chipsets designed specifically for TV boxes (unlike most other chipsets we talk about on MiniPCDB, which are designed for mostly for tablets).
This is why Himedia Q5 quad has good image quality and a good variety of supported file types (Himedia are basically the first to add support for DVD-ISO and BluRay ISO – including 3D- to an Android device).
The case is a good-looking full-metal one, they also include an LCD front-panel and pretty much include everything you might need: USB 3.0, Gigabit ethernet, and not-so-common SATA port.

Himedia Q5 quad – the specs
himedia-q5-quad
 himedia-q5-quad-left-side himedia-q5-quad-right-side himedia-q5-quad-back CPU: HiSilicon Hi3798C, Quad core
GPU: Mali450 (8 cores)
RAM: 2GB DDR3
– Storage: 8GB eMMC
– Network: Gigabit LAN, Wi-fi (one external antenna)
Case: full metal
USB: 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
SD card: yes
HDMI: 1.4
Other: Coaxial, optical, AV outputs
– SATA port – very few mini PC’s today have an external SATA port
himedia-q5-quad-launcher Software : Himedia has a simple launcher optimized to work on TV’s.
They have a dedicated video player that makes DVD-ISO, BluRay ISO and 3D BDISO rendering possible.
What’s even more impressive is the downmix and passthrough support, which goes up to 7.1 channel.
Yes, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA lossless HD-Audio formats.
There’s also support for 4K (@30fps) and H.265.
As for XBMC, Himedia released a custom version that makes use of their native player. You can also  just install the latest Kodi for Android
 himedia-q5-quad-remote Remote:
Himedia Q5 Quad comes with a simple IR remote…with a twist: it can also learn some commands from your other remote (maybe TV?). This way you can watch a movie using a single remote.
But there’s also two features you rarely hear about: Himedia provides two apps for your android device:
– HiControl: once you’ve started your Q5 Quad, you can use the HiShare App to control your mini PC, including seeing in real-time on your tablet what’s currently running on your TV. This could be very useful if you want to see what your kids are watching.
But it does even more than that, you can use your phone to play games on the big-scree TV, for instance.
– HiShare – basically use your phone/tablet to push content (images, video) to the TV

 

 

Meet the Beelink Pocket P2 Wintel Mini PC

Just a few days ago we were among the first to publish the news about the new Beelink Intel lineup.
These new items were very well received, and although they won’t be released until after the Chinese New Year, people tend to like this new approach.
We will try to get more details about them as they become available.

So we start with Beelink Pocket P2, a Mini PC that manages to include a full-blown Windows 8.1 machine in a tiny HDMI dongle.
Beelink Pocket P2 specs:
CPU : Intel BayTrail CR Z3735F
GPU: lntel® HD Graphics
RAM : 2GB DDR3
– Storage: 32GB eMMC
– Wi-fi: 802.11b/g/n
– Bluetooth: yes, 4.0
– Dimensions: 152 x 83 x 11.4mm
– a standard USB 3.0 2.0 port
– SD Card slot
– OTG Port

The Pocket P2 from Beelink also has an infrared port, which means you will be able to use an IR remote (but whether a remote will be included is unknown at this time).
Package will contain a 5V 2A adapter.

Beelink Pocket P2 images

Beelink-pocket-P2 Beelink-pocket-P2-2
Beelink-pocket-P2-3 Beelink-pocket-P2-4

Mini PC Spotlight: Kaiboer F5

With so many new MiniPCs being announced weekly, it’s hard to keep track of what device might be the perfect solution for our needs.
MiniPCDB’s “Spotlight” series is trying to bring back into the news Mini PC’s that were launched months ago and that might use a little more attention now. There could be a number of reasons for this: maybe because the recent firmware updates made them closer to perfection, or perhaps the current price is much more attractive .

So we start our series with the Kaiboer F5.
Fun fact for you, in Chinese “Kaiboer” is a homophone for “cable” – they’ve been in business for a decade and they actually do manufacture cables … but they also had an impressive line of Realtek-based and SigmaDesigns based media players.
Like most manufacturers, they adapted their offer in the past few years to accommodate the need for Android-based TV boxes… and they do it with style.

