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

whateverer

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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).
It's the same GPU core as Broadwell. Also, Intel has been supporting displayport 1.4 since ice lakes
 
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How exactly did you disable the power limit, and did you notice any improvement from doing so?
Go into the bios by pushing the del key right after powering on the laptop. Go to Advanced -> CPU Configuration -> CPU Power Management -> Power Limit 1 Enable. Change this setting to disabled.

When the CPU is under full load it will maintain 2.1 Ghz all core boost with the power limit disabled. When the limit is enabled it will be between 1.1 Ghz and 2.1 Ghz depending on the load and the power limit that was set. There's definitely a noticeable difference.
 
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I did a follow up video, it's a guide for installing Linux Mint on this laptop and the WiFi drivers for anyone who may be thinking about making the switch to Linux. Remember to check if you have the original version of this laptop or v2 which was discussed in this thread. If you have v2 then audio will not work at this time in Linux.
 

Highwind

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Just noting my unit corroborates with various "v1" info so far:
  • -model "Maestro-Ebook11" per bottom label
  • -bios date 04/28/2020
  • -audio realtek ALC269 (works out of box with ubuntu/mint
  • -wifi realtek rtl8723du (works with ubuntu/mint/probably many after compile)
One thing i've been curious about is where the text in the OP saying 802.11AC came from. If it was something edited on the product page, it was already changed to N by the time I saw the page. Did anyone get one of these with AC wifi capability and not just N?
 

The Pook

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has anyone had any success getting an older Windows installed with functional drivers? planning on trying to get 7 working.

Mine won't be here until the weekend, trying to get things sorted to give it a go. Already got USB 3.0 slipstreamed onto my W7 installer and primarily just worried about the SATA controller. Can't find any info on what it uses.
 
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Just noting my unit corroborates with various "v1" info so far:
  • -model "Maestro-Ebook11" per bottom label
  • -bios date 04/28/2020
  • -audio realtek ALC269 (works out of box with ubuntu/mint
  • -wifi realtek rtl8723du (works with ubuntu/mint/probably many after compile)
One thing i've been curious about is where the text in the OP saying 802.11AC came from. If it was something edited on the product page, it was already changed to N by the time I saw the page. Did anyone get one of these with AC wifi capability and not just N?
The product description on MicroCenter's site is wrong. None of them have AC WiFi. Another typo is "DDR4" memory. It's actually DDR3 running at 1600mhz.
 

The_Billy

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I don't own one of these, but I bet you could install ChromeOS using Brunch. Yes, Chrome OS Flex exists, but it doesn't support Android Apps/Play Store.

https://github.com/sebanc/brunch


I actually used this video to get Chrome OS working! It took a while but I managed to figure it out. I installed it on the eMMC and I cloned the existing Windows installation to the SSD I added.
This video was actually a little more helpful, it's kinda a copy of the one you mentioned but with some stuff that helped me get it working. I needed a usb to ethernet dongle for everything up till the very end.



You will have to mess around a little bit in the Crosh terminal to get wifi up and running. I was pleased to find out however that they have the needed wifi drivers for V11. Here's the link where you can learn to do that. You'll have to scroll a little bit.

https://github.com/sebanc/brunch/blob/master/troubleshooting-and-faqs.md
 

pj-

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I bought one of these from microcenter yesterday and spent the evening fiddling with it and upgrading it to W11. At some point I noticed it was making a faint sound periodically, which turns out to be the Device Disconnected system sound at an interval of exactly 10 seconds.

It seems to be related to USB and specifically the microsd card reader. The USB ports work fine but a microsd card in the slot will disappear every 10 seconds. The same card in an external USB card reader works just fine. I checked various power settings and tried disabling anything that seemed even remotely related.

Anyone see an issue like this? Pretty sure it's a software problem as it will not disconnect if a file transfer is active. I suspect the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller - 1.0 (Microsoft) device under USB controllers is involved. Driver version is 10.0.22000.778 with a date of 6/17/22. Been trying to find an older version but it is proving difficult.
 
