Linux Gadgets

[Review] GeekBox: The Swiss Military Knife Of Mini PCs

Complete review of GeekBoxComplete review of GeekBox

The world goes miniature. Now we have the gadget market crammed with mini PCs, Android TV packing containers, Stick PCs, Micro Computer systems and what not.

It’s troublesome to decide on between a micro laptop like Raspberry Pi, a stick PC like Magic Stick, an Android TV field like Roku and a Linux based mostly mini-PC. Every of the units serves a particular objective and targets a distinct segment userbase.

Raspberry Pi is a strong micro-computer and the primary selection of DIY hobbyists. However it isn’t a plug and play gadget and requires numerous tinkering, which isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Android TV packing containers are restricted to their use as a tool to surf web and stream content material in your TV. Stick PC are extra like Android TV packing containers with a bit extra than simply utilizing Android for streaming contents. Mini PCs are the substitute of the normal desktop however lack the event functionality of Raspberry Pi.

GeekBox: A hybrid gadget

What when you have a tool that might be used as a substitute of all of the above units? Chinese language web retailer GeekBuying thries the identical with its open supply gadget, GeekBox.

GeekBox is mini-PC like gadget which is compact in measurement and comes pre-loaded with Android in twin boot with Ubuntu.

Like Android TV packing containers, you need to use it through distant on your easy streaming wants. You need to use it through keyboard and mouse as mini-PC/stick PC. You received’t have to limit your self with that as a result of it is usually a improvement package that you need to use in your individual tasks, like Raspberry Pi.

Intrigued? Let’s see in particulars about GeekBox.

GeekBox specs

GeekBox boasts of a really spectacular specification for such a tiny gadget. Sure, it’s a compact gadget, even smaller Raspberry Pi. We’ll see about its physic afterward. Let’s first see the specification:

Working System Android & Ubuntu Twin OS
CPU Rockchip RK3368 ARM 64Bits Octa-core [email protected]
GPU PowerVR SGX6110 GPU; Help OpenGL three.1, OpenGL ES 1.half of.zero/three.zero, OpenCL, DirectX9.three
RAM 2GB [email protected]
ROM 16GB Samsung eMMC v5.zero
Wifi Connectivity IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 [email protected] AP6354
Ethernet 100/1000M LAN
Bluetooth four.1
Video help: HD MPEG1/2/four,H.265,4K-HD, HD AVC/VC-1,RM/RMVB,Xvid/DivX3/four/5/6 ,RealVideo8/9/10 Avi/Rm/Rmvb/Ts/Vob/Mkv/Mov/ISO/wmv/asf/flv/dat/mpg/mpeg [email protected] Hz video decoding 10-bit HEVC and AVS+ codec help; H.264 as much as 4K 30 Hz
3D Hardward 3D graphics acceleration
Audio Help: MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/OGG/AC3/DDP/TrueHD/DTS/DTS/HD/FLAC/APE
Image Help: JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG/TIFF
Decision HDMI2.zero as much as [email protected]
1 HDMI 2.zero port
2 x USB Host
1 x OTG
1 x TF Card Slot
1 x RJ45
1 x DC Jack
2 x Antena
1 x MXMIII
Safety HW Safety system, help common DRM and HDCP 1.four/2.x
IR Distant Controller
LED x 2
MXM MXM3 Edge-fingers
Construct-in eDP Show and TP Construct-in Contact Panel
three Pins Uart Port for builders
2 Pins Management Port for Cooling Fan
2 Pins Port for RTC Battery
Reboot and Replace buttons
Energy Provide DC 5V/2A
Measurement 90 x 69 x 21 mm
Weight zero.5kg

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Seems like a strong specification, isn’t it? Are you questioning how does it really really feel like to make use of it? I’ll share my first expertise with GeekBox.

Expertise with GeekBox

I acquired the GeekBox within the first week of January. In reality, that is my first gadget of the yr 2016. Package deal seems to be first rate however I did discover it a tad bit troublesome to open the outer field. Belief me, I’m not the one one who had such expertise as you possibly can see different individuals struggling to open it.

