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Hardware Review: Habey USA BIS-6620 Ultra-Compact PC

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by , 05-12-2010 at 10:53 AM (2990 Views)

What is it?

The Habey BIS-6620 is a SFF PC powered by an Intel Atom Z510 processor.

The Verdict: The Habey USA BIS-6620 is an absolute marvel of a design. The manufacturer has created fully functioning PC cable of running the latest software in a form factor which can fit in the palm of your hand. Quite frankly, the BIS-6620 could be used at home, in the car, or as an embedded platform. Unfortunately it’s small size and power-sipping capabilities mean this PC would probably be a lot more comfortable with Windows Embedded than with Windows 7.

The BIS-6620 is available now at the MP3Car store



What's in the box:


The BIS-6620 comes with the PC, a PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse splitter cable, 12v power brick, and driver and utilities installation disc. Also included are four long screws for VESA mount support.

Description:

Right out of the box the Habey USA BIS-6620 has a certain “wow” factor. Measuring at only 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.5”, it immediately has the potential to be everyone’s dream car PC. The BIS-6620 is also built with a completely fan-less design, making it silent in operation. It’s powered by a single-core Intel Z510 processor clocked at 1 GHz and is built to use up to 2 GHz of SODIMM (laptop) ram. Despite its size, the BIS-6620 is surprisingly flexible when it comes to drive storage. Internally, the 6620 accepts a 1.8” SATA hard drive. However, thanks to a bios setting which allows removable drives to be emulated as physical disks, you have the option to install and run your primary operating system from a compact flash card. There is also an SD card slot on the front of the PC just adjacent to the CF slot.

The BIS-6620 is powered by a simple 12v power brick, further enhancing its potential to be used as a car PC. The computer is a true power-sipper, and can be run with less than 10w and 2amps. It’s hard to imagine that a PC that’s fully capable of running windows 7 can do so with less power than your average car speaker requires to play sound.

Upon installing the components required to make the BIS-6620 power up, I connected a USB DVD-Rom and installed a fresh copy of windows 7 32-bit. Once installation was complete I was brought into the OS. I quickly noticed that the BIS-6620 doesn’t support Aero, or the transparent glass effects on a standard non-Aero windows 7 installation. Moving through windows dialogs seemed to occur with ample speed, but waiting for basic programs like Wndows Media Payer and Centrafuse 3 became quite the chore even at their most basic program settings. It’s clear that while there are many pros to the BIS-6620, the obvious setback is the 1 GHz processor. That said; the BIS-6620 handled MP3 playback with ease. It will even play 1080p videos with little to no skipping and video sync issues thanks to hardware decoding.


Video is provided only via VGA or S-Video connections. There is no support for DVI or HDMI and based on the form factor of the BIS-6620 (Habey has different models that do have DVI & HDMI output in the same form factor), you probably won’t be adding a video card capable of such. There is a single audio output jack on the front, and a microphone input just next to that. The lack of a line-in jack means your radio and other input devices better have “audio over USB” support. There is a single LAN port, a total of 4 USB ports, and a single PS/2 which can provide both keyboard and mouse support with the enclosed splitter cable.


The case of the BIS-6620 is a marvel in itself. The finned design on the top serves as a fully functioning heat-sink for the Intel processor. Because of this design the casing does run hotter than your average computer case, but never to the point where the case was simply too hot to touch. On the edges of the case are four holes which allow the BIS-6620 to be mounted on a VESA mount. All this allows for the BIS-6620 to truly be an ultra-compact, silent, and unseen fully functioning PC.

The Positive:

• Small design but capable fully functioning PC
• Flexible storage options
• Performance and reliability of the Intel Atom product
• Energy efficient design ( <10w)
• Flexible enough to be installed in the home, work, or car
• Small form factor which allows for multiple mounting options
• Inexpensive

The Negative:

• Sacrifices USB connectors for legacy ps/2 connectors
• No DVI or HDMI display output (other Habey models have DVI and HDMI)
• Only 2 channel Audio
• The Z510 processor creates an obvious bottleneck for certain modern applications (other Habey models have Z530/ dual core 330/ Core 2 Duo / Celeron M)

The Verdict:

The Habey USA BIS-6620 is an absolute marvel of a design. The manufacturer has created fully functioning PC cable of running the latest software in a form factor which can fit in the palm of your hand. Quite frankly, the BIS-6620 could be used at home, in the car, or as an embedded platform. Unfortunately it’s small size and power-sipping capabilities mean this PC would probably be a lot more comfortable with Windows Embedded than with Windows 7.

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Updated 05-26-2010 at 11:33 AM by Jensen2000

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Last 3 Posts

Quote Originally Posted by Cham View Post
Hi
Just wondering if this interface has any option of monitoring the input voltage i.e car battery voltage

the idea is to send the laptop into hibernation when the key is switched off. If the car battery goes below a certain voltage to initiate a full shut down
Hi,

Our product currently does not have a built in voltage detector. Our General Purpose Inputs need to be driven high to trigger an action.

We are willing to investigate designing an external circuit that would work in conjunction with miniSpark™ to accomplish this though. We would need some information from you as to the exact voltage level you want to detect.

There are a couple issues with the scheme you're trying to implement that you might want to consider ...

1) The difference in power consumption between Hibernate and Shutdown may be minimal.

2) In order to transition from Hibernate to Shutdown we would first need to fully power up the PC then Shut it down. The additional power required for this may cause even more issues with the car battery if you picked a voltage that is too low.

If you're still interested in coming up with a custom solution we would be more than happy to work with you.

Thanks
Hi
Just wondering if this interface has any option of monitoring the input voltage i.e car battery voltage

the idea is to send the laptop into hibernation when the key is switched off. If the car battery goes below a certain voltage to initiate a full shut down
Quote Originally Posted by SupraDan88t View Post
Well it looks like I have all my issues with the XoByte figured out now. What I did was download the nForce drivers from nVidia's site and even tho Windows barked that the currently installed drivers were newer I used the ones from nVidia instead and then things seem to be working now.

My one question though, the XoByte software puts the computer to sleep as expected but it goes into Hybrid sleep even though I have hybrid disabled in the Windows power settings. I was wondering if there is a way to have it go into one of the "lighter" sleep modes or if a future version of the software may allow choosing S2, S3, Hybrid, etc... - not really a big deal since the system boots from hibernation in about 6 seconds anyway.
Since I have hybrid sleep disabled I suspect this could be another strange driver issue - this computer (Acer Aspire 5520) seems to have silly little driver issues with everything...

Thanks for the help on this thread and in emails - I do recommend the MiniSpark to anyone needing laptop startup/shutdown control just make sure you have good power/ground, my minispark seems to be really really particular about that, more than other 12v hardware I've worked with before.
Glad to hear it's working!! We are in the process of updating our Software Application to be allow selection of any shutdown/sleep mode listed in the Start Menu. How your machine maps each setting to an actual sleep modes(Hybrid/S2/etc ...) will be a machine configuration issue. We are limited to choosing one of the start menu settings.