Mini PC BeeLink U59 (N5105 processor)

Intel or AMD mini PC's like the Intel NUC or the Quieter 3.

Item details

Amount Paid: 179.00
Where purchased: Amazon
I recently purchased an Intel NUC11 to play with and decided to expand to a BeeLink since I had heard good things about them.
What I really liked about it was that you could add an SSD into it in addition to the drive that ships with it.
So, ordered the unit from Amazon and it came in today. Works great with Windows (with all the associated updates needed to install).
The build quality is decent. The case is a very solid blue/black plastic. There are adequate cooling slots cut into the sides of the case not occupied by ports.
Speaking of ports, it has two USB 3 ports on the front and two USB 3.1 ports on the back. There is also a USB C port (for data, not power) on the front.
One think I noticed is that (since I use Linux on the device) that the speeds are not consistent on the ports with USB 3.0 speeds.

Code:
root@aperturaNUC:/home/stellarmate# lsusb -t | grep xhci
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/6p, 10000M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/8p, 480M

This indicates at least 2 of those USB ports are running at USB 2.0 speeds and not USB 3.

The unit is equipped with two HDMI outputs and two ethernet ports on the rear of the unit. The power is supplied by a standard 5.5x2.5mm plug. So far, I've had no issues with running it from the adjustable port on a Pegasus Power Box micro. I use the adjustable power port because it does not share the AMP capacity amongst the other plugs.

Once I decided to install StellarMate X (a Ubuntu Linux based system) on it, the warts raised their head.
This mini PC has the AX201 WiFi 6 chipset in it from Intel. Ubuntu 22.04 currently does not have drivers in the kernel for this chipset, and they are almost impossible to find in the wild. I ended up having to buy a 3rd party USB WiFi adapter and then find the drivers for it. Linux has a history of not supporting the latest/greatest hardware like this due to the very nature of it being open source and the dependence frequently upon the hardware developers to code drivers for it.

Once I was able to get the WiFi to working, this unit has been very reliable so far. I do occasionally have issues with StellarMate X using the wrong WiFi SSID, but that is more a Linux/Ubuntu issue than with this hardware.
Until Linux kernel 6.4 comes out (current shipping version with Ubuntu 22.04 is 6.2), I can't recommend this for anyone that is not comfortable with playing around at the command line level that wants to use Linux. For a Windows based machine running N.I.N.A. and similar, this will be a very viable and lower priced alternative, with the ability to add secondary storage in, which many mini PC's do not have.


EDIT:
I have had the shipping M2 SATA drive fail in this unit ,or the M2 port has gone bad, as it was stuck at the boot screen today. All attempts to get the system to boot with the shipping "no-name" 512GB M2 SATA drive installed failed. I was able to get the system to boot to BIOS when I removed the M2 SATA drive. When I installed a bootable USB external media stick it also booted from the OS on it with no issues. I ended up re-installing StellarMate X OS on the secondary 1TB 2.5" SSD I had originally installed as a simple data drive.

I have submitted a support ticket into BeeLink. This appears to be a known issue, that apparently is usually resolved by simply buying a new M2 SATA drive and installing it (a quality one).
I have ordered a WD Blue M2 SATA drive and once it arrives will be installing it and checking to see if that resolves the issue.
BeeLink has also shipped a replacement M2 SATA drive which should be arriving in the near future. I'll probably put that drive to the side and use a quality one to make sure it's not a board issue.

EDIT #2:
The new Western Digital M2 SATA drive came in from Amazon. I installed it and was able to reinstall StellarMate X OS with no issues, so it looks like it was a bad drive that shipped with this unit. From the multiple comments I have read of the same type behavior with this unit by others, I have a feeling that drive failure is a given with them, so if you are interested in one, I would recommend going ahead and buying a decent M2 SATA SSD drive.

Currently... I cannot fully recommend this unit to anyone interested in it with it's WiFi Linux support failure and the short-term lifespan of the shipping M2 SATA SSD. I would strongly recommend doing further research and find a unit that supports WiFi natively in it's shipping version and has a history of non-hardware failures.
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Item information

Category
Hardware
Added by
Tracy
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Additional information

Pro:
Fairly small form factor.
Plastic case should help keep from retaining heat
Comes with fan to help cool system down in hotter environments

Con:
WiFi 6 chipset is not currently supported under Linux, so you have to add an external USB WiFi adapter that is supported.
Uses older M2 SATA drive instead of the newer M2 NVMe drives.
M2 SATA drive failed after 2 months.

Would recommend:  Undecided

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