When you handle to open the field, you’ll see a strong wanting GeekBox gadget on the highest. GeekBox has an actual rugged look that makes its look cooler.

GeekBox first lookGeekBox first look

The package consists of many of the belongings you would want to get began. Together with the GeekBox, you get a charger with USB cable, an HDMI cable and a distant management.

GeekBox unpaackagingGeekBox unpaackaging

Attaching it to TV and turning it on is a toddler’s play. It first boots into Android Lolipop. You’ll see a well-recognized interface when you have ever used any Android gadget.

Android on GeekBoxAndroid on GeekBox

You need to use the distant that got here with it to navigate. Distant management can be utilized in two modes, TV distant and Mouse mode. Mouse mode offers you the (restricted) possibility of transferring the cursor pointer. Distant mode offers you much more restricted possibility the place you’ll have a troublesome time, particularly if that you must kind issues:

GeekBox android experienceGeekBox android experience

Actually, I counsel you to make use of a correct keyboard and mouse, if you’re going to do numerous typing. If utilizing Netflix and Kodi is your precedence, the distant must be ample. Speaking of Netflix and Kodi, these are put in by default, together with another apps.

Apps in GeekBox androidApps in GeekBox android

To put in new apps, you need to use Aptoide, an Android market place.

GeekBox app installationGeekBox app installation

Besides into Linux, you possibly can click on on shutdown icon and it provides you with the choices to shutdown, reboot and reboot into Linux.

Rebooting into Linux in GeekBoxRebooting into Linux in GeekBox

The Linux OS we’re speaking here’s a custom-made model of Lubuntu. The distant management turns into just about ineffective within the Linux system. It’s essential to have a keyboard presently, else you’ll have an actual arduous time. Here’s what it seems to be like:

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Geekbox LubuntuGeekbox Lubuntu

There’s a ‘Boot2Android’ shortcut on the desktop that permits you to reboot into Android. As you might even see within the image above, there may be clearly a decision problem with the Linux model. It simply doesn’t match with the show decision of my Samsung TV. I needed to manually change it.

GeekBox as improvement package

I haven’t had time to do some DIY tasks on GeekBox but. However I’m nonetheless going to record a number of options of GeekBox as improvement package that may curiosity you. A barebone GeekBox has the next ports:

GeekBox System on ChipGeekBox System on Chip

GeekBox System on ChipGeekBox System on Chip

GeekBuying has a number of equipment corresponding to cooling fan, warmth sink and a 7.9 inches Retina show, that you need to use with it. The total potential of GeekBox as a improvement package is unlocked with GeekBox Landingship which can be bought individually.

You possibly can go to GeekBox discussion board for any helps, tutorials and dialogue. In case you are , you may also obtain supply code for GeekBox:

GeekBox Supply Code

Verdict

GeekBox is a tool that intends to supply one thing for everybody. This open supply gadget generally is a excellent selection in case you are seeking to purchase an Android TV field. It’s ready-to-use as a media middle and it may be simply used as a improvement package to construct tasks. Discussion board helps and pattern tasks lists, although not as large as Raspberry Pi, are there and must be rising in close to future because the gadget is being nicely appreciated by its customers.

To summarize its professional and cons:

Execs:

Open supply gadget
Tiny measurement however strong look
Glorious specification
Plug and play
Growth prepared
Loads of equipment accessible

Cons:

Might appear a bit dear when in comparison with Raspberry Pi
Will want keyboard and mouse for Linux (like another micro laptop or mini PC)
Want extra tutorials and movies to assist construct a group round it

At $109, it’s positioned in the identical value group as many different Android TV packing containers. It is a wonderful gadget for this value vary and positively value shopping for it. 

When you determine to purchase it now, you possibly can use coupon code 15GEEKBOX to get further $15 off.

Purchase GeekBox

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