If most manufacturers try to cut corners by using cheap(er) plastic cases, Kaiboer still provide good-looking metal cases.
They also choose their chipsets wisely, so their use of the Mstar MSO9180D1R chipset should be an indicator that the chipset does provide good value for the money.

Kaiboer F5 – the specs
kaiboer-F5
kaiboer-F5-left-sidekaiboer-F5-back CPU: Mstar MSO9180 (Quad Core)
GPU: Mali-450MP2
RAM: 2GB DDR3
Storage: 8GB eMMC
Network: 10/100 Ethernet,150M b/g/n wi-fi (dual antenna)
Case: full metal
USB: 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
SD card: yes
HDMI: 1.4b out, also has HDMI-in
Others: Optical Audio, AV, Bluetooth 4.0
kaiboer-F5-remote  Kaiboer F5 comes with a pretty-standard IR remote.
As usual, you might be better off with an airmouse or with a full-keyboard and mouse, depending on your needs
kaiboer-F5-UI-2
kaiboer-F5-UI
kaiboer-F5-UI-3
 As for UI, Kaiboer chose to customize it a bit, you can see the results for yourself.

What makes this unit deserve it’s place on the MiniPCDB Spotlight?
First of all, this Mini PC has on paper most of the most sought after features in a Mini PC currently:
– Ultra HD 4K output
– H.265 hardware decoding
– Real 3D output
– XBMC hardware decoding
– solid case, good airflow without the use of any cooler.
– nice-looking front-panel LED display.
It also has HDMI-in, useful in a couple of scenarios.

Beelink Wintel Mini PC lineup

[Update] – we now have a detailed post about the Beelink Pocket P2
[Update Feb.11] – Beelink confirmed that none of them will have USB 3.0, only USB 2.0

News surfaced today about Beelink and their impressive Intel-based Mini PC line.
Beelink are not new to the MiniPC market, they released quite a few models last year and now they are entering the Wintel Mini PC market as well with a full product line:

 

  beelink wintel Mini PC
 The first announced Beelink Wintel Mini PC is based on the Z3735F chipset, with 2GB RAM and 32 GB eMMC, has Blueetoth 4.0 and dual band wi-fi, and an USB 3.0 port.
beelink-wintel-mini-pc
They also have a different version with the same Z3735F chipset, but only 16GB eMMC, but with gigabit LAN
beelink-wintel-stick
And a tiny PC-on-a-stick device, with 2GB RAM and 32 GB eMMC, they even mention an USB 3.0 port!

Via Freaktab

Meet the first Ainol Mini PC

Ainol is a well-known tablets manufacturer from China, also know as “Ainovo” on the western markets, they released quite a few models of all sizes over the years.
But now they are dipping their toes into the Mini PC market with the launch of an Windows 8.1 mini PC… that could also serve as an external battery for your devices.

ainol-mini-pc-colors

This  15 cm high and 11.5 cm wide and 1.4 cm thick Mini PC weights only 335 grams, so you could take it with you anywhere.
It uses the very popular Intel Baytrail chipset with 2GB RAM and 32 GB eMMC storage (expandable with another 128GB with an SD card).
It has 3 USB ports (one of them actually being 3.0, which is uncommon).
You can connect it to your TV or monitor via the micro HDMI port.

ainol-mini-pc-battery Battery:
The Ainol Mini PC has a built-in 7000 mAh battery, which you could use to power your other devices
 ainol-mini-pc-USB-3.0 Ports:
Ainol Mini PC has an USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0
 ainol-mini-pc-remote Remote:
The  Mini PC will arrive with a tiny qwerty airmouse/remote.
I had a chance to test this model and it was quite impressive.
ainol-mini-pc-colors Flavors:
Several colors are available.
Ainol is known for better-than average quality, so we expect this to be interesting

Via: Minimachines

New members in Mr. Nuc’s family

Back in December we had an article about Mr.NUC, one good-looking tiny mini PC that really got some attention (more details on the follow-up here).

