Looking to get 2 mini pcs to pair with scopes on 2 permanent piers in a roll off roof observatory. This one caught my eye for the following reasons:
Windows 10 PRO (can disable auto updates easily)
64GB internal storage (enough space if update is needed)
Gigabit ethernet port
MicroSD slot (up to 128 GB)
Can anyone identify any potential "gotchas" with this plan? Are there better choices in the price range? Obviously these will not be used for processing, just image capture, guiding, running stellarium etc over remote desktop.
That seems like a reasonable piece of hardware for your requirements. I'm always a little leery of running Stellarium on very basic video hardware ... but this is getting easier and easier as the hardware gets better (Stellarium puts a fairly heavy workload on the video processing side of your PC).
Primary storage is an eMMC drive so "disk" performance will be limited. Just don't do anything really I/O intensive and you'll be fine.
No external wifi antennas ... fine in your living room but depending on your physical setup - how far away your mount's are, strength of your wifi, etc. you may find wifi is an issue. It sounds like (since you specifically mentioned the GigE) that you're planning on a wired setup. This will make a lot more sense with the remote desktop usage.
My concerns would be more with the software side of things.
a) this isn't an activated version of Win10 so you'll eventually have to deal with that (spend some additional money or live with the non activated limitations).
b) you can't entirely disable the updates. You can more easily postpone and manage system updates with the pro version, but eventually you'll be forced into an upgrade.
I had different requirements and ended up with a bit more capable system (Win7, no fans, i5, 8GB/128GB SSD, real RS232 ports) and obviously had to spend a bit more. https://www.aliexpre...2857778466.html
This PC has been bullet proof for the past 9 months (it lives in the observatory 24x7 with temp ranges of -30 to +40C). It replaced an ATOM based system that I've had outside for 4 years (and is still running well, I just needed more speed).
Rimcrazy - the real RS232 ports have been very useful as I have gear that requires legacy RS232 serial support (mount control and firmware updates, camera control, and a few DIY projects).