Received uConsole, a delayed and costdown product

Well, I just received my uConsole CM4 +4G board last weekend. I live in Shanghai, China.
The first feeling when I check the parts, is this is totally cost down products:
The production method of the aluminum case changed from CNC machining + anadonizing to die casting + painting. I can understand the reason, but the outcome is not so good at all…

The “Clockwork” tread mark is already have big scratches. The stainless steel support on the back is totally out of tolerance. The painting quality is just ok.

For the system part, I noticed one issue so far: The battery charging speed is terrible, and if I turn off the devide, the charging will stop.

I do enjoy using this device to watch videos, show off to my wife hahaha

I noticed I received the badge " Anniversary"… I paid this uConsole at November 2022… time flies



Regarding the battery issue, I had the same thing, as well as problems with the battery not charging at all at points. There are a bunch of threads on this forum with more details and solutions, I think I used this approach: Extremely Slow Battery Charging

In terms of build quality, I felt the quality was pretty good given the cost of the unit, I expected some trade offs and the ones made seem sensible to me. I think the tension in the rear support may be intentional, so it holds in place (though I removed the securing screw because it was too much force to hook and unhook it). But I might be less perceptive about manufacturing and design…

I kinda foresaw this so i ordered silver.
hopefullly they didnt screw it up i mean it’s the color if the aluminum itself so, how much worse it can get…i suppose?

I have to told you that… the die casted aluminum is basically matte gray, the sliver color is from the paint…so good luck :smiley:

I have to mention the back plate I have, which is sliver, feels much batter than the black front plate.

I will try this solution. Thank you so much!

About the charging speed, I think you might want to look at the issue on the github since you are using CM4 core. The device tree patch for CM4 has a mistake and that makes the PMU driver set the charging current to a small value.

AHHH !!! god damn it!

Silver was the better choice even if someone prefers black. The dull dark grey magnesium alloy is muuuch color to the silver than black. When the black scratches and chips, it’s going to show.

I kind of like the “battle damage” look, gives it a more post-apocalyptic industrial feel.

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I totally get where you’re coming from, but during the installation process I was actually really impressed with the build quality. I think it depends on what you were expecting.

During assembly, I found that everything fit securely. The interior metal bolts were honestly a nice touch. If you assemble many Raspberry Pi kits, the fit and finish tends to be fairly amateurish by comparison. Where a lot of kits feel like plastic toys, this feels like an industrial machine.

Even the keyboard was a nice surprise, given my previous experience with the PocketChip. I came in expecting the keys to completely suck, but they are satisfyingly clicky. I don’t even hate the d-pad which I thought would be wobbly and imprecise. I’d prefer a traditional d-pad but it’s not bad.

I do feel that there definitely could be improvements with the wire stand (one side fits the hinge too snuggly on mine), the trackball (a trackpoint would be more reliable), and the way the screen is mounted (IMHO, there should be some kind of padding between the screen and the metal). But overall I’m happy with the hardware.

The software’s kind of a mess though. I wish they just gave us a clean install of the lite image with just their kernel patches so I only have myself to blame when I inevitably break things. I’ve flashed their two CM4 images to the SD card three times in 48 hours, though that’s mostly because I know enough about Linux to be dangerous.

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