You never reflected what in spite of the fact that you buy the computer or the laptop on which the operating system is already established, it is necessary for you to spend a significant amount of time and, probably, money to put there programs necessary for you — from browsers and office package to archivers, codecs, pdf and Skype browsers? Some mansion here stand unless products from Apple so MacBook’и contain, besides actually OS, a binding from a number of programs useful to the user. But products from a price segment of Apple on a pocket it is far not to everyone.
lxbox — is the compact personal computer which contains more than 100 preset programs which are capable to satisfy practically all needs of the user. Thus all installed programs — this free software, instead of demos. Among programs and the most necessary, like office LibreOffice package which is completely compatible with «the big brother» Microsoft Office, and highly specialized, for example, means for professional work with graphics, a sound and SAPR.
lxbox is the product developed by the Russian-German company GSN and using German practices in the field of leaving to free software (SPO) from propriyetarny products. At us this process gains in strength after plan publication about transition of state institutions of Russia to SPO so it is possible to tell that lxbox — is the first signs offering the ready decision on the basis of SPO for simple users.
1. Delivery set. Strict design.
The device came to us to the test in an ascetic box from black prorezinenny cardboard very pleasant to the touch with the silvery pressed inscription of lxbox. Into a set of delivery enters:
- actually lxbox 3;
- power unit and food cord;
- VESA fastening set;
- Wi-fi aerial;
- IK-pult DU and HDMI cable;
- set of plastic legs.
It is pleasant that the producer showed care and put in a VESA fastening box. With its help of lxbox it is possible to place conveniently on a wall, under a table or on a back surface of the monitor. Besides, also it would be desirable to note existence in a set of delivery IK-pulta of DU.
2. Appearance. Interfaces.
To begin acquaintance to this small computer, I think, costs from its appearance. lxbox quite justifies the name and outwardly looks as a small and unsightly black box. The case is executed from aluminum. The choice for aluminum is caused first of all by that heatassignment functions are assigned to the case of the device, thus engineers managed to achieve absolutely silent work of lxbox, thus not strongly to weight it and to provide mechanical durability. Besides, silent work is promoted also by that fact that in lxbox accessories with moving parts are not applied, that is there are neither winchesters with noisy heads, nor a DVD drive, fans. That the device does not create any noise especially important for house use.
I will return to the device case. So, as I already noticed earlier, the design of the device is executed in industrial style.
In front there is a lxbox logo, besides the main function to a logo assigned also additional loading. In the letter "b" the opening which in itself conceals the infra-red receiver settled down. A bit more to the left from a logo there are 2 USB ports of version 2.0. Behind ports it is possible to find a small light-emitting diode. At once behind a light-emitting diode there are 2 audiosockets – an audioexit and the socket for microphone connection, behind sockets there is a treasured button of inclusion.
On the back party of sockets much more. Let’s walk on them on a lock. So, the first and, perhaps, the most important – the food socket, over it is the Wi-fi aerial nest, under it there is an exit to 5 volts. Further there is a VGA socket, RJ-45 Gbit LAN port. Further 2 more USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI-exit.
It is pleasant that developers provided eSATA port, this port will allow to connect the external store on high speed. However it not simply eSATA port, in it it is possible to connect USB devices, and they will work on the USB3.0 standard. Besides, on the back panel are also located: Display Port and one more RJ-45 Gbit-LAN.
Now I suggest to deal with a stuffing of this tiny computer. lxbox 3 on the processor from the AMD company is constructed. the 2-nuclear G-T56N chip works on frequency of 1,65 GHz. It is made on the basis of Bobcat microarchitecture on norms of 40 nanometers of technical process. The structure of the AMD G-T56N chip includes the graphic Radeon HD 6320 accelerator which supports hardware decoding of HD video. Besides, Radeon HD 6320 supports such technologies, as DirectX 11 and Shader 5.0. Besides, lxbox 3 possesses a SATA-DOM-disk on 16 GB, random access memory in the device of 4 GB. For descriptive reasons I will provide the table with the main characteristics of lxbox 3.
3. OS and the preset programs.
First of all lxbox is a computer. It works under control of the Linux Mint operating system. Mint is one of distribution kits of Linux which many call Linux for housewives. Such nickname Mint deserved thanks to the simple and intuitively clear graphic interface which is very similar on all habitual Windows XP. Therefore at work in it you should not be retrained and get used to new logic and mechanics of work of an operating system.
The insertion of lxbox is constructed on Mint for many reasons. Mint — is initially free operating system so the user should not overpay for the license, as in a case with MS Windows.
Also on the basis of Mint it is possible to create system with the preset set of free software, after all the considerable part of programs under Linux extends free of charge. And it not demos, and high-grade programs. The insertion of lxbox includes practically all most useful programs or their Linux-analogs. The same Microsoft Office with success can replace free LibreOffice which perfectly understands the documents created in Microsoft Office. Such situation is observed practically with all most widespread software products, that is the free analog exists practically at any more or less decent software.
