We are a taking a close up look at the iBox from Itead Studio who are based in electronics hub in Shenzhen, China. The first thing that you will notice about the iBox is its size and the fact that it looks just like a plain box. It is only when you get up close and personal that you realise this small box is a mini PC. It is going to be powered by a dual core ARM Cortex A7 processor with graphics coming from the Mali 400 MP video card. Storage comes in the form of a 4 GB NAND Flash and 1 GB of DDR3 RAM.
When it comes to operating systems, it seems to us that making it simple is the best way to go and therefore it is able to run on either an Android or Linux operating through the NAND Flash or is required through the micro SD slot. The iBox has the added features of running same board as found in the Iteaduino Plus device and that means it is going to be running a handy text editor, Git version controls that means shared virtual hosting services. SMB and the CIFS network protocol link software which works between UNIX and Windows.
There is also build-essential which offers support in compiling such as GCC, the Perl programming language tool, a secure network connection program or (SSH) and finally there is a useful python language compiler tool. So from what we can see here, the iBox might be small and yet it can be used for two main things, the first is as a mini computer running whichever lightweight operating system you need preferably being loaded from boot up from the micro SD slot or USB port. The other use is an Android powered set top TV box, although this would seem to be the least best use for the iBox.
There is of course, more uses available to this little machine according to the devices connected to it, from our experience the iBox is wasted as a TV set top box but as a mini PC this device excels and it has the added bonus of being highly portable, after all there are not many PC’s that you slip into your pocket! You can get idea of the size through the images, the iBox is next to a 13.3 inch Chromebook and you can clearly see that it is a palm sized device that measures in at 145 mm (L) x 90 mm (W) x 25 mm (W) and it weighs in at next to nothing. The iBox is quite impressive for such a small device.
As you can see from the images the iBox comes with plenty of interface connections, which of a small device is what you need. So in order to add other devices easily the iBox come with four USB ports, a HDMI out port, the essential ethernet port offering a 100m connection, a micro SD card slot and at the end of the device there is the multi functional 32 pin expansion interface. The iBox has been raising funds through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, the initial goal was $2,000 and yet with over a week to go they project has raised almost $9,000 so this just shows how popular the device is going to be when it launches later on in the year. The estimated retail price will be around $90, which is not bad for little device with big prospects.
Source: The Itead Studio