Monday, February 22, 2016

Kangaroo PC - inside look

When I was looking for a HTPC, I went for a used laptop with decent specs. But now with the fan noise and the cumbersome way to need to open the lid when turning it on, I decided to look again.

That's when I stumbled upon the Kangaroo PC. A small size, fanless PC with a Windows 10 Home licence for a mere $99. Can this be something? With a Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor, that has hardware acceleration of HEVC/H.265 it sounded good. I ordered one....

No need to do a review as others have done it. However, it is almost perfect. What bugs me is that if I for instance watch Survivor or Amazing Race on CBS, on a browser (Chrome or Edge), it gets hot. Seems as if gets hot enough that the CPU is throttled. Check this video and photo:

Now, that got the engineer in me curious. Can we improve this? How have they solved the heat in this device. So, I started opening it. I will let the photos do the talking. There is a plastic "clam" on the top (near the white hole) that one simple bend (carefully) off, and it is only attached with double sticky tape.

After it is removed, then one can pry open the cover. You need to remove the two screws on the dock connector. They hold down the cover in the other end.

Now one can look.

Then we can unscrew the metal part (4 screws I think it was):

The main board is clamped together with a connector that sits below the battery. So pry that side up, carefully.

I continued... The heatsink is attached with three screws and when un-done, it comes off. It is quite light weight, and I would not really call it a heatsink. It is a heatspreader with some tiny, tiny fins. Barely any weight to it. Under there is another metal case that sits on top of the processor. This is probably due to emissions and needed to pass CE/FCC compliance. But it is probably not optimal for heat...

It comes off by carefully lifting it. Now the Intel Atom X5 Z8500 (Braswell) is exposed.

Now... I have not yet put it together. I am going to look if I can add a larger heatsink to this device.... Stay tuned.


Unknown said...

Have you considered removing the battery to help with heat issues?

Mats said...

No, I guess not really. When he battery is fully charged I do not think it will add any power. Not sure the space would help?

Victor Iliescu said...

What about installing a thermal pad between the "heatsink" and the case? I imagine this would really improve heat conduction, no?