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I just noticed something new on the Microcenter website. They have 2 SKUs now: https://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?Ntt=evolve&searchButton=search&storeid=029
Not sure what the differences are, if any, but the new SKU does not mention LTE.
This could be a typo, or maybe they do have a newer version with the LTE removed to save cost.
Price is the same for both.
Nice find. Hopefully someone can confirm if LTE was removed and if anything else changed.
 

lobstar

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Not only is it missing the LTE card but they haven't even soldered on the connector so you cannot upgrade the device unless you solder it yourself. I just got a couple Sunday and I'm glad I got in early.

https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxhardware/comments/tk6hdp/comment/ihqlla3/?context=3
Thanks. Although it's disappointing, I can't say I'm surprised. Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and this thing only costs $60 now. The LTE feature is not something you'd expect to find in regular priced laptop, let alone a budget one for $60.
They should have just left out the card instead of removing the entire slot. I feel like replacing the card for an SSD was one of the selling points for this laptop. Glad I picked up two of the original versions while they were available.
 
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Luke M

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I picked one up. The salesman was still touting LTE even though they sold out of that version! Screen has a stuck pixel, but I think I'll keep it if there are no other defects.
 

lobstar

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Added an SSD heatsink to it with some Arctic Alumina adhesive.
1659540662048.png

1659540685311.png


Edit: I got 826 points! 5 minutes in it was still at 2100mhz! The first stock run was 518 points (+59.5%!!!)
1659566610958.png
 
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Added an SSD heatsink to it with some Arctic Alumina adhesive.



Edit: I got 826 points! 5 minutes in it was still at 2100mhz! The first stock run was 518 points (+59.5%!!!)
Wow that's quite an improvement! If only it were less invasive, but at least the heatsink is getting real airflow now! (y)
I was able to fit a different SSD heatsink next to the laptop's heatsink, rather than on top of it. Then I placed a large thermal pad on the cover so that it's touching both heatsinks. Not sure how much it's helping yet, I'll do tests soon.
I have two of these laptops, one being completely stock. I'll be doing a thermal comparison very soon!
 
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Gilthanis

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I ordered 5 of these and foolishly drug my feet on opening them up and testing. They only give a 15 day return window on them and they took 7 days to ship. First one I opened, my wife uses. It seems to work fine except after the first round of Windows updates, it now won't update. Second one I opened up, it worked fine until Windows started updating. Then the USB went to shit. It started with the Realtek wifi disappearing in the connections portion only showing the Cellular connections. Restarting would usually bring it back up but needed an additional hard shut down and a second restart to get to work. It would usually work until more updates attempted and then fail again. Requiring a few more restarts/hard shut downs. I copied all the driver locations in Windows 10 (typically 3 locations) and then did a complete wipe of the system using a really old windows 10 setup. It worked fine again in older Windows 10 but once Windows updates the USB goes to shit again. Sometimes it is just the wifi and sometimes it is all USB altogether. I would just send it back but like I said...my dumb ass didn't test within the window. So, I'm gonna have to test the other 3 and then figure out what I can use it for. If the WiFi cannot stay up, it is of little use to me.
 

lobstar

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I ordered 5 of these and foolishly drug my feet on opening them up and testing. They only give a 15 day return window on them and they took 7 days to ship. First one I opened, my wife uses. It seems to work fine except after the first round of Windows updates, it now won't update. Second one I opened up, it worked fine until Windows started updating. Then the USB went to shit. It started with the Realtek wifi disappearing in the connections portion only showing the Cellular connections. Restarting would usually bring it back up but needed an additional hard shut down and a second restart to get to work. It would usually work until more updates attempted and then fail again. Requiring a few more restarts/hard shut downs. I copied all the driver locations in Windows 10 (typically 3 locations) and then did a complete wipe of the system using a really old windows 10 setup. It worked fine again in older Windows 10 but once Windows updates the USB goes to shit again. Sometimes it is just the wifi and sometimes it is all USB altogether. I would just send it back but like I said...my dumb ass didn't test within the window. So, I'm gonna have to test the other 3 and then figure out what I can use it for. If the WiFi cannot stay up, it is of little use to me.
That's strange. It took about 5 days but I was able to fully update mine and it suggested Win11 so I installed that too. I got a bit more performance with Win11 and no driver issues. (edit: my modded one is still win10 education.)
 
