Gaming Tech

The Perfect HTPC?

Update 2021/02/12
Unfortunately, it’s not a suitable HTPC. It doesn’t support CEC, and that will rule it out for many people. The fan noise is also a bit of a concern, but I find that at typical TV viewing it didn’t bother me. It is, however, a very good emulation machine.

Chuwi is currently running a campaign on Indiegogo for “Larkbox“, a PC in a minuscule form factor running the new Intel Celeron J4115 CPU.

Now I don’t have a review unit or anything like that, so this is going according to known specs. The J4115 should be able to handle just about every relevant video codec (e.g. h264, h265 8 and 10 bit). No idea if it’s capable of smooth 4K @ 60Hz.

It’ll also probably make a great emulation machine. The preceding J4105 was capable of playing Wii games on Dolphin, and so the J4115 should be a little better than that. PS2 will most likely still be a bridge too far.

It comes with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, which should be more than enough for an HTPC. The storage is eMMC which isn’t the most performant, so I’ll probably stick an M.2 2242 SSD in there. The only thing that I might miss is an Ethernet port, but I suppose I can use a USB adapter if I find myself really needing one.

All this at a power-sipping 10W TDP and a list price of USD199.

Now, I’ve had problems with Indiegogo, backed projects that were of poor quality, and a particular one that’s not delivered at all. That said though, I trust Chuwi. I’ve owned one of their Windows tablets and it was solidly engineered.

Android Gaming Tech

Android Emulators and Hyper-V for fun and profit

There are various reasons to enable Hyper-V on Windows 10 installs especially for developers. Tools like Docker and WSL 2 require it.

One hurdle though, especially for gamers like myself, is that the Android emulators designed for gaming were not compatible with Hyper-V. The official Android emulator does support Hyper-V, but it is pretty awkward for gaming.

Now we have a solution. Bluestacks has a Hyper-V beta. I’ve been using it, and it’s a good start. Not quite perfect, some odd crashes here and there with specific games, but good enough for now. It also can be run at the same time with the official Android emulator.

What can you do with it?

Just gaming and not much else to be honest. For development, it is probably better to go with the official Android emulator or Genymotion.