The Firefly Station M2 is a tiny desktop computer packs a 1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor, HDMI 2.0 Gigabit Ethernet, and a few USB ports into a case that measures just 93.8 x 65 x 15.8mm (3.7″ x 2.6″ x 0.6″).
It’s a Linux-friendly computer with support for GNU/Linux and/or Android-based operating systems. And with LPDDR4 memory, eMMC storage, and an M.2 slot for an optional SSD, it’s also fairly versatile. The Firefly Station M2 is available for $79 and up during a launch promotion.
That’s the starting price for a model with entry-level specs though, and the price will go up in a few weeks. Here’s the breakdown of the pricing/configuration options available:
- 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage for $79 during promotion, $105 after
- 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for $105 during promotion, $129 after
The Firefly website also mentions that the computer supports up to 8GB of RAM, suggesting that a higher-spec model may be available in the future.
Each version of the little computer has the same Rockchip RK3566 processor with Mali-G52 graphics, which marks an upgrade over the 1.5 GHz RK3328 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 chip used in the previous-gen Station M1.
The new processor should deliver stronger all-around performance, but it also has upgraded graphics and a dedicated neural processing unit for hardware-accelerated artificial intelligence applications.
Other upgrades include the move from DDR3 to LPDDR5 memory, support for Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 5, and the M.2 slot. The Firefly website sends some mixed messages about what kind of SSDs the Station M2 supports: you can allegedly use a PCIe NVMe SSD, but the website also mentions read & write speeds up to 400 MB/s, which would be on the low side even for a SATA III SSD. But it is faster than most eMMC storage modules.
Ports include a USB-C port for power and data, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. There’s also an IR receiver for use with a remote control (sold separately).
Supported software includes Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Buildroot+QT, Station OS (an Android-based media center), and Android.
If all of this seems somehow familiar, that’s because the heart of the Station M2 is likely the Firefly ROC-RK3566-PC single-board computer (SBC) that we looked at earlier this year. The key difference is that the Firefly Station M2 has a case, and the ROC-RK3566-PC comes without a chassis.
The SBC version is currently available for $75 (2GB/32GB), $95 (4GB/32GB) or $125 (8GB/64GB).
via CNX Software
This thing is a flaming pile of poo. Station OS is bare bones and junk. Ubuntu support is 2 versions back and buggy. Android is nearly unusable. If I could return it for 1/2 of what I paid I’d do it in a heartbeat but shipping back to China would eat the portion.
When they announced the SBC, I didn’t see much value in it because the Raspberry Pi 4 is more powerful than this thing.
However, I failed to notice that it has built-in eMMC storage. That gives it a huge advantage over the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi’s performance means nothing to me when it’s ultimately limited to MicroSD or USB for storage options.
Also, this case looks great. The fitment and size looks far better than any Raspberry Pi case I’ve seen. This looks like a really good buy for the price. I might get one to tinker around with Linux on an ARM system.
Normally I would complain about how much M.2 2242 sucks, but I don’t really care about SSD performance with something like this. I’m okay with buying a “Dogfish” or “Gamerking” brand SSD for this thing.
The only real criticism I have for this thing is that I would have appreciated if they offered a Type-C port instead of Ethernet. I would gladly use a dongle for Ethernet, in exchange for more flexibility.
Thanks for this news the hardware is really close to rock64 newly released qwartz64. Qwartz is already available in 8GB with an optional PCie 4x connector unfortunaly it lacks a true case evant for its smal form factor version (with PCie connector).
My Qwartz just arrived last week, now its time to install Debian for me 🙂
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