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Wow that's quite an improvement! If only it were less invasive, but at least the heatsink is getting real airflow now! (y)
I was able to fit a different SSD heatsink next to the laptop's heatsink, rather than on top of it. Then I placed a large thermal pad on the cover so that it's touching both heatsinks. Not sure how much it's helping yet, I'll do tests soon.
I have two of these laptops, one being completely stock. I'll be doing a thermal comparison very soon!
In case anyone's interested in the results, I didn't see a difference placing the nvme heatsink off to the side. Temps were the same.
The stock laptop was able to complete cinebench without throttling and with power unlocked, at least in my case. Max temp was 73c.
 
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Gilthanis

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Got the 5th laptop finally updated and tested. It had the same issues that laptops 2 & 3 had. However, I did find something out troubleshooting it. When the WiFi disappears as an option in the taskbar and only shows the LTE option, I was also having issues with USB since it is tied to the USB bus. The majority of time the entire USB ports would also stop working. Shutting down and toggling the PS2 settings in the BIOS between auto and enabled usually got the usb mouse and the WiFi to work again as well as the touch pad until I restarted. Then the WiFi + USB Wireless mouse again would stop working requiring yet another venture into the BIOS to toggle the PS2. However, I have found that when the issue occurs, I can just hit function + F3 to disable the touch pad and my USB ports come back to life (USB mouse) and the WiFi magically appears again. Then if I want to turn the touch pad back on, I just hit Function + F3 again, lose the USB mouse but get the touch pad back and my WiFi stays on. Kind of weird and buggy, but this toggle seems to be working to at least get functionality back without a restart so far.

Just to point out these are the version with the LTE modem inside.

Laptop 1 out of nowhere is now updating Windows fine again without any "fix" from me. It will from time to time have the wireless USB mouse not work (but WiFi has never had issues) but toggling the touch pad using function + F3 works for that one too. I'm really glad because the wife uses that one. Less complaints.

Laptop 4 has yet to spring up an issue, but I'm not dropping my guard. I will use these for various "beermoney" activities so that they aren't mission critical devices.

Edit: And to also add, laptop 5 behaved just like laptop 2 in that the WiFi issue started as soon as the computer finished the first time setup. The only difference between 2/5 and 3 was that when I set up laptop 3, I did not check for updated setup files during setup. So, there is certainly something funky with the various updates.
 
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Got the 5th laptop finally updated and tested. It had the same issues that laptops 2 & 3 had. However, I did find something out troubleshooting it. When the WiFi disappears as an option in the taskbar and only shows the LTE option, I was also having issues with USB since it is tied to the USB bus. The majority of time the entire USB ports would also stop working. Shutting down and toggling the PS2 settings in the BIOS between auto and enabled usually got the usb mouse and the WiFi to work again as well as the touch pad until I restarted. Then the WiFi + USB Wireless mouse again would stop working requiring yet another venture into the BIOS to toggle the PS2. However, I have found that when the issue occurs, I can just hit function + F3 to disable the touch pad and my USB ports come back to life (USB mouse) and the WiFi magically appears again. Then if I want to turn the touch pad back on, I just hit Function + F3 again, lose the USB mouse but get the touch pad back and my WiFi stays on. Kind of weird and buggy, but this toggle seems to be working to at least get functionality back without a restart so far.

Just to point out these are the version with the LTE modem inside.

Laptop 1 out of nowhere is now updating Windows fine again without any "fix" from me. It will from time to time have the wireless USB mouse not work (but WiFi has never had issues) but toggling the touch pad using function + F3 works for that one too. I'm really glad because the wife uses that one. Less complaints.

Laptop 4 has yet to spring up an issue, but I'm not dropping my guard. I will use these for various "beermoney" activities so that they aren't mission critical devices.

Edit: And to also add, laptop 5 behaved just like laptop 2 in that the WiFi issue started as soon as the computer finished the first time setup. The only difference between 2/5 and 3 was that when I set up laptop 3, I did not check for updated setup files during setup. So, there is certainly something funky with the various updates.
I'm curious if they have the same problems while running Linux, have you tried one yet?
 

