Biostar mini PC combines Bay Trail quad with USB audio


— 10:27 AM on October 20, 2014

On the surface, Biostar's new iDEQ-T1 looks like yet another Bay Tray-powered mini PC. It has a quad-core Celeron N2940 clocked up to 2.25GHz, two DDR3L memory slots primed for up to 16GB of RAM, a 2.5" SATA bay that can accept drives up to 9.5 mm thick, Gigabit Ethernet via a Realtek controller, and a Mini PCIe slot for wireless cards. Everything is wrapped in a compact 8.3" x 7.3" x 1.6" case that weighs 1.8 lbs and can be hung from a VESA-compatible mounting bracket.

That's pretty much the extent of the highlights for the standard model, otherwise known as the IN2940T1. However, there's a second version with an entirely different audio configuration. Instead of using a Realtek codec, the IN294KT1 employs a separate C-Media CM108AH controller that connects via USB and features its own headphone amp. This variant also comes with "Hi-Fi K-Bar" software that turns the system into a karaoke machine.

Biostar claims the karaoke-ready audio has a 110-dB SNR, but the C-Media chip looks like a fairly basic solution, so audiophiles shouldn't get too excited. Unless you actually want to sing along to your favorite songs, you're probably better off routing audio through the HDMI port at the back.

Apart from the optional karaoke config, the iDEQ-T1 has one other feature that sets it apart from typical mini Bay Trail rigs. LAN drivers are embedded in the firmware, where they can be saved to connected SATA or USB storage. This little perk should make it easier for folks to get an initial build online, especially if they don't have a secondary system handy. As the product page perfectly points out, "so thoughtful design is really impressive." Indeed.

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