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Looking for very small, headless, battery-powered, x86 computer

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  • Battery
  • Computers
  • Systems
  • Prebuilt Systems
Last response: in Systems
July 14, 2014 10:29:39 AM

I am having a hard time finding the type of computer that I want. I was looking for prebuilt but it's looking like I'll have to put something together. Basically, what I am looking for a is a very small, headless computer that is portable (i.e. battery powered) and can run Windows 7.

I have found some UMPCs that would fit my need, but I don't want their screens. I think the weight and size could come down without those unneeded additions.

I have been looking at the VIA EPIA-9100: http://www.viaembedded.com/en/products/boards/1950/1/EP... That looks to be exactly what I want, but of course it doesn't come with a case, and the bigger issue is the fact that it isn't portable. Is there a solution to still make that somewhat light and small with a battery-powered option?

I really want a pre-built system, so if someone can point me in that direction I would really appreciate it, but I'm willing to looking into making an existing SBC portable if it's not a huge hassle.

Thank you!

More about : small headless battery powered x86 computer

July 14, 2014 11:07:41 AM

What is the purpose of this device?
How much processing power do you need, and how long of battery support are you wanting?
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July 14, 2014 11:55:31 AM

boosted1g said:
What is the purpose of this device?
How much processing power do you need, and how long of battery support are you wanting?


Good questions, and something I should have included in the original question. In terms of processing power, it's hard for me to put it in exact terms, but something close to an Intel Atom Z515 (single core, 1.2GHz). The purpose of the device is to run positioning software that interacts with an IMU. It gets the IMU signal and sends coordinates through Bluetooth to an Android application. It sounds very convoluted, I know, but I need something that can run Windows 7 with a graphical positioning application while simultaneously talking through bluetooth. The user would be wearing this device on them, hence the need for it to be portable.

The battery would ideally last around 5 hours running the software.
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July 14, 2014 12:13:33 PM

would something like an intel NUC work?

its rather small and light and you could make your own battery packs for it (i think i read that it needs 19v input). and that a 1000mah battery would last about 2-3 hours

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is there a reason why your company doesnt just use a tablet or smartphone to run software or are you using something already commercially available and not coding your own?

what exactly are you doing with the positioning software? mapping points? if so there may already be android applications which can do that.
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July 14, 2014 12:24:22 PM

ssddx said:
would something like an intel NUC work?

its rather small and light and you could make your own battery packs for it (i think i read that it needs 19v input). and that a 1000mah battery would last about 2-3 hours

--

is there a reason why your company doesnt just use a tablet or smartphone to run software or are you using something already commercially available and not coding your own?

what exactly are you doing with the positioning software? mapping points? if so there may already be android applications which can do that.


My boss really wants an Android app for our particular case. The goal is to map positioning data of a person in a room without access to any type of internet/GPS connection. It works from a single device on the user's foot that sends a signal to a Windows 7 computer. As I said, it's very convoluted, but there is an application with an algorithm that determines positioning, and this gets fed out to a listening program that I made. The program then must talk to an Android device through bluetooth.

Unfortunately, I think the Intel NUC would be too big. We'd love something we could put on the back of the Android device (10.1 inch tablet) and not be too bulky or add too much weight. Or the user could also wear the computer.

EDIT: To make it more clear: yes, the positioning software is proprietary and fixed to Windows 7.
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July 14, 2014 2:17:39 PM

By the time you take the computer, plus battery, plus whatever you need to regulate the voltage, wouldnt a small laptop be less weight and more portable?
I dont know what kind of budget you are looking at, but a 10-11" ultrabook would be ultra light and 13 hours battery life.
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Best solution

July 14, 2014 2:40:14 PM

i agree... something like a mini netbook would be perfect.

to start windows and the program up you will likely need a screen of some sort anyways (although with a NUC or other small portable you could leave this behind once its up and running, however if the program crashes or something else happens you would need it again.

a 7 to 9 inch netbook would also strap to the back of a tablet and some are super light and thin. its possible to find them under $200 as well.

such as this http://www.amazon.com/Asus-T91MT-PU17-BK-8-9-Inch-Netbo...

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there is another option...

you need "windows" to run the app.... but is there any reason why you cannot be using a windows 7 or windows 8 tablet?

say http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Venue-Pro-Tablet-Windows/dp/... or something similar?

you could use windows to record the location information you want and then use whatever program you like to display it. since its an all in one device it would be cheaper as well as lighter without requiring any special battery pack or geek-guy vest to carry all the equipment around.
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July 14, 2014 6:14:46 PM

ssddx said:
i agree... something like a mini netbook would be perfect.

to start windows and the program up you will likely need a screen of some sort anyways (although with a NUC or other small portable you could leave this behind once its up and running, however if the program crashes or something else happens you would need it again.

a 7 to 9 inch netbook would also strap to the back of a tablet and some are super light and thin. its possible to find them under $200 as well.

such as this http://www.amazon.com/Asus-T91MT-PU17-BK-8-9-Inch-Netbo...

---

there is another option...

you need "windows" to run the app.... but is there any reason why you cannot be using a windows 7 or windows 8 tablet?

say http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Venue-Pro-Tablet-Windows/dp/... or something similar?

you could use windows to record the location information you want and then use whatever program you like to display it. since its an all in one device it would be cheaper as well as lighter without requiring any special battery pack or geek-guy vest to carry all the equipment around.


Yeah, we've talked about going Windows 8 tablet instead of this way, and I think ultimately it's probably the best option. The program is made specifically for Windows 7, and I've ran into some small issues with Windows 8, but I think it will be our best option.

Thank you for the help everyone. I'll go ahead and mark this post as the solution. It's not exactly what I want, but I think it's the best compromise.
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