But the Chinese manufacturer Realan does not stop here.
They recently introduced two more members to the Mr.NUC Family:

 Mr.NUC BTJ1900G 
Named after it’s Intel Celeron J1900 CPU, this small-factor mini PC impresses with it’s looks, power and should be also reasonably priced.
It is based on the Gigabyte MZBAYAP mainboard, which is only 100mm x 100mm, the whole barebone mini PC being at it’s 113 x 115 x 57 mm just a little bigger than the original Mr.NUC V6.
You will need to provide your own RAM and SSD, but the unit does come with a VESA mount.
You will get USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, HDMI and audio port (headphones/SPDIF).

 BTJ1900G- mr.nuc CPU: Intel Celeron J1900 CPU, quad core 2.0Ghz (2.4 Ghz max)
Mainboard :Gigabyte MZBAYAP
CPU: Intel Celeron J1900 (4 cores)
GPU: Intel’s 7th generation integrated HD graphics
RAM: DDR3L 1333/1600MHz (not provided)
HDD/SSD : 2.5” (not provided)
BTJ1900G mr.nuc colors
BTJ1900G- mr.nuc-v6

 

 

 

Mr.NUC-A85545G
Pretty much the same case as the Mr.NUC BTJ1900G , but this time it is based on the Gigabyte M1M3XAP mainboard, which is using the AMD A8-5545M quad core CPU paired with the AMD Radeon HD 8510G GPU.
Using the Mr.NUC name on an AMD device might not be the best idea, probably this item would need to be renamed 🙂

 

 Mr.NUC-A85545G CPU:
Mainboard: Gigabyte M1M3XAP
CPU: AMD A8-5545M (4 cores)
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 8510G
RAM: DDR3L 1333/1600MHz (not provided)
HDD/SSD : 2.5” (not provided)
Mr.NUC AMD

January 2015 MiniPC news

After CES 2015 things tend to slow down a bit, and although it has been quiet lately, here are some Mini PC News.

Minix is launching this week their Z64 Mini PC.
Minix Z64 is based on an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor has 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage.
It comes in two flavors: a cheaper one using Android 4.4 and a more expensive one with Windows 8.1.
Minix Z64 Windows 8.1 seems to be preactivated, unlike some similar Chinese boxes that have only a 30-day trial license.

Zappiti’s first and second batches are already sold out!
You might have to wait for March to get the Realtek RTD1195-based Mini PC that promises to be all you will need for living room entertainment .
Meanwhile the Zappiti team is working on their firmware, already some big progress has been made.

Himedia finally launched their own customized version of Kodi/XBMC.
This version will work on both the dual-core and the quad-core versions of their Hisilicon-based Mini PC’s (Himedia Q5-II, Himedia Q5 Quad) and it will allow you to use the excellent Himedia Player as an external player for XBMC.

Mygica promises to be the first manufacturer to release Android 5.0 update for their Mini PCs .
They featured at CES 2015 their ATV 1900 model with Android 5.0, and in 1-2 months they will have an update for the ATV 1800e and ATV 582 models. Congrats to them!

Closer look at the Egreat Windows 8.1 lineup

[Update: Egreat I6 unboxing]

Last month we talked about Egreat and their 2015 roadmap, which includes products with various chipsets, from the Allwinner A80 used by Egreat U10 to Mstar MSO9180 used by Egreat A9.

The new “I” series looks very impressive, Egreat chose to use some very attractive cases (unlike some of the other manufacturers that announced BayTrail Mini PC’s).
They are also offering a very good variety of cases and even took some steps to ensure that the customers will be able to play as many  video formats as possible by partnering with Vidon.me .
Vidon XBMC software will work on Windows 8.1 and will allow hardware decoding and full BluRay menus.

