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Logic Supply ML210G-10 Embedded Box PC

Ultra-compact, rugged, versatile fanless embedded Intel Bay Trail-based industrial Mini-ITX Box PC has numerous applications
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer; photography by Carol Cotton)

When it comes to rugged computing gear, most people interested in this industry know the big players that dominate the market and get all the media coverage. But that's not everything there is. Unbeknownst to many outside of the circle of customers and prospects, a surprising number of smaller companies are designing, manufacturing and distributing rugged computing systems of one type or another. One such company is Logic Supply, located in South Burlington, a small town in the northwestern part of Vermont. Logic Supply distributes a variety of rugged/embedded systems and components, they have also begun developing their own chassis under their own brand.

Logic Supply is unusually enthusiastic about their products. Most people don't consider industrial and embedded systems particularly exciting, but the folks at Logic Supply love to talk about their "designed to be redesigned" philosophy, about "mass customization" (using standardized screws, paints, sheet metal folds, and design concepts to keep the cost low), "upgrade kits" as a cost-effective way to cover popular customization options, and their belief in "innovation, not invention!" i.e., adding value to things that work well rather than spending much time trying to re-invent the wheel.

So would we pass an opportunity to see an actual example of their product line? We wouldn't. And below is the Logic Supply ML210G industrial PC:

Quite obviously, the first thing that you notice is that this industrial PC is orange. A look at Logic Supply's website suggests the company is fond of the color. This doesn't mean all of their products are orange, but most of their industrial grade embedded PCs are, and that certainly makes for an interesting visual change from the black and gray that bedecks the vast majority of industrial computing gear.

Mini-ITX and Intel Bay Trail power

What is the ML210G in the first place? That would be a very compact industrial PC measuring just 7.7 x 8.4 x 1.45 inches and weighing a smitten less than four pounds. It's a fanless and ventless design perfect for deployment in manufacturing facilities where airborne particulates can quickly gunk up the guts of unsealed computing equipment.

How can an industrial PC that's tough and rugged and adheres to numerous standards be this small? By not needing a fan, not using bulky rotating media, having an external notebook-type power supply, and by using an embedded Mitac-sourced Mini-ITX board instead of a full size ATX personal computer motherboard.

The Mini-ITX form factor has been around since 2001 and specifies a 170 x 170 mm (6.7 x 6.7 inches) low-power board. It was originally intended primarily for entry-level platforms and industrial applications. But since — unlike some more exotic board types — Mini-ITX boards fit into generic computer cases and use standard screw-mount patterns, they turned out to be perfect for many other custom applications where standard PC functionality needed to fit into a small space.

As a result, despite its amazingly compact size, the orange Logic Supply ML210G is a full-function PC. It runs standard or embedded versions of Windows 7 or 8.1 on a 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Celeron J1900 processor.

The J1900 is part of Intel's large "Bay Trail" family that includes Atom, Celeron and even Pentium branded chips. That's a bit confusing as Intel has traditionally used the Celeron brand largely for its barest entry level processors. That's not the case here. While all "Bay Trail" chips are based on a heavily overhauled Intel Atom architecture, they now include GPUs that use the same Intel execution units (EUs) as Ivy Bridge's HD 4000. This gives them support for most of the same APIs and features — DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0 (and OpenGL ES 3.0 on mobile, provided the drivers support it), and OpenCL 1.2 support are all present on the API side, as is dual-display support.

So the quad-core Celeron J1900 processor powering Logic Supply's orange IPC packs far more of a punch than earlier chips in fanless packages, even though its thermal design power is just 10 watts, less than that of even ultra-low voltage mobile Intel Core processors.

What all of this means is that embedded systems developers can deploy this little Box PC just about anywhere. For secure mounting Logic Supply offers wall mounting brackets, a DIN rail mounting kit, a special vibration isolating mounting kit, or customers can just use the standard VESA mount screws.