Randall Stephens

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Got the 5th laptop finally updated and tested. It had the same issues that laptops 2 & 3 had. However, I did find something out troubleshooting it. When the WiFi disappears as an option in the taskbar and only shows the LTE option, I was also having issues with USB since it is tied to the USB bus. The majority of time the entire USB ports would also stop working. Shutting down and toggling the PS2 settings in the BIOS between auto and enabled usually got the usb mouse and the WiFi to work again as well as the touch pad until I restarted. Then the WiFi + USB Wireless mouse again would stop working requiring yet another venture into the BIOS to toggle the PS2. However, I have found that when the issue occurs, I can just hit function + F3 to disable the touch pad and my USB ports come back to life (USB mouse) and the WiFi magically appears again. Then if I want to turn the touch pad back on, I just hit Function + F3 again, lose the USB mouse but get the touch pad back and my WiFi stays on. Kind of weird and buggy, but this toggle seems to be working to at least get functionality back without a restart so far.

Just to point out these are the version with the LTE modem inside.

Laptop 1 out of nowhere is now updating Windows fine again without any "fix" from me. It will from time to time have the wireless USB mouse not work (but WiFi has never had issues) but toggling the touch pad using function + F3 works for that one too. I'm really glad because the wife uses that one. Less complaints.

Laptop 4 has yet to spring up an issue, but I'm not dropping my guard. I will use these for various "beermoney" activities so that they aren't mission critical devices.

Edit: And to also add, laptop 5 behaved just like laptop 2 in that the WiFi issue started as soon as the computer finished the first time setup. The only difference between 2/5 and 3 was that when I set up laptop 3, I did not check for updated setup files during setup. So, there is certainly something funky with the various updates.
So for $400 and a lot of time, you have 1 laptop that fully functions at any given time?
 
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So for $400 and a lot of time, you have 1 laptop that fully functions at any given time?
It's probably just a software issue. After I installed Windows 10 from a freshly downloaded image on Microsoft's site, I noticed there were several drivers missing in the device manager. Even after running Windows update, those drivers still were missing. Mostly everything appeared to work though, except the SD card slot. But I didn't extensively test it. It seems if you want all the drivers installed properly, you need to keep the original image that was loaded onto it. So I recommend doing an image backup right after buying it.

Or just ditch Windows altogether. Linux is faster than Windows anyway, so it makes more sense on a low power device such as this.
All three of mine I bought have been working with no issues on Linux. Manually installing WiFi drivers is the only thing to keep in mind, while the newer versions might also need audio drivers installed. Not a big deal.
 
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Randall Stephens

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It's probably just a software issue. After I installed Windows 10 from a freshly downloaded image on Microsoft's site, I noticed there were several drivers missing in the device manager. Even after running Windows update, those drivers still were missing. Mostly everything appeared to work though, except the SD card slot. But I didn't extensively test it. It seems if you want all the drivers installed properly, you need to keep the original image that was loaded onto it. So I recommend doing an image backup right after buying it.

Or just ditch Windows altogether. Linux is faster than Windows anyway, so it makes more sense on a low power device such as this.
All three of mine I bought have been working with no issues on Linux. Manually installing WiFi drivers is the only thing to keep in mind, while the newer versions might also need audio drivers installed. Not a big deal.
So the original image worked fine? I’ll be honest I skimmed the thread.
 

Gilthanis

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It's probably just a software issue. After I installed Windows 10 from a freshly downloaded image on Microsoft's site, I noticed there were several drivers missing in the device manager. Even after running Windows update, those drivers still were missing. Mostly everything appeared to work though, except the SD card slot. But I didn't extensively test it. It seems if you want all the drivers installed properly, you need to keep the original image that was loaded onto it. So I recommend doing an image backup right after buying it.

