$80 laptop anyone? Evolve III Maestro E-Book 11.6" Laptop Computer - Dark Grey

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
I don't know what the hell I changed, but I cannot get back into the BIOS no matter what I try anymore...
 

Highwind

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
1,407
My goto lightweight Linux distro used to be CrunchBang Linux, they closed down in like 2013 and BunsenLabs that was started as a continuation project was looking pretty good for a while, but they haven't released a new version in like 2 years now.

Maybe I'll give Lubuntu a try.

I don't know what the hell I changed, but I cannot get back into the BIOS no matter what I try anymore...
A shot in the dark, but at one point i changed a bios setting for OS from Windows (default) to "intel linux". Same thing, could not get back in. Had to pull battery to reset settings and made a not to just leave that setting alone.

I had lubuntu running on this prior to regularbuntu but could not get LTE working in that. Wifi worked but still needed manual driver compile and manually installation of gcc and its dependency packages.

If you go that route I'd be curious if you got cellular working.
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
That's exactly what I did. Crom damn it...

Since I have to pull the back off, I guess I'll try pulling the LTE card out and replace it with a mSATA card. I read that the eMMC is pretty slow and that a SATA drive is much faster.
 

Highwind

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
1,407
If it's any consolation, the bottom cover removal is about as simple as it gets on a laptop. Just remember where the 2 or 3 longer screws go.
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
Yep. Disconnecting the battery for a few seconds got every with the BIOS reset and I am able to get in again. That was annoying...

Unfortunately I discovered that there is no mount for longer mSATA card where the LTE card sits, so I left all that alone for now.
 

usul0

n00b
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
41
Yep. Disconnecting the battery for a few seconds got every with the BIOS reset and I am able to get in again. That was annoying...

Unfortunately I discovered that there is no mount for longer mSATA card where the LTE card sits, so I left all that alone for now.
Used a thermal pad and some electrical tape to fit a full length ssd in there. Not a lot of room for it to come loose but gave it a good shake test to make sure.
 

usul0

n00b
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
41
MSATA or m.2? if the latter I might get one of these to play around with!
It's m.2 ...MB key if memory serves. Made a noticeable difference in speed slapping a new drive in it.

Edit: Make a mirror of the stock drive. Made the mistake thinking a fresh install would be a good idea and now can't find some drivers.
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
It's m.2 ...MB key if memory serves. Made a noticeable difference in speed slapping a new drive in it.

Edit: Make a mirror of the stock drive. Made the mistake thinking a fresh install would be a good idea and now can't find some drivers.

Yea, take a backup of the flash first if you can. The company site is completely devoid of any software downloads.

Anybody manage to get the Intel 500 Audio working on Linux yet? It looks like it almost sorta works, except it only finds a dummy output that doesn't make it to the speakers.

Currently bouncing back and forth between CrunchBang Plus Plus and Lubuntu. Haven't decided which I like more. Now that I'm thinking about it, might as well try FreeBSD on here too.
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
So after all the tinkering I've done, I've come to the conclusion that Windows 10 is probably the best option for just about everyone with this dumb thing. The onboard USB based wifi is annoying to deal with in Linux and it's performance kinda sucks, and it took way too long to get Intel 500 Audio to work in Linux. The eMMC storage is also pretty terrible.

So being that the only real way to improve the performance of this laptop is to either sacrifice the PCIe LTE card for a different Wifi card or SATA storage, I feel that swapping in better storage and dealing with Windows 10 is the least terrible option for most people.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
So after all the tinkering I've done, I've come to the conclusion that Windows 10 is probably the best option for just about everyone with this dumb thing. The onboard USB based wifi is annoying to deal with in Linux and it's performance kinda sucks, and it took way too long to get Intel 500 Audio to work in Linux. The eMMC storage is also pretty terrible.

So being that the only real way to improve the performance of this laptop is to either sacrifice the PCIe LTE card for a different Wifi card or SATA storage, I feel that swapping in better storage and dealing with Windows 10 is the least terrible option for most people.

