40-50$ vim product anytime soon?

Hi, I was in search for a cheap arm board that could run cool 24/7, need very low amperes, be able to run a recent android (10+), have plenty of ram (4GB) , of emmc (64GB+), decent GPU, a case, an external antenna, a power supply, usb3 and toslink out and be less than 50$ and be able to run some Linux (at least under termux)
Unfortunately, no such thing exists in khadas catalog in 2020, and I had to purchase it from another brand, on Amazon.
And for 40eur, I even had an ir remote as a bonus.

The product is called sunnzo s9 max, and it ticked all my cases, an more.
I think the secret is its rockchip soc (rk 3318).

I use many raspberry pi boards and many similar ones as well, at office and also at home.
In fact, I very rarely use the 40pin extension pins, but almost always at least one USB port.

Why is such device missing in Khadas product line today ?
You could create this new and exclusive market segment:
50$ price tag, primarily aimed at linux hackers (supported by fenix, Linux distro friendly, don’t care much for android source, as they never convince XDA class developers to build custom up to date android ROMs during many years after the product’s start of sales) but can be used as media center right out of the box for the lazy ones.

Please comment and share your opinion on my proposal!


I have been looking at VIM2 and VIM3 to run with the Tone since last year as you’re but the price is kinda high. If it’s cheap under $50, I would get 2 for my 2 Tone boards. I have thought about raspberry pi as well but there is no reason to use it with the USB since I have a few high end laptops around that can run with the Tone boards. I did look at the Intel Nuc but it’s rather to run with the laptop instead. So I ended up buy the android tv box yesterday for $28 (4GB ram / 64GB) bidding on ebay, it’s a best price.

Hello ! it was enough for me to see that this is a Rockchip 3318, and to understand everything, the processor is terrible, it heats up insanely, you will have continuous problems with it, so the system will be extremely unstable.

A soc does not make a system, it is the way the manufacturer put things together, so far and under android 10, my rk3318 is doing all right, and is rock stable, the 3399 is the one which gets hot like hell !

The 3399 has a higher performance, perhaps. The hardware and software parts, they are inseparable during operation, you understand.
By the way, my Rockchip 3399 from Khadas does not rise above 65 ° in the most severe scenario.

Please share some facts and figures on what (and how) you measured as insanely hot rk3318

This is an ordinary TV box on Android, in reality, I only came across rk3399. As for the young processors from the Rockchip family, there are many reviews, the TV box heats up to ~ 95 ° at rest, constantly crashes, there are no ventilation holes. I’m not saying that if he does a throttling test, it seems to me that he will die, so I’m afraid to contact them :slightly_smiling_face:

the ordinary tv box that i own and am using right now does not confirm at all the negative reviews you mention (but maybe never experimented by yourself)

Perhaps, I also know that RK3318 is a stripped-down version of RK3328, but I don’t argue, maybe you’re really in luck.

@ravelo I like what your asking for, but the problem is that khadas themselves as from what I have seen put a lot of money into proper R&D and commitment to high quality components that support the SoC used.

To the consumer front this is what is offered, but khadas also supplies to OEMs and ODMs and hence is also able to create more budget restricted devices , but doesn’t for the consumer front so that they can provide a better and robust product.

As for the SoC part which decides a high fraction of the device’s cost, the upcoming rk3566 could have fit your requirements, but at a slightly higher price point, but it seems khadas won’t be working towards bringing that out due to the design of the chip not being preferable

in my opinion we better sit tight and improve what we already have with the VIM3L or VIM3 and make it more supportable to the mainline ecosystem.


The problem with most fly-by-night brands is support, specially long term. Many also go thru many board or component(WiFi module, RAM, eMMC, etc) revisions, without notice, making it difficult for ROM Devs to keep ahead of it. Custom ROMs are also an area of deficiency for many no-name boxes.
An added issue is circuit and connected equipment protection. Many of the no-name brands omit things like HDMI protection, potentially leaving connected devices vulnerable to damage. Other areas may also be unprotected, such as USB ports.

I have purchased no-name boxes, some have performed well, but I had no expectation of continuing support from the seller/maker, at least past the first 1-3 months. Very few have dedicated support forums or websites. If you get one and it works well, that’s great, however, there is a bit of the roll of the dice with no-name boxes.

When the Khadas VIM 1 was released, Khadas stated it would recieve support for not less than 5 years. Four years have passed since Khadas stated 5 years of support and support is still being provided for the VIM1, all versions/revisions. Khadas has also serviced some devices that failed after many months or longer after purchase. The service and support are why one can find myriad cheap devices, they don’t have it.

Khadas has also acquired certifications from entities such as the FCC, RoHS and CE, etc. It is unlikely that no-names will have these, even if the logos are printed on the box or device, try to get them to show you a certificate. Khadas can.
Throw in little niceties like Krescue and very good device documentation and it becomes more clear why devices are available cheaper.
I roll the dice on stuff every now and then, nothing wrong with it as long as one understands the terms, and sets their expectations accordingly.

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I think we have a good idea of what make khadas unique and we stay here for a few years now because because of their long term commitment to keep on supporting older products.
I never felt the need to buy a faster vim after the vim1. On the contrary, I expected a price optimized product to follow (think of the Tesla model 3 after the model s).
The fact is that newer models still look over engineered and that translates to higher price tag.
I would have loved that khadas had asked us after the vim1: what is unnecessary in the vim1 that we can skip to make the next optimally priced vim0 and be more appealing to a larger public ?
I would have answered: ditch most of the 40pins, remove unneeded proprietary connectors, use a cheaper soc, add more ram and flash…

I find it is a pity to throw capex into r&d resources on both amlogic and rockchip socs, why not have stayed with amlogic only and simply diversify up and down the product price range (as apple does so successfully) ? Sorry if i digress a bit, but this could be discussed in another thread.

@ravelo a cheaper SoC doesnt mean instant benefits right off the bat, remind you that the khadas wishes to provide us an open source experience, which most chip manufacturers really don’t…

Also there isnt many other SoCs available for this kind of application. Rockchip and amlogic do a better job within the confines of their competitors.
Allwinner is meh in my opinion, and their chips aren’t quite interesting in places other than a regular tv box

I agree that some pennies can be pinched with removing some of the things we don’t need for our use case, but then some another user would appreciate having those extra little things on their device, the best way to unite the best of both worlds is with a COM or Edge compute device (eg. The khadas edge or a RPi compute module)

Also khadas isnt just another middle of the ghetto generic tv box manufacturer, its a haven for developers willing to use a more flagship development device :slight_smile:

pardon me, but please try to not compare it with apple,
They have a hook and reel marketing strategy to somehow make you shell out big money for silly little things, and try to imprison you within their tiny proprietary world…

I hope I have made some sense to you :slight_smile:

Good to read various argumented opinions!

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