Steel and aluminum

The image below shows the top view and all four side views of the ML210G. The device consists of a steel chassis the system board is mounted on, and a large U-shaped heat spreader with fins machined from a solid block of aluminum. The heat spreader is a thing of beauty, and meticulously crafted. It conducts the heat away from the J1900 CPU's large metal heat sink via heat-conducting material.

The ML210G, like most industrial PCs, is simple and straight-forward, a precision-engineered piece of computing machinery of high quality. The design is rational down to the smallest detail. Do note, though, that while the ML210G doesn't have a fan or ventilation slots, it is not a sealed unit an doesn't claim to be.

The picture below shows the system from the front (top) and from the rear (bottom). The front is simple, with just the power button and two USB 2.0 ports. There are two additional cut-outs for expansion such as extra legacy serial ports.

Most of the I/O is concentrated on the backside of the device. Our review ML210G was configured to offer the following external ports:

  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 15-pin VGA video
  • 1 x RJ-45 gigabit LAN
  • 2 x Antenna WiFi
  • 1 x HDMI
  • Power (8 to 19 Volt DC)
  • Audio line-in and line-out
Our eval had additional cutouts for two DB9-style serial connectors, and another antenna port. There's also a Kensington lock slot for physical security.

While the ML210G is has the capability to run off pretty much any SATA mass storage device, Logic Supply designed the unit specifically for use with an mSATA solid state disk using a mini-PCIe connector. Our review unit ran Windows 8.1 on a 120GB Samsung SSD 840 EVO with a SATA 6Gb/s interface.

The interior of the Logic Supply ML210G is very simple. The top and bottom separate easily upon undoing three small Philips head screws. The Mitac PD10BI Thin Mini-ITX Motherboard is mounted onto the steel lower half of the housing, with edge-mount connectivity fitting into the cutouts of the case. Note that the Mitac mini-ITX motherboard itself has additional connectivity that systems integrators can tap into for their projects. For information on that, check the Mitac PD10BI Thin Mini-ITX Motherboard with Intel Bay Trail page on Logic Supply's website.

From a ruggedness standpoint, embedded devices such as the ML210G may encounter temperatures extremes, shock/vibration, and airborne particulates. Since they are not carried around, the drop spec and IP rating (sealing against solids and liquids) that in part define the durability of mobile devices are essentially irrelevant. As a result, there's no need for an IP number or drop spec, but we'd like to see a bit more than just an operating temperature range (32 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit).

Surprisingly quick

To provide an idea of the relative performance of Logic Supply's Bay Trail-powered mini-ITX IPC, we ran our two standard benchmark suites, PassMark and CrystalMark. For comparison, we're also listing the results of three other mini-ITX systems we've tested at RuggedPCReview. We're providing this comparison simply to show the relative performance levels of different processor classes in mini-ITX systems.

Mini-ITX Systems Benchmarks and Comparisons
PERFORMANCE COMPARISON Logic Supply Advantech Advantech Advantech
Model ML210G ARK-1122 AIMB-201 ARK-DS520
Model (click pic for review)
Year tested 2014 2013 2013 2012
Intel processor Celeron J1900 Atom N2800 Core i3-3210ME Atom N455
Cores/threads 4/4 2/4 2/4 1/2
CPU base speed 2.00GHz 1.86GHz 2.40GHz 1.60GHz
CPU turbo speed 2.41GHz no turbo no turbo 1.60GHz
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 10.0 watts 6.5 watts 35 watts 2.5 watts
CPU Mark 2,450.0 546.1 2,182.4 248.7
2D Graphics Mark 189.0 NA 323.5 71.3
Memory Mark 603.0 254.3 660.3 220.4
Disk Mark 2,498.8 948.2 181.4 445.9
3D Graphics Mark 163.1 57.0 230.7 169.1
Overall PassMark 1,316.0 389.7 817.4 226.3
CM ALU 32,400 11,474 38,206 6,296
CM FPU 27,785 9,003 36,977 4,033
CM MEM 28,490 8,757 22,673 6,033
CM HDD 37,383 25,739 7,184 7,827
CM GDI 5,958 1,271 9,558 2,302
CM D2D 3,685 370 1,849 2,936
CM OGL 3,951 8,016 5,169 5,183
Overall CrystalMark 139,652 64,630 121,616 34,610

The results show three things:

  • First, the quad-core Celeron J1900 Logic Supply picked for their ML210G industrial PC packs a serious punch. Although based on a heavily revised Atom processor architecture, the J1900 provides near Core processor performance in most respects, but in a much more economical package.

