Fanless Android/Linux ”desktop” pairs Snapdragon quad with mSATA storage

Embedded PC maker CompuLab has created a tiny Linux "desktop" based on ARM hardware. The Utilite2 crams a Snapdragon SoC along with a surprising selection of goodies into a die-cast aluminum chassis that measures just 3.4" x 3.4" x 1.1". Linaro-based Linux builds will support the machine, which will also be offered with a Google Play-approved version Android 4.4.3 KitKat.

Source: CompuLab

The fanless enclosure houses a Qualcomm APQ8064 processor with quad Krait cores and an Adreno 320 GPU. The chip is familiar from Google's Nexus 4 smartphone, and like in that device, it's paired with a respectable 2GB of RAM. Although the integrated eMMC storage is limited to just 4GB, the Utilite2 supports mSATA drives up to 512GB and microSD cards up to 128GB. CompuLab also plans to offer an optional cellular modem that slots into the motherboard.

Even without cellular onboard, the Utilite2 is loaded with connectivity. Networking options include Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi via dual antennas. There are four USB 2.0 ports, complete with OTG support, plus an HDMI 1.4a video out. Audio can be run through that output or over the analog input and output jacks that pierce the outer shell.

The Utilite2 is aimed at industrial applications, such as digital signage, in addition to media players and mini desktops. Pricing hasn't been announced, but we'll know before too long. CompuLab expects to start selling units this month. If the firm delivers on its promise to "collaborate closely with the open-source community," this could turn be a nice little machine for a variety of applications.

Thanks to FanlessTech for the tip.

Comments closed
    • SonicSilicon
    • 5 years ago

    Oh! Finally! A way to repurpose those old drawers for 3.5″ floppy disks.
    You can store a bunch of these desktops in those. </scarcasm>

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 5 years ago

    Since when did a ”desktop” become the same size as a mouse.

      • Concupiscence
      • 5 years ago

      Does this really strike you as a problem? Personally I find this appealing: on some level this would be like a Raspberry Pi with better fit, finish, and technical specifications. If it’s not heinously expensive I’ll pick one up, install Debian with a light window manager, and let it handle torrenting and miscellaneous always-on needs.

      • Archer
      • 5 years ago

      That could very well be a gigantic mouse.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        Based on the images showing ports with known dimensions (Ethernet, usb) I’d say it’s about 3.5″ square. That’s a small Logitch wireless mouse, most likely. I have a couple similar in design.

        Edit: if I read the article I’d see it is actually 3.4″

        • ozzuneoj
        • 5 years ago

        R.O.U.S. ? I don’t think they exist.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      Well it’s not a laptop. It could connect to a monitor and then you’d use it…I dunno…on a desk? On TOP of the DESK, even?

        • Deanjo
        • 5 years ago

        What if you placed it on top of a carrot? What would be called then?

          • Farting Bob
          • 5 years ago

          Well you cant call it carrot top, you’d get sued and it won’t be funny.

    • Hattig
    • 5 years ago

    It all depends on the cost really. For under $100 this is quite nice because of the I/O. Any more and it starts losing its value proposition against other nano PC solutions.

      • internetsandman
      • 5 years ago

      That’s what I was thinking, they can’t really charge much for this without losing what little value it presents

      • digitalnut
      • 5 years ago

      CompuLab’s current model with quad core is listed for $219. They currently start at $99 for single core model.

      [url<]http://www.compulab.co.il/utilite-computer/web/order-utilite-direct[/url<]

    • jjj
    • 5 years ago

    Snapdragon 600 is seriously outdated , we would be better off with a high clocks A53 based SoC.

      • nico1982
      • 5 years ago

      Every A53 SOC announced to date includes a cellular radio. Nobody will use it, and will only drive costs up. This APQ8064 looks like a Snapdragon S4: Krait 200 cores rather than Krait 300 as in Snapdragon 600 and, obviously, no radio.

      Still, I don’t think it is outdated by any means it this context, and no slower than a quad A53.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        Edit again: I’m just going to start this comment over:

        If it’s APQ8064T it’s Krait 300 at 1.7GHz, which matches the spec sheet (from the news post: [url<]http://www.compulab.co.il/utilite-computer/web/utilite2-pr-011214)[/url<]. Stupid f***ing Qualcomm and their model numbers. [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualcomm_Snapdragon#Snapdragon_600_series[/url<]

          • nico1982
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]Stupid f***ing Qualcomm and their model numbers.[/quote<] Ahahah, yes, they are far worse than AMD's. Anyway, looks like it. It is also used in the Amazon Fire TV and doesn't include a modem. It also does more sense than the older S4, which probably isn't manufactured anymore.

        • jjj
        • 5 years ago

        On the connectivity side yes if you don’t count the yet to be released Rockchiip but even so quad or even octa A53 might be cheaper.
        Here for example [url<]http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/1395896?baseline=1398739[/url<] And that MTK is just 1.7GHz and 32-bit single-channel 800 MHz LPDDR3. Ofc this is a low vol thingy from a small company and it is easier to use and older SoC just like it is with most such products and i was fully aware of that so i was just saying... We have plenty of sticks and little boxes with lower end or older SoCs but few with something better.

      • entropy13
      • 5 years ago

      The newer (and presumably more power-efficient) Snapdragons are coming early next year, so perhaps waiting a few more months (if you want a setup similar to this) is in order.

        • jihadjoe
        • 5 years ago

        1 or 2 less watts on the table doesn’t exactly make this a deal-breaker, considering it’s going to be plugged in anyway.

        The feature that might be worth waiting for IMO is H.265 hardware decode. I made the mistake of getting a Sigma based networked media player that only supported DivX/Xvid just before H.264 became standard, and that became rather useless in short order. With 4k quickly becoming mainstream buying a media-oriented device now that’s H.264 only might mean a very quick trip to buyer’s remorse.

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    Any serious industry should know better than to trust their network security to android.

      • wierdo
      • 5 years ago

      Why? Is there something unusual about its implementation vs other platforms?

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        android has terrible security. I wouldn’t trust android with anything that mattered.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          That is the worst, circularest logic yet.

      • Concupiscence
      • 5 years ago

      Serious industries do know better, and if they looked at this they’d probably opt for a server-centric Linux distribution with a focus on enterprise functionality. But for dyed-in-the-wool tinkerers that may want to use this for stuff that’s decidedly off the production floor Android could be a handy addition.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        totally agree

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