Hi Khadas community, first off, must say the device itself and support community and range of software images available look great, the whole idea of an open-source diy box with decent spec, great price and active community is a winner, but before I head off to order, there are a couple of things I am pondering about…
Firstly, I already have a Geekbox, produced by the same company and team, which is great and also promised what the Khadas offers, however, the Geekbox has only been around for about 1.5 years and already the online support forum is all but dead and full of spam, the device itself showing signs of hw failure (ok could be firmware but I suspect it’s not), so is a pretty short life cycle/time, the device already seems to be end of support (both official and community), the price was ~double the Khadas and the spec higher. Rockchip never came through with the driver code for the gpu to ensure long term software support for those using it for watching media smoothly, I see word that AMLogic will be providing more code for the Khadas, but will they deliver?
Also, If I buy into Khadas now (~4 months after launch already) will it also be abandoned by this time next year, or before?
I understand that hardware to price is continually dropping as specs improve but do I really want to invest time into a device that will be forgotten in the near future in favour of the next even cheaper/better/smaller/more powerful bit of kit?
I really want to say Yes! and join in the fun, but at the same time, I am not sure I want to invest the time and to lesser extent, money, into a device that all too soon will be eol, abandoned or failing and have to start over on yet another device.
Longevity for me (and many others) is an important factor here, I don’t want a disposable device on so many different levels!
Yes, Geekbox is exactly fully designed by us, actually when we designed and developed Geekbox, we named it as Cross, as we thought it was a completely new concept like the name Cross itself, the product can be expanded/cross to different products like projector, MiniTV, development board etc when match different carrier boards.
As we were(& are) a small team, so we cooperation with another partner and with a new brand: Geekbox. Both the website and forum are not built by us, and we were also quite confused in the spam even we kept running the forum. I had to say, my personally always felt guilty for the Geekbox users. But for business reason, we cannot continue to run the Geekbox forum in the case that our partner tend to abandon the brand.
It’s a real hard choice for us to start our own new brand Khadas as we are still a small team at this point, it means that we will meet more challenges like marketing which we have never been engaged in yet, but anyway, WE DID IT, AND ALSO, WE WILL PERSIST ON IT!
Regarding the Khadas VIM, we will provide a long term technical support, it will be at least 3 years ROM updating and 5 years technical support.
It’s a long story between Geekbox and Khadas, but I can’t write it down in English in a good way, but I still want use a Chinese word to describe my feelings at the moment:
Hi Gouwa, thanks for your time answering my query and clarifying the history of what has happened with Geekbox, it is a shame as the concept and spec are great, but as you know, making business and sustainable community supporting it, is not so easy! If the Geekbox community knew who is running the support community forum, then we/they could push them to resolve the issues. Anyway, Khadas is the future for you guys now it seems and Geekbox I guess should be seen as a mostly successful prototype device that didn’t get the business support it’s users should expect.
OK so with Khadas, you commit to long term support which is great! In my opinion, the most important factor that will impact on whether this will be successful or not is whether the SoC manufacturer will provide the code needed to ensure that the latest Android/Linux etc. version can be supported on that platform. History tells me (~15y Linux use) that when it comes to gpu drivers, this is always a compromise at best, and at worst only one blob of code is ever released (Intel GMA500 aka Poulsbo for example). How confident are you that AMLogic will maintain an updated ‘open’ driver for the S905X chip? I see positive signs http://openlinux.amlogic.com/ so lets hope they come through…
My only remaining query now is really around the hardware spec:
Quad core, how does that compare with similar alternatives performance wise? The Geekbox is 8 core and there was never any talk of needing a cooling fan which is often mentioned here, if I want to heat my house with a cpu, I’ll buy an Intel!! lol The Ethernet is a Broadcom 100Mb only which is a bit of a surprise given the fact that gigabit is the defacto standard on most home computers and many routers now, ok as pointed out, gigabit speeds may not really be required even to stream 4K video now, but in a couple of years time…
And what about future devices your team will be working on? Will they be compatible with existing software as per RasPi etc? Do you have another device being worked on to be released soon? I would be interested to know, as would others I expect.
Anyway thanks again for the reply, Google is not very good at translating Chinese to English so you phrase above translates to:
“Road is far, the line is approaching; things are small, not for not a”
which hints at what you are trying to communicate at least!
I don’t know about the Rockchip situation, but with Amlogic the push for mainlinux support and GPU support has been coming from the community. So you don’t need to blindly trust the company
These guys have been really doing the major push on that front, and the mainline support is supposed to come in the next kernel release
(Their main guy, Neil Armstrong has posted on this forum, so they’re def aware of this platform)
There is also a bit of a coattail effect thanks to the popularity of the ODroid C2.
If it really gets into mainline, then Itll be the first fully supported ARM chip I think (maybe also the Tegra?) and id guess Itll be easier to keep it up-to-date software wise.
You can find more info at CNX-software if you dig around the comments there
Gouwa has been super responsive and helpful and I’m very positive about the future of this platform - but if you have your doubt I guess u can wait for the next kernel release
Again, thanks for the replies, I appreciate from your translated phrase the philosophical nature of your journey with Geekbox >> Khadas >> ??
Any more details on what to expect with VIM2? While I am very tempted with buying a VIM, right now I don’t really need it…unless the Geekbox becomes unusable! If VIM2 has significant improvements on VIM1 I will probably wait until it launches…
I want to join this post because before i buy the board i made a careful study of all the boards past and present.
I chose khadas vim because it integrates a high ram supplied 2GB a quad core 64bit processor wifi and ethernet and a eMMC 8/16GB as well as having its exclusive case. excellent price and quality ratio and gearbest is a solid and well-known site.
This is because for people like me who are beginners with SBC everything is a ready solution.
with regard to the community by the time I get on well and after trying various rom its operation is stable and the upgrade operation with USB cable (included) is very simple.
I think that may be different for uses of this board. from simple Android TV box to desktop linux to linux server … rom each has its pros and cons
I was undecided about buying another Chinese board but the rudeness of the upgrade of the EMMC has made me give up. then I have a production line with too many very different patterns between them …
surely the vim 2 will be based on a 64bit processor octacore (i think)
Thanks for replies. I personally was very much interested what happened with GeekBox why support was abandoned. I own one device and run it with much joy now for playing games on Android Marshmallow. Maybe you even seen me on the forum asking many questions about building Android
In addition to GeekBox (with Landingship), I also run RPi 2, RPi 3 and ODROID XU4. So far, only GeekBox was absolutely the best when it came to building, debugging and using Android.
So to support your great work and with intention to build Android Nougat myself I also bought Khadas Vim Pro, looking forward to receiving it I really do see a lot of potential in this board especially considering excellent hardware combination and strong software support (like it was with GeekBox) when it comes to Android world.
It depends on the use case scenarios, but for my use case, I regret that I ever bought an Amlogic device (I have had few). Khadas VIM does have excellent hardware and design, but Amlogic and their policy not supporting mainline is terrible. I would like to use Khadas VIM with Kodi as media player device with mainline u-boot/kernel/video hardware encoding/decoding but seems it will never happen.
I hope Khadas Team is doing something in mainlining their stuff. Do you? Otherwise for my use case I can put this device in drawer.