So, in lxbox are preset:
- browsers with Flash and Java support (Firefox, Opera, Chromium (Chrome)
- videoplayers (VLC, GNOME MPlayer, SMPlayer, XBMC player), Audacious audioplayer
- raster (Gimp, Pinta), vector (Inkscape) editors, a package for Scribus imposition.
- programs for communication (Skype, Pidgin with support of ICQ, Jabber, Facebook etc.)
- office LibreOffice package with the text, tabular editor and programs for creation of presentations and a DB (analogs of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access).
- Transmission torrent client
- tools for video editing (Pitivi, Avidemux), music (Audacity) and RAW (darktable) photo
- casual games
- appendices for convenient viewing of online video (Minitube, SMPlayer Youtube Browser)
- program for formatting and marking of disks (HDD, flash cards and so forth) GParted and many other things
In total preset programs about 120 pieces. And for those users who and it have not enough, a certain similarity of shop of appendices is provided, and the convenient installer of additional packages is available to more advanced users. And eventually, nobody forbids you to download the necessary software from the Internet and to establish it manually. Here it should be noted one more advantage of Linux-systems – under them practically there are no viruses.
But what to do, if you need to start the highly specialized program which exists only under Windows on lxbox and its analogs simply do not exist? Just for such cases Wine is integrated into Mint. Wine is the free software allowing users of UNIX-like systems to start Windows-programs.
4. A situation with drivers.
Also I want to note one more manifestation of care of developers about the simple user. The insertion of lxbox is stuffed with all necessary drivers, all external devices connected by me perfectly were defined and earned without any problems. Such situation very much surprised me, as literally quite recently I long looked for drivers for the printer under Windows 7. The printer perfectly works with Windows 8, and here with the 7th Windows version I had to suffer. And so, therefore Mint on lxbox fine surprised me. I connected the printer to the computer and voila, he simply earned! Such situation was observed with all devices which I tried to connect. Smartphones, flash cards, mice (wire and wireless), various external stores and many other things, all this perfectly was defined and without any foreign intervention functioned.
Perhaps, the weakest place of Linux — it not the most optimum work of the Flash technology in browsers. Initially Flash-plug-ins for browsers are written under Windows. Thus it is necessary to pay tribute to developers of lxbox — videos from the same Youtube it is acceptable are lost, them it is possible to look at all screen on permission up to 480p, farther to use special clients, including for the same Youtube which is preset better. These are features of support of Flash in Linux as Blu-ray films fullHD go on the device smoothly.
In general, as the home computer for surfing or office work of lxbox is suitable ideally, but it is not all list of scopes of lxbox.
5. lxbox as home server.
I think, you noticed that lxbox 3 is equipped already with two ports Gbit LAN, together with low power consumption, (and it, depending on loading, is at level from 10 to 20 W), silent work and lack of moving parts in the case, actually push to thought to construct on the basis of lxbox the home server or even high-grade NAS. Besides, in favor of such application of lxbox eloquently says the fact of that lxbox is accurate from details which are applied in industrial computers, such an accessory guarantee stable and reliable work even in an operating mode 24/7. As гику similar devices were always interesting to me.
For the server the storage is necessary — in sale to lxbox in the 2nd quarter 2014 such accessories as eSATA-USB a flash card and storage for HDD 2,5» in the same form factor, as lxbox should arrive. It will be built on by the 2nd floor over lxbox, showing continuation of a radiator disseminating heat. And also will be with passive cooling that is the extremely important at house use. Generally, curious plans.
6. lxbox as house media center. XBMC.
The home server – a thing, of course, good, but is interesting not to all. To a large number of users of lxbox it will be interesting first of all as a house media player. Thanks to the small dimensions and rather universal appearance which will be entered in almost any rack with equipment, lxbox will have definitely the niche. It should be noted that the stuffing of lxbox is much more powerful than the majority of modern media players, at the expense of it the user receives almost unlimited entertaining possibilities. It is possible to consider as a pleasant bonus existence in a set of delivery of a remote control.
Functionality of a media player is realized thanks to a cover of XBMC which is especially popular in Germany (almost a half of the plug-ins which are available to it — German). It can automatically load the description and posters for your films from the Internet and to unite them in the catalog for more convenient viewing.
XBMC — this means:
- for cataloguing and viewing of films
- for cataloguing and music playing
- for cataloguing and viewing in a slideshow mode with background music of photos
- for viewing online of TV, installation of games (through plug-ins) and weather displays
In general XBMC as the multimedia center piece the extremely useful and not less interesting. Possibilities of XBMC are widest and I will not paint them everything in this review not to tighten and so not the small review of lxbox. If you were interested by this software product, think, Google will not stint information, its benefit in the Network on demand of XBMC is enough. In a Russian-speaking segment of the Internet the most authoritative resource on XBMC is the forum: http://xbmc.ru/forum/. Here you can find practically all answers to your questions.