  • Second, this Bay Trail-based system performs at a much higher level than anything based on earlier Intel Atom processors.

  • Third, though Bay Trail uses Ivy Bridge-class Intel HD Graphics, it's a simpler and slower implementation, so if high-end graphics are needed, a Haswell-based system is a better choice.

  • And fourth, the type of solid state storage chose for a particular system can make a huge performance difference (as evidenced by the excellent numbers produced by the ML210G's Samsung mSATA module).


Knowing that commercial, enterprise and industrial customers have maintenance, security and operations requirements that go beyond what standard operating platforms can provide, embedded system vendors often provide value-added utilities and APIs. Logic Supply is no different and offers many of its systems with ACP ThinManager (see ThinManager features).

The optionally available ML210G-10-TR version of the device features an ACP-enabled ThinManager BIOS that provides a reliable, economical fanless thin client virtualization solution.

The ThinManager Thin Client Management Software offers easy-to-use terminal server and thin client management with control and security features such as shadowing, MultiSession, dual display, and failover support, as well as integration with Citrix and VMware.

The ML210G by Logic Supply

As is, with the ML210G industrial PC — a good Intel Bay Trail-based Mini-ITX board in a fanless steel and aluminum enclosure — Logic Supply offers a very solid, modular, and economically priced super-compact full Windows computing platform that can be used for a wide variety of embedded and industrial applications.

And, of course, we love the orange case -- Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, December 2014

Logic Supply ML210G PC Specs:

Status Added and reviewed 12/2014
Type Industrial PC
CPU Type Quad-core Intel "Bay Trail" Celeron J1900 w/ 2MB L2 cache
CPU speed 2.00 GHz, 2.41 GHz maximum burst frequency
Chipset Integrated
BIOS American Megatrends
OS Windows Embedded 7 (64-bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8.1 (64-bit), Windows 8.1 Professional (64-bit), Linux Ubuntu
Memory 2GB to 8GB DDR3L 1600 non-ECC SO-DIMM in 2 204-pin sockets
Graphics Controller Intel HD Graphics 688MHz base frequency, 854MHz max frequency
Watchdog Timer Unknown
Graphics Interface 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI
LAN 1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN RJ45 (Realtek RT8111G-CG)
Expansion 1 x Full-size Mini PCIe, 1 x half-size Mini PCIe
Storage 32GB to 250GB mSATA SSD (mSATA Samsung 120GB in test unit)
Housing Steel case lower with finned aluminum heatsink upper, DIN-mount, VESA-mount, wall-mount
Vibration Est: with mSATA: 3 Grms, IEC 60068-2-64, random, 5 ~ 500 Hz, 1 Oct./min, 1hr/axis.
Shock Est: with mSATA: 30 Grms, IEC 60068-2-27, half sine, 11 ms duration.
Safety Est: CB, UL, CCC, BSMI
Operating temperature 32°F to 131°F (0°C to 55°C)
USB 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0
Serial 2 x RS232 serial
Audio Realtek ALC888S codec, line-in + line-out jacks
Communication Optional via Mini PCIe: Realtek Wireless-N and Bluetooth, Intel Wireless and Bluetooth AC 7260, Atheros Dual Band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0/HS
Size 7.7 x 8.4 x 1.45 inches (196 x 37 x 213 mm)
Weight 3.95 pounds as tested
Power 8 to 19VDC, onboard DC jack
Price Starting at US$441
Webpage Logic Supply ML210G page
Manual Logic Supply ML210G manual