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Biostar's J1800TH is Thin Mini-ITX Board for Embedded Applications

In what appears to be a product named after us, Biostar has built the J1800TH. Unfortunately, the TH does not stand for Tom's Hardware but rather just 'thin,' referring to the form factor. This is a Thin Mini-ITX board with a J1800 SoC from Intel on board.

The J1800 SoC is simply a dual-core processor that runs at 2.41 GHz with an on-die chipset and an on-die GPU, which runs at up to 792 MHz, and it supports up to 16 GB of DDR3L-1333 memory. This specific motherboard has two SO-DIMM slots. The board has no PCI-Express, but that shouldn't be too surprising, as anything this board is meant to do does not include the need for dedicated graphics. It does have a Mini-PCI-Express connector, which we can only assume is meant to be used with wireless cards. Storage connectivity is handled by two SATA2 (3 Gb/s) ports, along with a single SATA-power out port.

Rear I/O is quite minimal, providing you with power in, a single USB 2.0 port, a single USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI connector, VGA, stereo audio out, and lastly, a microphone jack.

Potential uses for a board like this are in thin clients, digital signage, and kiosks. The J1800TH can be used in office applications, but due to the limited I/O and minimal processing power, we would hesitate to do so.

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  • IInuyasha74
    With only two USB slots unless there is a USB header onboard this things seems ill-equipped for any tasks.
    Reply
  • Phillip Wager
    With only two USB slots unless there is a USB header onboard this things seems ill-equipped for any tasks.
    one usb port can support like 52 usb devices you are just looking at a tangled mess of adaptors but i do see a header for a external case usb
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    13988802 said:
    With only two USB slots unless there is a USB header onboard this things seems ill-equipped for any tasks.
    one usb port can support like 52 usb devices you are just looking at a tangled mess of adaptors but i do see a header for a external case usb

    Yea thats true, but every USB hub device divides the max speed of that USB port between however many devices are connected. Not to mention the other boards roughly the same size with the same CPU or pretty much the same CPU and already have more USB ports. Its good they have the header, but given it probably only costs them about five cents for each USB port they add in cost I don't see any reason why not to of added more. I guess they were thinking of the limited thin form factor, but several board makers have put USB ports on with the narrow end against the board, which would of made plenty of space so I don't really see or understand that as a viable reason either.
    Reply
  • James Mason
    Why would it need more than 2 usb ports?

    It's designed to be put behind a large touchscreen tv/monitor so you have an interactive office building information desk. There was a similar one installed (while i was still there) at a place I worked. It allowed people who were coming onto the corporate campus to get more interactive update on what conference room they were supposed to go to.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    13996971 said:
    Why would it need more than 2 usb ports?

    It's designed to be put behind a large touchscreen tv/monitor so you have an interactive office building information desk. There was a similar one installed (while i was still there) at a place I worked. It allowed people who were coming onto the corporate campus to get more interactive update on what conference room they were supposed to go to.

    Well that is one use for it but used in a home for example to make a tv more like a smart TV as they are called now would typically have people wanting to connect mouse, keyboard, and USB flash drives at the very least. For use as a PC in a small business it falls short in many places it could be used because its common to need to connect printers, keyboards, mice, flash drives, scanners and several other devices by USB. Granted some of those can be done other the network, but to make a small cheap printer work as a business print system typically needs a computer connected to it like this, which seems one of the ideas for its design.

    Though honestly for use with a smartTV or a touchscreen display for use like you described is really kinda of useless now since numerous android and linux devices exist now that are the size of a smartphone or smaller and made to connect to a TV and do this exact same thing but use much less power, much less space, and since they come with RAM and storage onboard already and typically cost less than this board product above really makes this product a poor choice for those kinds of things. Ones like the Rhasberry Pi B+ even come with 4 USB ports. Granted its performance is lower, but when you are talking about a device meant to only display information, play videos, browse web pages, or other similar small activities it won't matter.

    Guess what I am trying to say is above the lack of USB ports creating problems for many places it could be used (like a print server, or home lite HTPC) other products already exist that are cheaper, more efficient, some are more user friendly, and some are quad-core units making them faster also at times. So this product just seems kind of a waste.
    Reply
  • mrmez
    Since when is a dual core 2.4Ghz not good enough for 'office tasks'??
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    13997407 said:
    Since when is a dual core 2.4Ghz not good enough for 'office tasks'??

    Since that dual core is an Intel Atom CPU that is actually meant for tablets. Trying to use it like an office PC with several documents open and a dozen web pages would lead it to lag pretty bad.
    Reply
  • James Mason
    13997242 said:

    Well that is one use for it but used in a home for example to make a tv more like a smart TV as they are called now would typically have people wanting to connect mouse, keyboard, and USB flash drives at the very least. For use as a PC in a small business it falls short in many places it could be used because its common to need to connect printers, keyboards, mice, flash drives, scanners and several other devices by USB. Granted some of those can be done other the network, but to make a small cheap printer work as a business print system typically needs a computer connected to it like this, which seems one of the ideas for its design.

    Though honestly for use with a smartTV or a touchscreen display for use like you described is really kinda of useless now since numerous android and linux devices exist now that are the size of a smartphone or smaller and made to connect to a TV and do this exact same thing but use much less power, much less space, and since they come with RAM and storage onboard already and typically cost less than this board product above really makes this product a poor choice for those kinds of things. Ones like the Rhasberry Pi B+ even come with 4 USB ports. Granted its performance is lower, but when you are talking about a device meant to only display information, play videos, browse web pages, or other similar small activities it won't matter.

    Guess what I am trying to say is above the lack of USB ports creating problems for many places it could be used (like a print server, or home lite HTPC) other products already exist that are cheaper, more efficient, some are more user friendly, and some are quad-core units making them faster also at times. So this product just seems kind of a waste.

    I think it's really intended for exactly what they said at the end of the article, "thin clients, digital signage, and kiosks." A customized thin client (although I don't know why you'd need a custom one) really only needs an internet connection to connect to a terminal server. the two USB ports are for the local keyboard and mouse, and that's all you should be hooking up to a thin client anyways.

    You're right it would be bad at all those things you mentioned, because it's not designed to be good at them anyways.
    Reply
  • mrmez
    I setup and OC'd a Raspberry Pi for some very basic office stuff.
    Opening programs was a pain, but if you didn't close them it was perfect for email, internet, open office etc.
    Thats only the size of an old mobile phone and with a bunch of accessories is only $100.

    The Pi has a pretty bad cpu, but excellent gfx. Perfect for HD videos, digital signage etc.
    If you are going to have weak underpowered garbage, it may as well be cheap and tiny. No point in Mini ATX.

    PS. There are also much more powerful products than the Pi that are the same size and don't cost much more.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    14003778 said:
    I setup and OC'd a Raspberry Pi for some very basic office stuff.
    Opening programs was a pain, but if you didn't close them it was perfect for email, internet, open office etc.
    Thats only the size of an old mobile phone and with a bunch of accessories is only $100.

    The Pi has a pretty bad cpu, but excellent gfx. Perfect for HD videos, digital signage etc.
    If you are going to have weak underpowered garbage, it may as well be cheap and tiny. No point in Mini ATX.

    PS. There are also much more powerful products than the Pi that are the same size and don't cost much more.

    Yup thats what I have been saying :)
    If you need something to do this, there are much better choices.
    Reply