Giada Q11 – a very unusual mini PC

giada4In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a couple of unusual mini PCs, mainly ones including VGA output like this and this, but the new Giada Q11 takes ‘unusual’ to a whole new level.

In terms of the actual basic hardware, it’s not really much to write home about – a single-core Allwinner A10 Cortex A8 processor isn’t going to set the world alight with its speed, but it’s more the extra ports this one includes.

As cnx-software.com points out, the Giada Q11¬†seems destined for display signage given the unusual ports available, such as LVDS video and LVDS power output. You don’t often see these on embedded boards, let alone a complete mini PC. Throw in HDMI and VGA output as well and you can see that display versatility was a key feature for the designers of this one.

giada1giada2giada3As for storage, it comes with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of flash but with four USB2.0 ports on the back, you won’t have a lack of external options. Further, there’s an on-board SATA port and room for a 2.5-inch drive. And for good measure, there’s a USB3.0 port on the right-hand side. Throw in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna, RJ45 Ethernet port on the back and SD card reader and it’s one of the best equipped mini PCs we’ve come across. It’s just a pity it’s using just a single-core SoC CPU.

You even get a microphone and speaker output.

But if you look closely at the specifications of many of today’s SoC CPUs, many have these features included, they’re just not often brought to the outside or they’re left as I/O pins on the circuit board. Sure, having these extra ports means a bigger chassis is required but having access to ports like VGA output would generally be quite welcome. Yes, few people would use the LVDS header connectors but it’d be nice to get access to some of the extra built-in features more often than we do.

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