Coming just a few months after the launch of the PiRO Qube machine, there is another new machine available from RISCOSbits – the eMMC4. With prices starting at £199, this is the second in their line of eMMC PiHard systems after the Qube.
Measuring 12cm by 9cm by 4.5cm, the eMMC4 will be a little harder to accidentally lose down the back of the desk than the Qube, which has a similar height but notably smaller footprint at just 6cm by 6cm.
As a member of the PiHard range, the eMMC4 bears a number of similarities to its older brothers, but has a number of enhancements – with the most obvious one being the use of a faster internal 32GB solid state eMMC storage device instead of the usual SD card. This brings a speed boost to the system, because it provides faster disc accesses than the SD card approach, so the system boots faster, applications load more quickly, and so on – and reliability is improved, particularly for operations that are more disc intensive, because the eMMC storage is more robust than SD cards.
There is also now an on-board Real Time Clock (RTC), which means the system clock is maintained while the power is off, and it doesn’t rely on a network connection to set it correctly when powered up. The nature of enclosures used on other machines in the PiHard range made this difficult – but that isn’t a problem here.
And the feature you’ll notice the most – because if you have this machine on your desk, whenever you look down at your keyboard (depending where the computer is placed in relation to it) it’ll be staring right back at you1, is an OLED ‘information’ screen on the top of the case. This is used – currently – to provide up to date information on the current state of the system, with options including free disc space, free RAM, CPU temperature and speed, but there are plans to expand the range to include things like system up-time (time since it was last booted), IP address… and more besides, with less useful options including the number of days left until
Christmas the next RISC OS show, or other user configured options1.
Connectivity is largely what you’d expect – the computer has two HDMI ports, gigabit ethernet, three USB ports (one front, two rear), an SD-card slot, analogue audio – and even that most useful of beasts, a button to switch off without having to reach for the mains or pull the lead out. And speaking of the power, that comes via a standard USB-c supply.
There’s also an SSD built in – 120GB as standard, but can be upgraded to 256GB when ordering, and with a dual-boot option you can have a Linux operating system installed and bootable as well. Meanwhile, the system comes with 4GB RAM, and a fan-cooled processor that can be run at up to 2.28GHz.
- Eyes. It should display eyes. Creepy ones. Maybe even a whole face.