Or just ditch Windows altogether. Linux is faster than Windows anyway, so it makes more sense on a low power device such as this.
All three of mine I bought have been working with no issues on Linux. Manually installing WiFi drivers is the only thing to keep in mind, while the newer versions might also need audio drivers installed. Not a big deal.
You can just copy the typical 3 locations Windows stores drivers to a thumb drive. That way when you re-install Windows from a clean install you can just point each of the devices that need drivers still to that folder. The only one I had to still find drivers for was the display drivers which was quite simple being Intel Integrated Graphics. I did the clean wipe routine on the 2nd laptop. I used a very outdated Win10 ISO because I suspected it was an update that was breaking the drivers. With the very old version of Windows 10 there was zero issues but once it updates (as I documented) the issue returns. I think the drivers just need updated but this laptop pretty much has zero support. So, you are stuck with what you get. For all the effort involved and how shitty of a build it has, I still recommend people finding something for just a little bit more and go that route.

Edit: I will also note again that trying to run Intel's auto installer for drivers from their website doesn't work with this laptop. It never finishes the detection and will just sit there forever. It is just another one of the glitches/bugs of this laptop.
 
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Gilthanis

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So for $400 and a lot of time, you have 1 laptop that fully functions at any given time?
This is correct. I do NOT recommend going this route unless you are just dying for a project.
The original image is no worse than a clean wipe honestly. At least if you stick to Win10.
 

70 Polara

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https://www.ebay.com/itm/155143736983

Along the lines of the machine in this thread (which I almost bought), I picked this up instead and the performance is impressive. The CPU is basically a low power Zen core with 4 threads and the integrated GPU is Vega based. It came with Win 10 Education, though I put my own preferred version of Windows 10 on it and it performs very well. And with the display turned down to less then half I've ran it about 7 hours now on half a battery charge. I also understand it has an internal M2 slot for adding additional storage. The integrated video steals 512MB of the 4GB of memory, but as I've used the system I can see why as with multiple Waterfox tabs open GPU VRAM usage hovers around 400MB. It is also passively cooled, with no fan as far as I can tell and yet doesn't get very warm.

I'm glad I waited on not buying the Evolve Maestro and found this instead. The stock on these comes and goes but even when it runs out, it typically gets relisted with more stock.....
 

GoldenTiger

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https://www.ebay.com/itm/155143736983

Along the lines of the machine in this thread (which I almost bought), I picked this up instead and the performance is impressive. The CPU is basically a low power Zen core with 4 threads and the integrated GPU is Vega based. It came with Win 10 Education, though I put my own preferred version of Windows 10 on it and it performs very well. And with the display turned down to less then half I've ran it about 7 hours now on half a battery charge. I also understand it has an internal M2 slot for adding additional storage. The integrated video steals 512MB of the 4GB of memory, but as I've used the system I can see why as with multiple Waterfox tabs open GPU VRAM usage hovers around 400MB. It is also passively cooled, with no fan as far as I can tell and yet doesn't get very warm.

I'm glad I waited on not buying the Evolve Maestro and found this instead. The stock on these comes and goes but even when it runs out, it typically gets relisted with more stock.....
Yeah, and it has a real warranty. I ordered two maestro laptops from this thread once they became shippable, but one was defective. They paid for the return shipping but didn't refund the original portion which was $17.50.

So essentially I got this thread's laptop for $95 :( and could have just gotten the Lenovo instead. Bummer, but oh well. It works fine.
 

lobstar

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This is correct. I do NOT recommend going this route unless you are just dying for a project.
The original image is no worse than a clean wipe honestly. At least if you stick to Win10.
Just a heads up to give Win11 a try if you can stand it. I've had really good luck with it on low power devices like this and my Lattepand 3 Delta. It felt better but I'm not sure that translates to better performance. Ubuntu 22.04 minimal is way snappier with Firefox playing a 1080p youtube video than Win11 or 10 for what it's worth.
 

Gilthanis

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Just a heads up to give Win11 a try if you can stand it. I've had really good luck with it on low power devices like this and my Lattepand 3 Delta. It felt better but I'm not sure that translates to better performance. Ubuntu 22.04 minimal is way snappier with Firefox playing a 1080p youtube video than Win11 or 10 for what it's worth.
Win11 is my next stop. I would rather avoid Linux if possible on these.
 
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