Evaluation Type: Independent Products
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?: Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone Black
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Getting Ubuntu Working with the board
---- REVIEW ----
So, Let me Start my review of this product.
Single Board Computers are quickly catching up the market and probably in near future Hackers and Developers will be carrying a Hackable Tablet having Arduino Built in it . Even more fascinating up-coming technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). The RIoT Board or Revolutionizing the Internet Of things Fits Perfectly into the domain.
First of all, I want to thank Element14 and the RoadTest Program for selecting me for this Exciting RoadTest. As Exciting as the board is I really had fun playing with it. This Board is currently Not for Hobbiest's like Raspberry Pi but with the Awesome Support and Community It will Soon Be. This Board can be closely compared to Beagle Bone Black with more RAM and eMMC, further it has more number of peripherals like LVDS, Full Sized SD and Boot Selector Switch.
So, Lets compare it to the two most competing Rivals.
Enough said about the board, The Software Is not at all Matured and I guess it will take some time to get there. There is an official Ubuntu Distribution as well as an Official Android Distribution available. I am not sure What use is Android @ IoT but Ubuntu seems really cool . This board compares to RPi Model B in terms of it's Power consumption, thus leaving Beagle Bone Black a bit more power hungry. I measured an average of 310mA while booting Ubuntu (Will post more info once I do more tests).
The Most Cool Feature of this board is the Boot Selector Switch, You can have multiple OS's i.e. Android, Ubuntu, etc. on various SD Cards and boot from them bu just changing the boot configuration, no need of having to remove and reprogramming the SD card now . This is really good as in RPi you dont have internal storage so you have to always re-flash the SD image. In Beagle Bone Black, you do have internal memory and uSD slot but if the SD is inserted , no matter what you have in eMMC you will always boot from uSD. Another interesting feature is no matter how much I run this board the processor seems to be moderately hot not as hot as RPi goes. I guess this is because of the Processor-Memory separate as compared to PoP on RPi. This make it really usable in closed space projects where you dome have space for the processors heat dissipation.
Another amazing feature of this board, is the UART Port Out. Well, this is also a feature on the Beagle Bone Black, but this SBC makes it even more awesome with a dedicated 3 pin connector for Rx, Tx and GND. This makes working with this board easier even if you dont own any sort of display, just hook it to a USB-UART converter (Even Arduino) and vola, you have a terminal to work with.
The Down-Side of this board is also the Plus of this board, i.e. Loads of features. With More peripheral the size of the Board is like more than a credit card Size !! and stacked up to SBC's like BBB and RPi this board is Huge (and by saying Huge I am polite ) .
Jumping on to my project :
I wanted to make a Battery Powered UPS for RIoT Board, as I will be using it as a gateway, and I really dont want it to be shut down as soon as the power goes off. So I came up with many prototypes, which all work , Yeah, that's what took me so much time getting this review done . Initially I was using something like this
I have couple of short videos (Tried to make it for everyone, irrespective of the techyy knowledge, It may be kinna too simple, so All the Techyy Guys Pl. forgive me and for any details please comment below )
Prototype 3 Demonstration , Well I will use this for future as this solution is the Cheapest . I have made a bread board version so that I can power other kits / Modules as well. Please see the 3rd picture with the Grey battery
This board claims to Revolutionize IoT, but it is not there yet and may be till the time it is there other's may have taken the lead. That being said, This is an awesome board if you want to experiment with the software, or you want more RAM/ eMMC for your projects. It is also really good if you have some different modules like LVDS Display/ CSI cam Mod, ets laying around, and you want a board to connect and work everything out .
I agree with your assessment. The RioT board is not for a newbie, either to SBC or to Linux.
My lack of detailed or even a good working knowledge of Linux keeps me from digging too deep into the capabilities.
I would love to see a document that shows how the kernel interacts with the boards capabilities. There is an incredible amount of useful tools within the board.
I wonder if the board could be flashed with a simpler OS so that we could dig into the root capabilities of the board.