As a result I can declare with full confidence: lxbox perfectly approaches as a house media player, after all it possesses all necessary codecs and several video players. Films and music are lost without problems and brakes. All main formats are supported:
- Blu-ray and DVD formats: folder, ISO image;
- video formats: MKV, AVI, MPG, MPEG, MPEG 2, WMV, MJPEG, MP4, M4V, VOB, TS, M2TS, 3GP, FLV and so forth;
- audiopaths: DTS, Dolby Digital, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HR, Dolby True HD, DD + and so forth;
- audioformats: FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AC3, M4A, MKA, MP2, OGG.
7. The facilitated version — lxbox 2.
To us on the test the senior lxbox model arrived. Also on sale, besides lxbox 3, there will be a lxbox 2 model. It differs from "three" of several characteristics:
- lack of the DU panel and built in IK-datchika
- weaker AMD G-T40N 1 GHz x 2 processor of a kernel and Radeon HD6290 video chip
- 1 x Gbit Ethernet port
- lack of DisplayPort
- width of 16 cm instead of 22 cm at lxbox 3.
Other characteristics, including insertion, identical.
8. How many it costs?
Actually, the device substantially unique in Russia and it has no analogs, except unless Mac mini standing absolutely of other money. Concerning the price — start of bulk sellings of lxbox 2 and 3 took place at the end of the February, 2014, the first preordered devices already found the owners. Official price of lxbox of 2 — 11 990 rubles, lxbox of 3 — 13 940 rubles. If to present the "naked" personal computer on which it is necessary to establish license OS, office and other paid programs, the device more than fulfills the money.
9. For whom is it necessary? Conclusion.
It is represented that the device will be useful, first of all, in such scenarios, as:
1) The Internet and communication (mail / social networks), viewing of multimedia files, work with office documents.
Lxbox easily copes with these tasks. It already has the preset free programs and is not subject to viruses thanks to Linux Mint OS. It can be demanded in a role:
- «The personal computer for parents». All necessary for unpretentious users is available, there is no need everything to adjust. Works reliably, to break there is nothing, in the house it is silent.
- «The personal computer for study». Now at many schools pass to SPO therefore lxbox will be excellent option in this case. And here it is a question as of a computer class where low noise, power consumption and protection against viruses together with the price of the decision are critical, and for children. At desire on the device it is possible to play 3D-games, however first of all upon purchase of such device it is necessary to keep in mind that is the fully completed computer for study. For games there are more interesting alternatives.
- «The personal computer for the secretary». By the way, in office segment also there is a potential. And, not only for secretaries, but also for ordinary employees. First of all at the expense of the low price and to a totality ON. As the companies should buy licenses for used products, the choice of lxbox possesses obvious advantages. There is no need for continuous service and updating of antiviruses. The economy of the electric power also will not be superfluous — lxbox consumes at 5-10 time less electric power, than laptops and in tens times it is less, than stationary personal computers.
- «2 computers in the house, the server 24/7». For the same reason. If in the house there are computers/laptops not on all members of the family, this device will be the excellent decision. Among alternatives — laptops/tablets on all. Many and will make, but as interesting alternative of lxbox will act. It can be made some kind of «binding knot». However, it will be necessary to attend also to connection of storage of data.
2) Viewing of films, photo, music playing.
- "Mediapleer" (with expansion potential at the expense of storage to the media server (HTPC)). Lxbox can become the center of home theater, for HDMI the sound and video which can be deduced or through a receiver on projector/TV and acoustics are given original or it is simple on TV. In modern media players ARM platforms therefore the media player on 2-nuclear AMD 1,65GHz has huge overweight in the hardware are used usually.
- ? Well also it is worth to remember about техногиков. The first hardware-software serial realization of a collected insertion of Linux in Russia (on on sale Linux-laptops "naked" OS is established) by definition should be interesting in pokovyryat coal mine.
In general, the device turned out rather interesting. About lxbox you can learn other details from our video review of lxbox or on an official site: lxbox.ru. Pleasant viewing!
lxbox review – the serial personal computer first in Russia on the basis of SPO http://VK.com/hi_news || http://hi-news.ru/ Plny lxbox review – http://goo.gl/lHxJAK lxbox — is the compact personal computer which contains more than 100 preset programs which are capable to satisfy practically all needs of the user. Thus all installed programs — this free software, instead of demos. lxbox — is a product developed by the Russian-German company GSN and using German practices in the field of leaving to free software (SPO) from propriyetarny products. At us this process gains in strength after plan publication about transition of state institutions of Russia to SPO so it is possible to tell that lxbox — is the first signs offering the ready decision on the basis of SPO for simple users. In more detail about lxbox it is possible to learn on an official site: http://lxbox.ru