The Intel Compute Stick is a remarkably small computer that turns just about any display into a Windows (or Ubuntu) PC for about $150. But it’s not a perfect device: there’s a tiny fan which makes a high-pitched (but fairly quiet) sound from time to time, and I found the Compute Stick suffered from poor WiFi range.

A new PC-on-a-stick from Chinese device maker Mele attempts to tackle both of those issues.

The Mele PCG-01 is available for pre-order from Mele’s Amazon and AliExpress stores for $139.

pcg-01_02

Like the Intel Compute Stick, this computer is small enough to fit in your pocket, but powerful enough to run a desktop operating system. It comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing software and features an Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

The stick supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 and features a microSD card slot, a full-sized USB port, two micro USB ports (one of which is used as a power jack), and a power button.

Unlike the Intel Compute Stick, this model has an external, adjustable antenna which could help improve WiFi performance, but I haven’t personally tested this device, so I can’t say for certain that it helps.

And unlike the Compute Stick, the Mele PCG-01 has no fan: instead it relies on a copper heat sink, heat-conductive silicone rubber, and other insulation techniques to prevent the computer from getting too hot.

This isn’t the first fanless PC stick… in fact, up until recently, most of the models I’d seen lacked fans, which some users had complained lead to performance issues. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Mele PCG-01 fares any better. But this is one of the first models I’ve seen that has an adjustable antenna.

Some other Chinese companies have also shipped PC sticks with unlicensed trial versions of Windows, but Mele says the PCG-01 comes with a fully functional Windows 8.1 license that has been paid for.

via AndroidPC.es and Notebook Italia

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11 replies on “Mele PCG-01 PC Stick is basically a fanless Intel Compute Stick (with external antenna)”

  1. I just got one of these in the mail today and I’m about 40 ft from the router and have a pretty consistent 5 bars. Streaming Windows updates, Spotify and tested at 42mbps on Speedtest.net while doing so. Haven’t dove into testing internal Wifi as of yet but it’s definitely decent enough for what I do (browse web, stream music, YouTube). Runs hot. You can hold on to it for about 20 seconds before it starts to get too hot to touch.

    Overall I’m pleased.

  2. Hopefully the cooling solution is good enough, unlike its predecessors.

    Only one USB port and no 3.5mm jack is a bummer, though.

    1. If they are anything like the plethora of tablets that ship with Windows 8.1 with Bing, it isn’t super easy but it is definitely doable. You’ll have to do some linux commands for sure. The bioses of the majority of these super budget devices don’t have a legacy mode which means they are basically stuck in UEFI (32bit usually) albeit thankfully with secure boot toggle-able or off. However from the reading I’ve done, there are issues with loading Linux on these bioses and from my personal experience, it is true. I didn’t care to do any workarounds but have read that they exist.

      Why not just use them as Windows powered Plex clients? lol…I laugh but I’m genuinely curious.

      1. I also want Linux there instead Windows – hope, that anybody can confirm, that Linux is fully working there. Windows too closed,too limited, too stupid system for me to use.

        1. Unfortunately the Mele PCG-01 doesn’t match well with Linux at all yet.

          First off, wlan and bluetooth. The wlan/bluetooth in this computer is a Realtek rtl8723bs SDIO which Linux doesn’t have drivers for build-in. There are however drivers in development, https://github.com/hadess/rtl8723bs , but those could be buggy.

          Secondly, there’s no sound-support. There’s been some progress on this front I believe, but nothing non-driver hackers would enjoy yet.

          So, tl;dr: Linux on this machine is not ready for every day use bc wlan, bluethooth and sound issues.

    1. AliExpress is basically a marketplace like eBay. Some sellers are better than others, but in this case the PCG-01 is coming straight from the official Mele store on AliExpress.

    2. Sorry buddy. But i was doubtful as well till i needed a replacement transformer for My HD. They were the only ones that had it. Ali Express works.

  3. It has an eternal, adjustable antenna? So, it’s the last one you’ll ever need to buy?

  4. Antenna helps a lot. I have a Zotac Pico and an ECS Liva, both of which are WITHOUT external antenna – getting only 1 WiFi bar in the basement, and sometimes drops connection. I also have a Pipo X7 which has an antenna, and it consistently gets 4-5 bars in the same location.

    I foresee the next generation of Intel Compute Sticks coming with antenna after all the complaints from business clients complaining about dropped WiFi connections, which is unacceptable for commercial digital signage applications.

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