Items tagged with Mini PC

Do you know what makes a pie better? More filling, of course! The same concept applies to the Raspberry Pi, only in this case, instead of adding more blueberries or strawberries or whatever your filling of choice might be, the Raspberry Pi Foundation beefed up its latest Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with double the amount of RAM at the top end. Now potential buyers have three memory options when purchasing a Raspberry Pi Model B—2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of RAM, the latter option being the new one. To accommodate the 8GB memory package, The Raspberry Pi Foundation had to reposition some of the onboard power supply components, as outfitting the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8GB of RAM requires "slightly... Read more...
If you are looking for a way to pass the time in isolation, a mini PC is a great starting point, as it opens the door to a wealth of clever and unique projects—cocktail machine or a home brewed VR headset are just two of many examples. While the Raspberry Pi gets the bulk of the attention in the mini PC maker space, there are alternatives. One of them is Axiomtek's new CAPA13R. Behind the rather boring model designation is an interesting foundation. It is built around an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1807B or V1605B processor with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. That makes it a bit more capable than a Raspberry Pi for certain applications, like gaming and anything that involves 3D graphics work.... Read more...
What can you do if you need something more powerful than a Raspberry Pi (or one of its contemporaries), but still want to stay in the miniaturized maker board space? If you have the requisite loot, AAEON's new PICO-WHU4 packs an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8356UE SoC processor into a small package. Based on Intel's Whiskey Lake-U architecture, the embedded CPU rocks 4 cores and 8 threads with a 1.6GHz base clock and 4.1GHz max Turbo frequency. It also features 6MB of L3 cache and has a default 15-watt thermal design power (TDP) rating, though it is configurable down to 12.5W and up to 25W. The advantage here over something like the Raspberry Pi is two-fold. First, it's more powerful than the... Read more...
There is absolutely no reason to buy a Raspberry Pi 4 mini PC with 1GB of RAM. Zip. Zilch. Nada. However, there are plenty of reasons to buy a Raspberry Pi 4 model with 2GB of RAM, because the good folks at the Raspberry Pi Foundation dropped the price to $35, the same as what the 1GB model costs, in celebration of its eighth birthday. It's not just a celebratory price slash, though. Simply put, falling RAM prices have allowed Raspberry Pi Foundation to make the price cut, and so it did. Let that sink in for a moment. Raspberry Pi Foundation is passing on its costs savings to consumers, which is not something that always happens in the hardware world. For those who really want it, the Raspberry... Read more...
In the realm of low-cost, diminutive PCs, the Raspberry Pi has sort of stood as the gold standard, or at least the most popular choice and recognizable name. It certainly helped popularize the category. The Raspberry Pi is not the only hardware option in town, though, and adding to the growing list of alternatives is the new NanoPi R2S. Otherwise known as a single-board computer (SBC), the tiny NanoPi R2S packs some big hardware for its size. It's powered by an open-source Rockchip RK3328 system-on-chip (SoC) built on a 28-nanometer manufacturing process, which consists of four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz with 256KB of L2 cache, and an ARM Mali-450 MP2 GPU. It also contains 1GB... Read more...
ASUS and Google have partnered on a mini PC project. The two companies are collaborating on Tinker Board single board computers (SBCs), which like the Raspberry Pi are credit card sized systems that can be used for a variety of projects. What makes this partnership somewhat unique, however, is the focus on edge AI computing. There are two "Tinker Edge" models—Tinker Edge T and Tinker Edge R. The Tinker Edge T (shown above) pairs an NXP i.MX8M ARM processor with an Edge TPU to accelerate local inference workloads using TensorFlow Lite. It also features a USB Type-C port, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a GbE LAN port, and an HDMI port. ASUS Tinker Board R The Tinker Board R, meanwhile, is powered... Read more...
It appears as though Intel is readying a new next unit of computing (NUC) mini PC, this time time with a Xeon processor option. Codenamed "Quartz Canyon," a leaked slide indicates Intel is targeting entry workstation tasks, including content creation, CAD and manufacturing design, financial services, and other similar chores. Assuming the slide is real, the Quartz Canyon NUC will be configurable with up to an 8-core Xeon E or 9th generation Core i7 vPro processor. The slide also indicates support for high-end desktop graphics cards (possibly NVIDIA GeForce RTX or Quadro GPUs), ECC and Optane memory modules, dual Thunderport and dual Ethernet connectivity, and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) integration. FanlessTech... Read more...
