Today we’re going to have a look at Seeed Studio’s Odyssey X86J4105—– a maker/builder-tailored, Celeron-powered mini-PC. The little gadget appears like what you ‘d get if a Chromebox and a Raspberry Pi made sweet, sweet love—– it’s a Celeron-powered all-in-one system-on-chip (SoC) board, sold without a case, with Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO headers and an Arduino coprocessor for more hardware-based maker projects.
I have a confession to make: I’ve never ever actually loved the Raspberry Pi. Heresy, I understand! But regardless of how seriously inexpensive the much-loved little boxes are, they never ever seem quite powerful enough for the projects I ‘d have an interest in tackling. On celebration, I’ve flirted with other ARM mini-PCs that are a little more costly and a lot more powerful—– like Odroid XU4, or the more recent Odroid N2—– however they still felt quite constrained compared to even budget x86 PCs. The Odyssey appears tailor-made to resolve those efficiency concerns.
Requirements and capabilities
|Specifications at a look: Odyssey X86J4105|
|OS||Windows 10 Business (activated)|
|CPU||Quad-core Celeron J4105|
|GPU||incorporated Intel UHD 600|
|Wi-Fi||Dual-band Intel 9650 Wi-Fi 5 + Bluetooth 5.0|
|SSD||Sandisk 64GB (59.6 GiB) eMMC|
|Cost as tested||Odyssey with triggered Win10 Enterprise: $258|
Seeed re_computer case: $20
Seeed Studio Odyssey X86J4105 Mini PC
If you’re looking to manage other hardware on an extremely low level, Odyssey likewise has a Raspberry Pi-compatible 40-pin GPIO header and a 28-pin header for its ATSAMD21 Arduino coprocessor. We’re not set up to evaluate those functions, but Odyssey maker Seeed is likewise the manufacturer of the well-reputed Grove sensor system—– so when it tells us that the Odyssey’s ports and coprocessor are Grove-compatible, we’re inclined to believe them.
When it concerns form elements, the Odyssey in its re_computer case advises us most of an unusually geeky Chromebox. Like the Chromebox, Odyssey in the re_computer case is just larger than the VESA installing plate on the back of a monitor—– and also like the Chromebox, it has VESA suitable mounting holes on the back. You’ll need to supply your own mounting studs if you wish to benefit from that option, though.
The re_computer case was honestly a little a pain to assemble—– the provided directions consist of unlabeled diagrams just, and the diagrams aren’t all accurate. In particular, we want that they would have informed us up front that the clear top lid of the re_computer was magnetically attached! The box notes the cover in the stock as a separate part, but it’s already snapped into the case itself, and it’s not right away clear that you can pry it loose quickly with a spudger or other fine-edged tool.
Once you actually get the re_computer case assembled, it’s exceptionally attractive and practical. Any of the parts you require to mess with can be accessed by eliminating the magnetically attached clear lid, and the external ports are all easy to get to and unobscured. We also really like the cheerful royal blue that the sides of the case are anodized with.
What can you make with an Odyssey?
If you’re wanting to build a Kodi or similar house theater PC system, the J4105 and its UHD 600 graphics are more than up to the task, at least approximately 1080P—– 4K is satisfactory, but some videos will exhibit a little frame drop. In our screening, 4K videos on Vimeo played flawlessly; 4K on YouTube was watchable but noticeably dropped a frame here and there.
Lastly, you can just make an extremely functional home computer out of it. The version we tested came pre-installed with a totally triggered Windows 10 Enterprise—– it can be run by itself or joined to a domain. You can also buy the Odyssey without the Windows 10 license if you prefer a Linux desktop.
If whatever usage case you’ve arrived at needs cellular connection, Odyssey has you covered there as well—– its M. 2 B-keyed port can accommodate an LTE module (not included), and there’s a SIM card socket also.
The little system shipped with Windows 10 construct 1903, so the very first thing we did was upgrade it to 2004. The only non-stock software application set up on the system is an Arduino software bundle, so we didn’t take before-and-after Wiztree disk use charts this time around—– it’s a standard loadout of Windows, and it fits simply fine on the onboard 64GB eMMC, both previously and after the upgrade.
When we completely evaluated routing performance with tough, small-packet work back in 2016, we found that the Celeron 1037U in the Homebrew was more than adequate to sling packages at a complete 1Gbps on a bare Ubuntu setup. When we evaluated pfSense, the more user-friendly and full-featured router distribution didn’t do so well.
Although Kano PC’s N4000 is 4 years more recent than the Homebrew’s 1037U, with double the cores and threads, it isn’t considerably quicker. Odyssey’s J4105 is a powerhouse by comparison—– it’s overwhelmingly faster than either in multi-threaded tests, and a little faster single-threaded to boot.
We haven’t straight evaluated the Odyssey as a devoted router, its benchmarks lead us to think it would do really well. We believe that even when running pfSense or opnSense, it should hang quite well with the original Homebrew running vanilla Ubuntu.
We’re pretty excited about the Odyssey X86J4105. It scratches all the best itches for practically any maker or IoT project we can think about—– and it brings greatly more firepower to the table than ARM-based gadgets like the Raspberry Pi series, or perhaps the Pi’s more effective Odroid rivals.
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible solution, the Odyssey may not be your cup of tea—– however, if you do not mind spending a bit more, the flexibility used by its full x86 architecture and a staggering range of connectivity is well worth the money. That basic x86 architecture also makes it possible to leave the world of customized, hardware-focused system images—– rather, you can just set up Windows, Linux, or BSD directly onto the hardware from standard ISOs.
The Odyssey might also make a terrific kid, kiosk, and even light workplace PC. It’s small, it’s very inexpensive for a fully triggered Windows system, and its desktop experience is good—– far better than Kano PC’s or a typical low-end Chromebook’s. If you go with the 64GB eMMC storage, it’s both fast adequate and large enough for comfortable use with Windows 10—– or if you desire greater performance and more storage, you can utilize a standard M. 2 PCIe or SATA SSD instead.
The only problem we have about the Odyssey is just how aggravating we found it to get the consisted of Wi-Fi antennas connected to its Intel 9560 chipset. The diagrams don’t correctly label where the chipset in fact is on the board, and the adapter location made connecting the leads much more frustrating than it is on a basic laptop computer. We needed a jeweler’s loupe and about 10 straight minutes of mindful, mild fiddling and retrying before we lastly got both leads appropriately connected.