Pipo X7 – Wintel Mini PC

Pipo is a Chinese manufacturer mostly known for their affordable tablets (they have had quite a few of them over the years) .
Last month they did launch their very own Wintel mini pc – the Pipo X7.

The Pipo Windows 8.1 Mini PC uses the Intel Baytrail Z3735F CPU (up to 1.83 GHz) or the Intel Baytrail Z3736F CPU (up to 2.16 Ghz) and it comes with 32GB storage and 2GB of RAM.

It has an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports which would allow you to use a mouse and keyboard while still having 2 ports for USB stick or HDD.

It has a metal case and it comes in two flavors: silver and black.
You can order it from PIPOMall.

One thing that we should mention is their connection with Freaktab – they even released the source code for the community and they already sent Pipo X7 samples to individual developers, so this might get a better-than-average support.

 

Pipo-X7-black-version Pipo-X7-black-version-front Pipo-X7-front Pipo-X7-black-version-bottom Pipo-X7-black-version-back

Meet Egreat A9, Mini PC with HDMI In recording capabilities

[Update: Egreat A9 unboxing]

Looks like Mstar MSO9180 finally gets some real-world use with the launch, at CES 2015, of the new Egreat A9 Mini PC.
This is one of the new Mini PC’s that Egreat will announce, check out the Egreat 2015 roadmap post to see the others.

As you can see in the below images, this mini PC will use a strong aluminum case with VFD which allows a 3.5” HDD to be mounted inside (same case used by the Egreat R300 media player a few years back).
As usual with the newly announced models, they claim to support 4K/Ultra-HD videos (although just at 30fps, due to HDMI 1.4 limits).
The mini PC will support H.265, BluRay ISO’s, 3D movies (and not just SBS and top/Bottom, Frame Packing 3D also).
They also mention Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA 7.1ch RAW audio passthrough.
But what caught my eye was the Vidon.me logo – does this mean that Egreat has some sort of partnership with Vidon?
[Update] – Both Egreat and Vidon.me confirmed for MiniPCDB that they are indeed working together. This makes the Egreat A9 unit even more interesting.
This unit can also record an 1080P stream using the HDMI-In interface,  feature that could be useful for those that have a HD TV receiver, for instance.
egreat-A9-vidon

Egreat A9 specs:
– CPU: Mstar MSO9180-DB2 – quad core, Cortex A9
– GPU: Mali-450MP4
– RAM: 2GB DDR3
– 16GB eMMC
– 1 x USB 3.0 host and 3 x USB 2.0 host
– Bluetooth 4.0 BLE
– Gigabit Ethernet
– dual band wi-fi (802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz/5.0GHz 300M) with 2 antennas, 3dB each
– HDMI 1.4 ouput (max: 3840×2160 at 30 fps)
– HDMI 1.4 input (max: 3840×2160 at 30 fps)
– 3.5” HDD tray (HDD not included)

egreat-A9-back egreat-A9 egreat-A9-side

 

Meet Smartenit Harmony G1, Smart Home Mini PC

We are continuing our series of posts dedicated to products that will be officially announced at CES 2015, and now we have a special product.
Why special? because it just might be the first of it’s kind – the world’s first Smart Home Mini PC (actually I just coined this term, hopefully it would catch on).
You might know Smartenit for their Home automation projects (if not, you can look up “iSmartenit” on Google Play or  AppStore).
With their Harmony G1 you can do much more than watching movies on Netflix, Hulu, or from an USB drive or local network: you can also control your lights, irrigation system, watch live feeds from your security cameras and even receive alerts on your sensors (windows or front door locked/unlocked, motion detection), see power consumption for your appliances, etc.

harmony-g1

Hardware:
– Dual Core ARMv7  CPU @ 1 Ghz
– 1GB RAM, 4GB Nand
– Android 4.2.2
– 2 USB 2.0 ports
– HDMI and AV out
– SD card (up to 64 GB)
– Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

Are you a developer? Check out the Harmony socket XML API!