Zotac, a company that knows a thing or three about putting big things into small packages, is upgrading its Mek Mini gaming PCs with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2070 Super and GeForce RTX 2060 Super graphics cards, both of which sit shotgun to a 9th generation Intel Core processor (or is it the other way around?). Intel and NVIDIA can debate if the processor or graphics card is the one that sits shotgun. Either way, these are high end configurations in a small package that Zotac is offering. It's Mek Mini PCs are compact systems that check in at just 9.18 liters. In terms of the footprint, the chassis measures 10.27 x 5.35 x 10.19 inches. As Zotac notes, that is small enough to "comfortably pack into... Read more...
It is often said that big things come in small packages, and in the early going, that appears to be the case with the Raspberry Pi 4. Some new benchmarks show the latest Raspberry Pi iteration performing really well, especially compared to the previous generation Raspberry Pi 3. While we have yet to spend any hands on time with on, the Raspberry Pi 4 is looking like a proper mini PC. In case you missed it, the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Raspberry Pi 4 a couple of weeks ago with a price tag starting at $35. It is powered by a 64-bit Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor running at 1.5GHz and can be configured with 1GB, 2GB, or even 4GB of LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM. The latest Raspberry... Read more...
In addition to pulling a new Raspberry Pi 4 from the oven, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has cooked up a brand new version of its Raspberry Pi operating system, called Raspbian Buster. As the name implies, it is based on Buster, the latest version of Debian Linux (and named after the actual dog in Pixar's Toy Story movies). Interestingly, Raspbian Buster is debuting slightly ahead of the official Debian release. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says this is because the open source OpenGL video driver is now being used by default, and it was developed using the most recent version of Debian. "It would have been a lot of work to port everything required for it back on to Raspbian Stretch, so we decided... Read more...
One of the first products to sport a brand-spanking-new Raspberry Pi 4 is the pi-top [4], a new flagship product by pi-top, a "creative learning" company based in London. The pi-top [4] is described as a "go-anywhere computer" with relatively powerful hardware for creators and makers to leverage in a variety of ways. "Quite simply, the Raspberry Pi 4 makes pi-top [4] the most powerful and connected tool available to creators. Just as affordable technology allowed musicians to create platinum-selling records from their bedroom in the 1980s, pi-top [4] will catalyze new creations from rockstar inventors," said Graham Brown-Martin, chief education and product officer at pi-top. A Raspberry Pi 4... Read more...
Zotac rarely misses an opportunity to crank out a new mini PC, and so it is no surprise that its newest model, the Magnus EC52070D, pairs an 8th generation Intel Core processor with NVIDIA's newfangled GeForce RTX 2070 based on Turing. The end result is a miniature box that punches above its weight class. We have not tested this particular model, though we have played around with several previous generation Zbox machines. It always amazes us the level of power that can be crammed into a comparatively small chassis. In this case, the Magnus measures 8.86 (L) x 7.99 (W) by 5.04 (H) inches. It's not Zotac's tiniest enclosure, but is certainly dwarfed by traditional desktop towers, even compact ones.... Read more...
The popular Raspberry Pi 3 has a new rival in the mini PC space. Shenzhen Xunlong Software has released its Orange Pi 3 development board, with this latest iteration addressing some of the shortcomings of previous generation models. Just as importantly from a consumer standpoint, it offers superior specs compared to the Raspberry Pi 3, while keep the price affordable at around $35 shipped. As with its predecessor, the new Orange Pi 3 is based on the Allwinner H6 platform, which consists of a 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It also features 1GB of LPDDR3 memory for the base model, or 2GB of memory if you want to pony up an additional $5 for the upgraded version. Both... Read more...
ASUS unveiled a new mini PC built around Google's Chrome operating system with full support for Android apps from Google Play. The new Chromebox 3, as it's called, sports some impressive hardware inside a NUC-like chassis, including to an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor. It's a burly chip based on Intel's Kaby Lake Refresh (Kaby Lake-R) architecture with 4 cores and 8 threads clocked at 1.8GHz to 4GHz, with 8MB of L3 cache. Other processor options include the Core i5-8250U, Core i3-7100U, and Celeron 3865U, depending on the buyer's power needs. Systems like this have a wide range of uses, whether it's running dual displays for high-level multitasking, or as a plug-and-play media... Read more...
