Show Your Support: This site is primarily supported by advertisements. Ads are what have allowed this site to be maintained on a daily basis for the past 18+ years. We do our best to ensure only clean, relevant ads are shown, when any nasty ads are detected, we work to remove them ASAP. If you would like to view the site without ads while still supporting our work, please consider our ad-free Phoronix Premium.
CompuLab Utilite: A Tiny, Low-Power, Low-Cost, ARM Linux Desktop
When it comes to Linux-friendly hardware vendors one of my favorite companies to deal with at Phoronix is CompuLab. The Israeli PC vendor isn't just rebadging some OEM systems and slapping on a Tux sticker nor are they assembling some x86 systems that individuals could easily build at a lower cost. We have reviewed several interesting low-power Linux PCs from them in the past and today may be one of their most interesting products yet, the Freescale i.MX6-based Utilite. In this review is a look at the Utilite Pro, which is my new favorite pre-assembled ARM Linux desktop.
CompuLab's Utilite is designed to offer powerful multimedia and graphics capabilities while having "unlimited connectivity in a tiny form-factor." The Utilite is roughly the same size as the previously reviewed Atom-based Fit-PC2 and Trim-Slice, a dual-core Tegra 2 platform. For this latest tiny PC the designers at CompuLab turned to Freescale to use their new i.MX6 SoC.
The top-end Utilite model is the "Pro" version that uses the Freescale i.MX6 quad-core Cortex-A9 at 1.2GHz and has 2GB of DDR3-1066MHz memory with a SATA 32GB SSD. The standard model meanwhile has an i.MX6 dual-core 1GHz CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 8GB micro-SD card. CompuLab's Utilite Value edition is a single-core i.MX6 with 512MB of DDR3 memory and 4GB micro-SD storage. Pricing is $219 for the Utilite Pro, $159 for the Utilite Standard, and $99 for the Utilite Value. Being the benchmarking and performance junkies that we are, CompuLab sent over the Utilite Pro as a review sample to Phoronix.
Besides the i.MX6 SoC and having an actual Serial ATA solid-state drive on this tiny ARM computer, making the Utilite Pro exciting is that it boasts dual Gigabit Ethernet and supports dual-head HDMI/DVI displays! There's also Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. When it comes to USB support there's four USB 2.0 ports and USB OTG.
Among the use-cases that CompuLab advertises for the Utilite include digital signage, IPTV, media players, gateway/router, network servers, industrial/outdoor installations, thin-client, and even a desktop replacement. This ARM Cortex-A9 desktop works with both Ubuntu ARM and Android operating systems.