Mini PC DB in 2015

2015 arrived, and it will be an exciting year, here’s why:

– The rise of Windows Mini PC’s
Most Mini PC’s we are featuring on MiniPCDB are below $250, and most of them are using now Android.
But during the last 3 months of 2014 there were quite a few Mini (HT)PC’s announced that would use the Intel Z3735F and they are now just around the corner.
Windows 8.1 with Bing will bring a nice change to the otherwise quite plain market when it comes to operating systems (all other units were using Android 4.4, and rarely Linux, mostly without video hardware acceleration).

The Android 5.0/5.1 Lollipop (Android TV)
Until now, Android TV boxes were simply turning your TV or monitor in a touch-less tablet.
Now Android TV is just around the corner, and we expect to see updates to Android 5.0 from some of the established brands like Minix or Tronsmart.
Finally the UI will be aimed at TV’s (“10-foot user interface”) and we’ll have apps that are specifically designed to be displayed on a TV.

Allwinner A80
For a few months now, Allwinner A80 is said to have the greatest potential due to the massive power of the 8-core CPU with 64-cores GPU.
But as we know, having a bunch of extra cores is good for marketing as it looks great on paper, but without the software to put those cores to work it simply doesn’t make much of a difference.
Allwinner is making efforts alongside manufacturers and there could be some interesting new TV and development boxes with Linux and Android L early this year.

(Even) More Intel devices
More and more cheap Intel devices like Intel’s NUC series (or Gigabyte’s Brix) are coming – see our posts on Mr.Nuc .

XBMC/Kodi
XBMC folks had a fantastic year – basically now when a manufacturer releases an Android TV box (or any other TV box for that matter) they feel the need to announce that it will support XBMC.
This brings more exposure to XBMC and they deserve it – a fantastic project that simply changed living-room entertainment forever.

OpenELEC
OpenELEC  was built with a simple (but great) idea in mind – turn a Mini PC/computer into a “Kodi” machine – you can install it in minutes time and although it’s Linux-based you don’t even need to know much about Linux to use it.
Fast way of getting your own Media Center with a limited budget and great results.

MiniPCDB
Our goals are beyond this blog, we plan on having a full website completed by Q2, with anything a Mini PC enthusiast should need to know.

Follow us on Twitter, as we plan to release there any new information regarding the website and it’s planned features.
You think you can contribute with a subject? Just contact us!

 

Follow-up on Mr.Nuc

A few days ago (or last year, depending on how you look at it), I’ve published a short post about a Chinese tiny PC made by Realan, Mr.Nuc.
In a matter of hours that post got popular and the story spread on several websites in different languages.
Below are few of them:
Liliputing (English)
Ubergizmo (English)
MiniMachines (French)
24Gadget (Russian)
Comptoir Hardware (French)
Cnews.cz (Czech)

What’s to be learned from this?
There is certainly a market for these devices, and 2015 could be the year of “Wintel” Mini PCs.
There are literally dozens of Baytrail Z3735F or Z3736F devices  with Windows 8.1 with Bing coming in the next month or so (Minix Z64, Pipo X7, Mele, etc) – but if the price is right, manufacturers can sell “NUC- type” devices easily as well.

Mr. Nuc has a nice case, most people liked it, but they should ditch that cooling fan and make it cheaper, otherwise they will compete with Intel’s NUC devices and people will choose Intel if the price is similar.

Minimachines noticed the similarities between Mr.NUC’s motherboard and the Intel® NUC D34010WYK (see their animated GIF) – that could mean that Mr.NUC is a clone or they actually have some sort of partnership.
Looks like they do have a partnership with Intel (see this news story on their website).

Here are some more pictures with Mr. NUC.

Mr.NUC-red Mr.NUC-red-2 Mr.NUC-red-3 Mr.NUC-flavors Mr.NUC-more Mr.NUC-teacup Mr.NUC-classic Mr.NUC_black_2 Mr.NUC-black Mr.NUC_eiffel Mr.NUC_turtle Mr.NUC_unboxing_2