Announcement : Unorthodox Computer Challenge

I often consider myself a power user when it comes to computers. My personal collection of computers that I use as daily drivers contains a bevy of high end purpose built machines. Between my Dell XPS 13 and my prized System 76 Kudo Professional, I am well equipped to handle just about anything that comes my way. Within the few week, I will be embarking on a challenge to put my 2 primary machines aside and use several unorthodox computers as my daily drivers at home. Here is how it will work.

Unorthodox-Definition3

The Challenge

I will be spending 2 weeks with each machine using it as my daily driver at home. The unorthodox computers will be used for everything I normally do on my normal powerhouse machines. The challenge will start on November first and carry on until I run out of machines which looks to be early 2016. I will be blogging about each device while in use via regular progress reports as well as providing a recap of each device at the conclusion.

Throughout the challenge, I will be permitted to hook each of these machines up to a docking station, keyboard, mouse or external display when needed or applicable. I have purchased a DisplayLink 3.0 universal docking station for this purpose. I will also be permitted to utilize the storage on my NAS or Cloud Storage as many of the devices I will be using lack a large amount of storage.

Note : As I cannot put my livelihood on the line (which does involve the use of several computers, I will be allowed to use my dedicated work machine or my other laptops for work related purposes when needed.

The Machines

I will be using the following machines for this challenge, each for 2 weeks. The order may vary as needed. If you have anything you want to see added, feel free to drop me a message.

  • Vensmile Windows Box 
    • Running Windows 10 (x86)
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 64 GB Storage
    • Quad Core Intel Atom
    • The entire machine is so small that it fits into my pocket
    • NOTE : This PC cannot be used as primary portable machine, I will substitute my Nvidia Shield when on the road
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    • Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow
    • 3 GB RAM
    • 64 GB Storage
    • Snapdragon 810 Processor
    • Connected to a DisplayLink 3.0 Docking Station for Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse Support
  • Remix Mini PC – A $40.00 computer
    • Android based “Desktop” computer (Lollipop)
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 16 GB Storage
    • 1.2 GHZ Quad Core 64bit Allwinner CPU
    • NOTE : This PC cannot be used as primary portable machine, I will substitute my Nvidia Shield when on the road
  • Nexus 4
    • Running Ubuntu Phone
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 16 GB Storage
    • Quad Core Snapdragon S4 Pro
    • Used as both a Desktop and a Mobile Device for this test
    • Requested by Michael Hall
    • Note : I do not currently own this device but will try to obtain one for this test.
  • HP 11 Chromebook
    • Running ChromeOS
    • Quad Core ARM Processor
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 16 GB Storage
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro
    • Running Windows 10
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 64 GB Storage
    • Quad Core Atom Processor
    • 8 inch touchscreen
    • Connected to the DisplayLink Dock when needed
  • HTC Nexus 9
    • Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 32 GB of Storage
    • Dual Core Nvidia Tegra K1
    • Official HTC Keyboard Cover
    • May be connected to the DisplayLink Dock as needed for Keyboard, Mouse and Display.
  • Raspberry Pi B+2
    • Running Raspbian
    • 1 GB RAM
    • 16 GB MicroSD Card
    • Quad Core Processor
    • NOTE : This PC cannot be used as primary portable machine, I will substitute my Nvidia Shield when on the road
  • Nvidia Shield LTE
    • Running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 32 GB of Storage + 128 GB MicroSD Card
    • May be connected to the DisplayLink Dock as needed for Keyboard, Mouse and Display.
  • Banana Pi Pro
    • Running Debian with MATE
    • 1 GB RAM
    • 16 GB MicroSD card
    • Quad Core Processor
    • NOTE : This PC cannot be used as primary portable machine, I will substitute my Nvidia Shield when on the road

 

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