The “I” series can use either Windows 8.1 or Android 4.4 and will be reasonably priced around $100.
If you choose Windows, though, you will have to activate it yourself, which will cost you a little more, but you will end-up with a full Windows box and you would be able to run most programs and even some games just like you would on your desktop computer, all this with less than 15 Watts power consumption.
Pair this with the fact that these Mini PCs are fanless, and you’ve got a very attractive bedroom PC.

 

Here’s a side by side comparison between the Egreat “I” series products that are soon to be available.

Egreat I2 Egreat I4 Egreat I6
Case plastic metal aluminum
Chipset Intel Z3735F ATOM x86 Intel Z3735F ATOM x86 Intel Z3735F ATOM x86
GPU Intel HD graphics Intel HD graphics Intel HD graphics
RAM 2GB 2GB 2GB
Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB
Wi-Fi Dual band, AP6330, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4Ghz/5Ghz 300M  Dual band, AP6330, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4Ghz/5Ghz 300M  Dual band, AP6330, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4Ghz/5Ghz 300M
Wi-Fi antenna Internal, 3dB External, 3dB External, 3dB
LAN/Ethernet 10/100 10/100 10/100
Bluetooth 4.0 4.0 4.0
HDMI 1.4a, 1080P@60Hz 1.4a, 1080P@60Hz 1.4a, 1080P@60Hz
USB 2.0 ports 2 4 3
Micro-USB ports 1
SD card yes, up to 128GB yes, up to 128GB  yes, up to 128GB
VGA output no no yes
Headphones jack with Mic-in yes yes yes
Power button yes
Size (mm) 98 x 98 x 24 n/k 104 x 102 x 32

And here are some pictures with the Egreat Wintel models.

Egreat I2
 Egreat-I2-front  The Egreat I2 Mini PC use a quite good-looking plastic case
Egreat-I2-side-view It has only two USB 2.0 ports and you can expand it’s internal storage with up to 128GB by using an SD card.
Egreat I4
Egreat-I4-front The Egreat I4 Mini PC has a metal case, features an external wi-fi antenna
Egreat-I4-side-view On it’s side it has two USB 2.0 ports
Egreat-I4-back Two more USB 2.0 ports on the back, useful when you want to connect a keyboard, a mouse and some other devices altogether (HDD, USB stick, maybe airmouse USB dongle).
Egreat I6
Egreat-I6-front The Egreat I6 Mini PC uses one of Egreat’s most popular cases, full aluminum, good heat dissipation and a stylish power button
Egreat-I6-side-view On it’s side it has three USB 2.0 ports
Egreat-I6-VGA-port The VGA port on the back could easily help you revive an old monitor and transform it into a full-featured Windows 8.1 PC.

But Egreat does not stop here.
They featured at CES 2015 another Wintel Mini PC called Egreat I5 – which got some attention both because of the name and the hardware itself.
And they will launch 5 (five) other Wintel boxes by the end of 2015: Egreat i7/i8/i9/i10/i11 – these will use a larger case and they will have internal 3.5” or 2.5” tray so you can mount an HDD internally (SATA).

Possible faked AnTuTu benchmark results

There’s a fierce competition among chip makers/manufacturers for the greatest hardware.
It’s getting harder and harder to impress potential buyers so some manufacturers are adopting all sorts of marketing gimmicks.

AnTuTu is being used to benchmark pretty much an Android tablet or mini PC out there, and there have been rumors about manufacturers faking those results to get better results.

Today 4pda.ru users discovered something very interesting: on Tronsmart’s Allwinner A80 devices if you edit build.prop and change the ro.sys.hiritsu value you get different results in AnTuTu.
– without ro.sys.hiritsu the result is 36185
– with ro.sys.hiritsu =90 the result goes to 128068 (yes, 128K!)
– with ro.sys.hiritsu =95 the result is 143430

“hiritsu” in Japanese means literally “percentage”, “proportion” or “ratio”.
At this time is unclear if the results are being intentionally faked or if there’s some bug in AnTuTu’s benchmark itself, although the users that discovered this believe to be intentional.

What do you think?

 

Via Freaktab