The fast growing Internet of Things (IoT) market has been a boon to the mini PC market, and the same can be said about the relatively recent maker movement. Plain and simple, geeks love to tinker. The affordable Raspberry Pi helped popularize the mini PC category by offering tinkerers cheap entry into the field, and because of that, we're seeing some interesting competitors emerge. One of them is the NanoPi Neo Plus2. The NanoPi Neo Plus2 is powerful and cheaper alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It is available online for just $25, which is $10 less expensive than the Pi 3. Based on price along, you might think the NanoPi Neo Plus2 is a comparatively under powered mini PC or otherwise... Read more...
Intel is releasing a new line of "Next Unit of Computing" (NUC) devices built around its newly launched desktop Kaby Lake processor family unveiled at CES. While not a monumental leap over Skylake, Intel's Kaby Lake architecture brings with it a handful of architecture improvements and better integrated graphics, both of which are welcome upgrades in the fast growing mini PC sector.Early generation NUCs were interesting, though not necessarily exciting due to their limitations. However, NUCs have become increasingly capable little machines as of late, and for users in need of a system that can tackle general purpose computing chores, NUCs have become intriguing options. That is even more true... Read more...
Forget everything you know about workstations, or at least dismiss the preconceived notion that systems serving up server grade power are typically as big as they are powerful. That might have been the case before, but HP just turned the sector upside down by introducing its Z2 Mini, a relatively tiny box measuring 2.3 inches high by 8.5 inches long and wide. HP is billing the Z2 Mini as the industry's first mini workstation. We won't argue that claim—at just 2.3 inches high, the Z2 Mini is 90 percent smaller than a traditional business-class tower desktop. Or put another way, this thing is shorter than a cup of espresso, HP points out. The Z2 Mini isn't small just for the sake of boasting a... Read more...
Depending on how old you are and where you went to school, you might memories of jabbing a potato with nails, wiring it up with copper, and using the seemingly unlikely contraption to illuminate a light bulb. That was high tech stuff back in the day, but it's a different era and today's kids are playing with far cooler toys. One of them is BBC's Micro Bit, a mini PC that's not totally unlike the Raspberry Pi. Having already been used to teach kids in the U.K. how to program, the Micro Bit is headed overseas. BBC gifted 1 million of the DIY PCs to year 7 (sixth grade) students in the U.K. last year, the the roll out happened later than teachers anticipated. Many of them held onto the device until... Read more...
Budding programmers and makers on a budget were treated to the Raspberry Pi Zero last November, and despite carrying a shockingly low price of just $5, the Raspberry Pi Foundation was somehow "blindsided" by the level of demand. That's only going to increase now that a camera connector's been added. Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said it was "through dumb luck" that the same size FPC connector used on the company's Compute Module Development Kit happened to fit perfectly on the right hand side of the Raspberry Pi Zero. All it took was some rearranging of components and just like that, the least expensive version of Raspberry Pi was upgraded with one of the most frequently demanded missing features.... Read more...
The teeny-tiny PC movement that's leading the Internet of Things (IoT) category is largely dominated by ARM-based processors, and for good reason—they're cheap and capable. That's fine and dandy, but what if you prefer to work with a x86 architecture? You have options, one of them being JaguarBoard, a mini PC project that's currently in search of funding on Kickstarter. JaguarBoard looks strikingly similar to Raspberry Pi, which is arguably the most popular credit card sized PC out there. But unlike Raspberry Pi, JaguarBoard allows users to code for a x86 architecture courtesy of its Intel Atom Z3735G (Bay Trail) foundation (similar to the CPU you'll find in Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2).... Read more...
We cover a lot of high end gear, everything from multi-core processors with boatloads of cache to graphics cards that can run circles around Crysis. But what about the other end of the spectrum? A company called Endless Computers points out that in the developing world, nearly 5 billion people don't have access to a PC. Endless aims to change that with a low cost system that brings the Internet to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to either. Meet the Endless Mini, a $79 sphere-shaped PC. It's built around an ARM Cortex-A5 processor running at 1.5GHz with a Mali-450 GPU. It also has 1GB of RAM and 24GB of solid state storage. Connectivity options consist of three USB 2.0 ports (two on... Read more...
Shh, do you hear that? Neither do we, nor are we supposed to. In case you're wondering, we're listening for MSI's Cubi N mini PC, only we can listen until the cows come home and never hear a peep from the tiny box. That's because it's a fanless system designed to deliver "ultra-silent" (not just silent!) operation.In case you haven't been paying attention to the NUCs and Zboxes and every other pint sized PC of late, these mini systems are growing in popularity. You can thank advances in processor technology for that, and in this case, give a salute to Intel and its Braswell architecture. The Cubi N features an Intel Celeron N3150 processor built on a 14nm manufacturing process, which provides... Read more...
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