Inovato Quadra platform for Kolibri

I recently saw this website about a low cost ($29) device running Armbian / Debian 11, so I thought I would give it a try as a Kolibri “headless” micro-server:

Turns out that the device works quite well with the latest version of Kolibri (0.15.7) installed from the .deb file. We initially tested with serving 20 concurrent videos from Khan Academy and found that the device handled the workload easily.

The device uses the “Turewell T95” tv box which is based on the H6 quad core ARM processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC Flash memory storage. Inovato have produced a firmware image specifically for this device.

It is also possible to use the same firmware for the “T95 Max” device which uses the same processor but provides 4GB RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage. This device sells on eBay for $39.
With this device there is 20GB of internal eMMC storage available (after installing the firmware) for content storage without having to use an additional SD card or USB memory.

The device comes packaged in a small case and with a power supply. It has WiFi, Ethernet, SD Card and USB ports ready to use. Internally, the CPU is fitted with a heatsink attached to a metal heat spreader plate in the top of the case which is effective in keeping the CPU temperature low.

One of the nice things about this device is that the built in WiFi works well as an Access point - we have been able to attach 20 client devices without problems (we ran out of devices to test more…).

It’s also possible to plug in a suitable USB WiFi adapter and run a second WiFi service if needed.

We have used a 128GB SD Card to hold Kolibri content, including all of the Khan Academy (US) channel (50GB), PhET, Ted Ed etc.

The device comes complete in a neat package. In a classroom situation you can just plug it in to the power, switch it on and connect laptops, tablets etc by WiFi.

So, for a classroom level device, this offers a good alternative to the RPi platform, at less than half the cost and less setting up. The WiFi support is also much better.

The device may also be used with a keyboard, mouse and monitor as a simple desktop mini-PC as it is set up with the XFCE desktop manager and includes Firefox, with an option to install LibreOffice. Obviously, in this mode the workload can be considerably higher than when used as a headless micro-server so it is not going to compete with your i5 based laptop!

I hope this is useful for anyone looking for a simple, low cost classroom device.

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This looks great, thanks! I’ve ordered ordered one of each of the two models and will try to max out the wifi on them at some point. That has always been one of the pain points of the Pi, which we maxed out at around 16 clients on the built-in wifi.