Just received one of these today from Amazon and I'm going through the process of setting it up for use as a scope-mounted PC. These units cost $170 (U.S.) and can be ordered direct from Amazon. Here are the basic specs:
MINIX NEO Z83-4
Atom X5-Z8300, quad core, 1.44/1.84GHz(burst)
Fanless (images online show a very large internal heat sink that contacts the metal bottom of the case)
Windows 10 (64-bit), fully licensed
32GB eMMC Internal Flash Storage
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 with external Antenna (which is a good thing)
3 x USB2, 1 x USB3
HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs (simultaneous, dual display)
Analog audio in/out and audio over HDMI
Transflash/microSD card slot
12VDC operation (user manual says the computer draws only 1A, but the power supply outputs up to 3A for any attached peripherals).
Dimensions 5" x 5" x 1.25" (approximately, not counting the WiFi antenna)
Thus far everything seems to be working fine. But, here are a few comments:
The Transflash/microSD card needs to be inserted with the card contacts facing UP (this seems upside down, I don't know if all units are like this).
Unfortunately, the Transflash/microSD card write performance seems to be pretty slow, about one half the speed that I've gotten on the 2016 Intel Compute Stick. The best I've measured on writes is about 40MB/s in the card slot. On the USB3 port with a card reader I've gotten up to 70MB/s, and on the USB2 port about 40MB/s. The microSD card slot on the Intel Compute Stick gets about 70MB/s on writes with the same card. The read speed is much better, about 70MB/s. But this is still worse than on the Intel Compute Stick where reads are about 90MB/s.
I've got to admit, this was one of my concerns/reservations about getting this unit, because I knew that the card slot on the Intel Compute Stick worked very well. If the slot is really limited to 40MB/s writes then this could impact the usefulness of this unit for high-speed, planetary image capture. It's always got to be something. I still wish someone would come out with a similar device using the faster Atom X7-Z8700 because that chip has twice the memory bandwidth and twice the number of PCI Express lanes (Z8300 is 1x1, Z8700 is 2x1/1x2). Of course, the Z8700 is a little more expensive (a few dollars, direct from Intel) but I suspect that the faster i/o and memory configurations would also increase the cost.
I've check the SD driver and everything seems to be up to date and I also have write caching enabled for the port.
Other than the above (and thus far, I still have a lot of setup and testing to complete) everything seems to be working well. I was able to make a system image backup to an external hard drive and I was also able to connect an external CD/DVD drive to the Minix and create a recovery disk. The WiFi connected immediately to my 5GHz Apple Airport Time Capsule and I haven't noticed any problems with the WiFi (as yet). I'm hoping that with the external antenna I can get some better wireless performance over what I observed on the Intel Compute Stick.
I haven't yet tried to reduce the size of the system installation, but right now after updating to the Windows Anniversary Edition I've got about 13.6GB of free space left on the internal storage (15GB used out of the available 28.6GB).
In the image below you can get an idea of the relative size between the Intel Compute Stick (on the left) and the Minix Neo. Also, the four USB ports and the card slot (left) on the front of the Minix.
Edited by james7ca, 08 January 2017 - 08:06 AM.