RoadTest: Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit
Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Rabbit and Arduino
What were the biggest problems encountered?: The only thing in the box besides the eval board was A USB cable. No welcome letter, no software, no documentation of any kind to get to assist in the process of evaluation. The IDE was not user friendly. There were compatibility issues with the test software and the IDE.
Thank you, Element14 for the opportunity to evaluate the Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit (ATSAM4S-XPLD).
The Atmel SAM-4S Xplained (ATSAM4S-XPLD) As described by ATMEL, is "an evaluation kit is a hardware platform to evaluate the Atmel SAM4S16 microcontroller.
The kit offers a large range of features that enables the Atmel ARM® SAM4S16 user to get started using SAM4S peripherals right away and understand how to integrate the SAM4S device in their own design."
The packaging was remarkable. The Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Board was placed in a sealed antistatic bag. The antistatic bag along with a very nice 6 foot USB cable (USB A to MicroB) was placed in plastic case with 1/8 inch foam on both halves. The case was placed in a factor card board sleeve. Finally, our friends from Element14 / Newark boxed it for shipment.
Unfortunately, required items, in my opinion, were not included in the box. No welcome letter, no software, no documentation of any kind to get to assist in the process of evaluation. ATMEL does have a plethora of data on their WEB Site. Guidance in or on the box would be extremely beneficial.
The IDE (ATMEL Studio 6), at first, was not user friendly. There were compatibility issues between it and the test software. However, since update 6.1 of Atmel Studio, I've had better success in navigating the software and programming the Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Board.
During the test phase of my evaluation, after overcoming my familiarity issues with Atmel Studio, I went back and forth between the ADC_ADC_TEMP_SENSOR_EXAMPLE2 and the SAM4S_XPLAINED_QTOUCH_DEMO1 ATMEL Solution Files (atsln). This provided a quantifiable baseline to insure performance not only from the SAM4S_XPLAINED but, me as well.
I tested the board for power efficiency using the SAM4S_XPLAINED_QTOUCH_DEMO1 and discovered, with the 2 amber LEDs in the off state, the board was consuming approximatly126.8 mA. With the LEDs in the on state the board consumed approximatly136.4 mA.
The Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit (ATSAM4S-XPLD) appears to be a well-built product suitable for small to moderate processing and monitoring needs as well as a fine platform to exercise the capabilities if the Atmel ARM® SAM4S16 microcontroller.
Again, I would like to thank Element14 for this oportunity.
I saw that too. The site definitely could use an update. I was having such problems with the site I decided not to score it this go around. Besides albeit fun, it wouldn't be fare to grade it based on emotion only.
I would rather pay a little more for the product and have proper documentation and references. The Arduino for example had excellent startup documentation. I don't need a full set of printed docs just good startup and references.
It appears Matt is going to address the issues with the Review Site.
FYI There are issues with your the review WEB Site. I'm using IE 9. The site reset numerous times. There are words under "Product Performed to Expectations" That I cannot read.
Yes, I found that - see: http://www.element14.com/community/message/71859#71859/l/bug-in-road-test-review-form
Considering the price, I don't think it's unreasonable - and it is certainly not unusual - that there is no documentation in the pack.
But what I do find unreasonable and unheplful is that there isn't even a URL printed anywhere on any of the packaging to take you to a download page for the documentation!
You still gave it more points that me, though!