My experience with this laptop couldn't be further from yours. I installed Linux Mint on it and the experience has been flawless after installing the Wi-Fi drivers (I used a USB to ethernet adapter before getting the drivers). Sure the keyboard sucks, but this thing is completely usable and I'm shocked at how much I can get done with it. Be sure to go into the bios to unlock the CPU power limit. After that it can maintain a constant boost of 2.1 Ghz and it's so low powered that it doesn't get hot. The sound worked straight out of the box for me with Mint. 4GB of RAM is more than enough to run a Linux distro with KDE Plasma or XFCE. I don't recommend gnome. I also replaced the LTE card with a proper SSD.

I did a short review on it in case anyone's interested. I found that it's perfect for streaming games. This was my first video so it definitely could use some improvement. I'm planning to do a follow up video with detailed guide of installing Linux Mint for those who aren't very experienced with Linux.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: usul0
like this
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
fyi, the price is $60 now. Ridiculously cheap even if not perfect.
So ridiculous I bought a second! I do a lot of projects that use RPis but those are hard to find these days.. this thing is a more than worthy replacement for a pi!
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
Ok. Same results as every other Linux distro I’ve tried.

Builtin wireless works after manual patching, audio does not.

I was only able to get the audio working once with Linux and it immediately broke after rebooting. I cannot for the life of me remember what the hell I did and I’ve never seen it work out of the box.

It only wants to output to a ‘Dummy Output’.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
Ok. Same results as every other Linux distro I’ve tried.

Builtin wireless works after manual patching, audio does not.

I was only able to get the audio working once with Linux and it immediately broke after rebooting. I cannot for the life of me remember what the hell I did and I’ve never seen it work out of the box.

It only wants to output to a ‘Dummy Output’.
That's very odd, I was able to watch YT videos with audio immediately without any changes. A few possible things come to mind:
1. I installed Mint Cinnamon, I'm not sure if the drivers are the same in the other editions. I then manually installed kde plasma because of its lower memory footprint. Also make sure the media codecs are checked during installation
2. Bios settings. Are you sure you didn't accidently disable audio? Maybe try loading the default bios settings.
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
What BIOS setting have you changed? I tinkered a bit with the CPU thermal settings but that’s it.

The only other one I messed with was the OS type, I changed it to Intel Linux but was unable to boot off USB after that. I ended up having to take it apart and disconnecting the battery to fix it.

I’m running Mint cinnamon too. I don’t see how KDE would make a difference.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
What BIOS setting have you changed? I tinkered a bit with the CPU thermal settings but that’s it.

The only other one I messed with was the OS type, I changed it to Intel Linux but was unable to boot off USB after that. I ended up having to take it apart and disconnecting the battery to fix it.

I’m running Mint cinnamon too. I don’t see how KDE would make a difference.
My bios settings are stock except for disabling the CPU power limit. I had the same problem with the Intel Linux setting so I left it on Windows.
KDE shouldn't make a difference, I just threw that in there because I generally recommend it since it uses less memory.

I'm stumped why it doesn't work for you. Maybe the audio hardware is defective? You said you got it working in another distro with effort though, right? So idk..
 

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
My bios settings are stock except for disabling the CPU power limit. I had the same problem with the Intel Linux setting so I left it on Windows.
KDE shouldn't make a difference, I just threw that in there because I generally recommend it since it uses less memory.

I'm stumped why it doesn't work for you. Maybe the audio hardware is defective? You said you got it working in another distro with effort though, right? So idk..
It works under windows.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
It works under windows.
I tried Ubuntu 22.04 today and audio worked right away. Very odd. Also somebody else commented on the YT video saying they had the same problem with Ubuntu. The only explanation I can think of at the moment is that there are slightly different hardware revisions with different audio chipsets? No idea. What audio chipset does it say in Windows for you?
 

Highwind

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
1,407
If I recall, mine read as alc269 according to software used in windows. And it worked out of the box with ubuntu 20.04, so I too am puzzled by the reported audio issues.

Although I did have an unusual knocking noise with either the built in mic or a mic hooked to the 3.5mm jack. Not surewhat that's about, but audio output has been fine.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
I found a bit more info as we slowly figure this out. Apparently there are two different versions if you look at the sticker on the bottom. There's Maestro-EBook11 and EBook11v2. Also there are two different bios builds. One built on 4/28/2020 and another built on 1/05/2021.
Mine is Maestro-EBook11 with bios built on 4/28/2020
 
Last edited:

Stugots

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
6,962
Mine is an 11v2.

BIOS build date of 12/31/2020.

