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atharmian

Orange Pi Zero You Tube review with Armbian, Dec 17. Cooling, GPIO, MIPI

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Overall comparing OPi Zero (in its current state and with its design decisions and target use cases) to Raspberry Pi is not adequate in my opinion. Double inadequate if you can't figure out how to enable SPI/spidev and compare CPU performance between H2+ and BCM283* before complaining about SoC temperatures.

 

Since there will be updates to the review according to @MickMake this review is OK as a quick look / first impressions.

Edited by zador.blood.stained
Changed to be more politically correct

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Hi guys,

It's always tricky doing reviews as things change very quickly. So my initial review concentrates on how quickly an "average Joe" can get their board doing what they want it to do and whether it will actually do it. Then I'll follow up with updates getting into deeper testing.

 

I don't like companies shoving products to market and expecting the community to pick up the slack. They need to put at least *some* effort into their product aside from hardware design. I bet none of the community has been paid for their efforts, yet the company is reaping the rewards? A lot of effort has been put into Armbian, yet companies like Orange Pi seem to gracefully ignore these efforts. At least some gratitude, (if not financial), would be nice.

 

The Pine64 was a case in point: I eventually did three reviews on that hoping that things would change, but alas still one primary guy, (longsleep), doing all the hard yards.

 

Apart from that I like the OPiZ and have a couple of projects in mind for it that the RPiZ won't be able to keep up with.

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So my initial review concentrates on how quickly an "average Joe" can get their board doing what they want it to do and whether it will actually do it.

With this board it's tricky - why would an "average Joe" buy a board with no display output (CVBS requires soldering or making a special cable - so not an option for an "average Joe") in the first place? It can't be a good media player or a desktop replacement, so you'll need to find a good use case to choose it over Orange Pi Lite/One for example.

 

Then I'll follow up with updates getting into deeper testing.

OK. That's good, because while hardware situation usually doesn't change over time, software will improve and end users need to be aware about that.

 

I don't like companies shoving products to market and expecting the community to pick up the slack. They need to put at least *some* effort into their product aside from hardware design. I bet none of the community has been paid for their efforts, yet the company is reaping the rewards? A lot of effort has been put into Armbian, yet companies like Orange Pi seem to gracefully ignore these efforts. At least some gratitude, (if not financial), would be nice.

As a relatively small Chinese company Xunlong does its best - produces cheap hardware in large quantities and different variations.

 

The Pine64 was a case in point: I eventually did three reviews on that hoping that things would change, but alas still one primary guy, (longsleep), doing all the hard yards.

Well, just look at Pine64 kickstarter page. I'm sure that if they didn't advertise a development board with smartphone/tablet grade hardware as a "super computer" people would have less problems with current software support.

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I don't like companies shoving products to market and expecting the community to pick up the slack.

 

Me neither. Pine is a typical example. They had relatively good campaign - from marketing perspective, they raised solid money, but their relations with community is failing, like you already discovered. Similar case / attitude is with Sinovoip, while other makers do cooperate with community (not just with us) in a range from solid to very good. Xunlong is among those, even it's one of the smallest company. They are actively listening to our comments, adjust future hardware design, sent boards to developers no questions asked (all other makers too, from obvious reason) and they are the only board maker that actually made some donation in last 3 years since this project exits.

 

In general, all board vendors provide crappy software support. None is good enough for usage, but some at least work hard on it. I can put Solidrun here as an example. Since Linux is a community project per se, no company can fix their software on their own. No go. SDK, which comes from chip maker, is usually in a terrible state, unfinished, mainline support is usually mostly on community.

 

Well, at least we have a lot of fun  :)

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With this board it's tricky - why would an "average Joe" buy a board with no display output (CVBS requires soldering or making a special cable - so not an option for an "average Joe") in the first place? It can't be a good media player or a desktop replacement, so you'll need to find a good use case to choose it over Orange Pi Lite/One for example.

Yes, I tend to approach this with a lot of boards, because the average Joe is always on the hunt for something they can use quickly. Most of the time I tend to direct them towards an RPi as a lot of boards don't fit into the "easy" category. As you said the OPiZ is a good example.

 

OK. That's good, because while hardware situation usually doesn't change over time, software will improve and end users need to be aware about that.

 

As a relatively small Chinese company Xunlong does its best - produces cheap hardware in large quantities and different variations.

From what Igor has said, it seems that they actually have a decent relationship with the hacker community. This is great news. I don't mind a company pushing out boards when the expectation is WYSIWYG...

 

Well, just look at Pine64 kickstarter page. I'm sure that if they didn't advertise a development board with smartphone/tablet grade hardware as a "super computer" people would have less problems with current software support.

... on the other hand companies like the Pine64... Yeah, well. Marketing at its worst, (or best, whichever way you look at it). I have been lead to believe that the original creator of the Pine64 was a decent guy, but he hired a gun slinging marketer who came in blazing. The end result is the mess that we see today.

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