I've been trying to figure out who is the OEM for this thing, maybe there is a newer BIOS/Firmware version that can improve things.
 

pgaster

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
1,386
I just picked one of these up at the Chicago Central store after work. I don't see anything on the box that will show if it is a V2 or not. Unfortunately I got a V2.
Under the Windows Device Manager it shows the audio device as ESAuDriver Device. Under Hardware ID it shows ESSX8336.
Google searches show that support may be coming but could take a while: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1375830/no-sound-everest-essx8336-sound-card
Of course I'm not much of a Linux person and have not searched too much yet....

edit: another link with some info: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=272060

More info:
The store I was at had a wire basket/rack thing roughly the size of a standard pallet full of these things. Full as in stacked around 4 feet high. They had a buttload.
The boxes are all sealed with tape, so no, not appropriate to open boxes until you find one that is not a V2.
You have to just roll the dice. At this point there may not be any left that are not V2.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
I just picked one of these up at the Chicago Central store after work. I don't see anything on the box that will show if it is a V2 or not. Unfortunately I got a V2.
Under the Windows Device Manager it shows the audio device as ESAuDriver Device. Under Hardware ID it shows ESSX8336.
Google searches show that support may be coming but could take a while: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1375830/no-sound-everest-essx8336-sound-card
Of course I'm not much of a Linux person and have not searched too much yet....

edit: another link with some info: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=272060

More info:
The store I was at had a wire basket/rack thing roughly the size of a standard pallet full of these things. Full as in stacked around 4 feet high. They had a buttload.
The boxes are all sealed with tape, so no, not appropriate to open boxes until you find one that is not a V2.
You have to just roll the dice. At this point there may not be any left that are not V2.
Thanks for the info, this pretty much solves the question of why. There indeed are two hardware revisions with different audio devices.
I guess we'll just have to wait and hope the drivers get updated sooner than later. If I owned a V2 I *might* consider getting my hands dirty with writing drivers, but that's a whole different can of worms in of itself.

Also it seems these have been selling quickly at the Tustin store as well. They sold out about a week or two ago, but only a few days later they were stocked again.
 

Jelly

Gawd
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
903
Guess I got a V1? My windows says Realtek Audio in the device manager.
My down arrow key has already fallen off 🤷‍♂️ Looks to be some broken plastic in the folding part of the keycap.
 

renswic

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
5,554
Are these store pickup up only or will they ship them as online orders?
 

mustang_steve

c[H]ewbacca
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
10,810
Used a thermal pad and some electrical tape to fit a full length ssd in there. Not a lot of room for it to come loose but gave it a good shake test to make sure.
Also a timy bit of esd foam between the lid and the ssd couldn’t hurt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: usul0
like this

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,660
Anyone who owns it, what is the max output of that hdmi port - hdmi 1.0, or 1.4?

I suppose you could also use display link on tat USB 3 port to get 4k putout?
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
28
Anyone who owns it, what is the max output of that hdmi port - hdmi 1.0, or 1.4?

I suppose you could also use display link on tat USB 3 port to get 4k putout?
I believe it's 1.4 as I was able to get 4k 30hz. Also keep in mind it's a mini hdmi port not a full sized one.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,660
Just figuring out how capable this sixty dollar wonder can be if suddenly necessariy

I know that broadwell supports 4k, but that doesn't mean that the discount bin device here does also
 
Last edited:

Luke M

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 20, 2016
Messages
501
Just figuring out how capable this sixty dollar wonder can be if suddenly necessariy

I know that broadwell supports 4k, but that doesn't mean that the discount bin device here does also

This isn't Broadwell, it's a Goldmont Atom. Also Intel has only recently started supporting HDMI 2.0 (60hz), never mind modern 4K displays that take 2.1 (120hz).
 
Last edited:

The_Billy

n00b
Joined
Jul 1, 2022
Messages
2
My bios settings are stock except for disabling the CPU power limit. I had the same problem with the Intel Linux setting so I left it on Windows.
KDE shouldn't make a difference, I just threw that in there because I generally recommend it since it uses less memory.

I'm stumped why it doesn't work for you. Maybe the audio hardware is defective? You said you got it working in another distro with effort though, right? So idk..
How exactly did you disable the power limit, and did you notice any improvement from doing so?
 
Top