The Tronsmart Ara X5 is a tiny desktop computer with an Intel Atom x5-8300 Cherry Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Windows 10 software.

Tronsmart introduced the little PC a few weeks ago, and now it’s available for purchase. Geekbuying is selling the Ara X5 for $150.

x5_03

The store is also running a coupon promotion: provide your email address between now and August 31st, and you may get a coupon for $5 to $50 off your purchase.

Geekbuying shipped me a demo unit, which I’m just starting to test. But so far it seems at least as powerful as most of the Windows mini PCs with Intel Bay Trail chips I’ve tested, and possibly a tad faster, as demonstrated by some initial benchmark tests.

lilbench

Theoretically the new model should also have better graphics performance, thanks to its next-gen Intel HD integrated graphics.

handbrake

Oh, and I can verify that my demo unit featured an activated Windows 10 license. That’s not always a given when you’re buying cheap Windows devices that are shipped from China.

The Ara X5 is a pretty compact device that looks more like a media player than a PC. but it has two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI, 10/100 Ethernet, and microSD card slots, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and support for dual-band 802.11ac WiFi.

The computer measures about 4.7″ x 4.5″ x 1.1″ and weighs just under half a pound. It’s a fanless system and the top of the computer can get a little warm during heavy usage, but the bottom stays relatively cool.

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29 replies on “Tronsmart Ara X5 now available for $150 (Windows 10 mini PC with Cherry Trail)”

  1. Tronsmart make unreliable product. i bought an R68 android box. Youtube video goes off withing few seconds. The RJ45 Ethernet connection is dead after the box was sent to geekbuying for repair. the sound issue is not fixed by geekbuying aftersale service. Asking for refund is impossible with many bla bla and blabla. don’t waste your money and time on tronsmart.

  2. I am still baffled by liliputing reviewing anything built by tronsmart. Tronsmart is crap – crap hardware and totally crap software. Tronsmart doesn’t support it’s products and neither do it’s retailers. I now question everything liliputing has on site as I am out $250 largely based on lilputing’s fawning over the AW 80. If you are considering Tronsmart as a buy please go to tronsmart.com’s forums and read them at length. if you are another ripped off tronsmart buyer please write to Liliputing and other Tronsmart shills and demand they stop. Also like the tronsmart boycott page on facebook

    1. This is Tronsmart marketing team here, sorry to hear the problem you encountered. We do response to all the support emails, but I am afraid our service people missed your message before. Please let me know your email address or contact [email protected] directly. We will handle with your case, and provide repair or replacement service asap. Look forward to your response, and we will offer the best solution for you.

  3. Meh, I’l wait for one with the 8500 or the 8700

    By the way, what going on with the ads on this site. I understand that you need to have ad revenue to pay the bills, but the amount of ads now on Liliputing is absolutely ridiculous. Every time you open the site it accesses about a 100 different ad servers. The page has a massive amount of ads on it, plus there is now video ads that start playing automatically. This is way over the top and sadly has been pushing me away from this site more and more

    1. Hey Jack,

      We’re running the same number of ads per page as we have been for years, but with ad rates declining, we have been trying out a few different ad providers.

      I’m not happy about the video ads either and have been complaining to the company that provides them and I’ve been told that they’re not supposed to run… but every time one is eliminated, another pops up. So I might kill that service in the future, even though it’ll probably cost us some potential revenue.

      Just to verify though — you’re not actually hearing any audio from those ads, are you? When I see them, the video plays, but there’s no sound unless you actively turn it on.

      1. Sorry to jump in. You are running a great site but I had to enable Adblock because today I couldn’t load your front page in Chrome – it always hangs on some ad. Sadly, the other side of the your new ad providers coin is activated adblock by your visitors.

        1. Thanks for weighing in, I do actually appreciate knowing how people are using the site.

          I’m also always trying to weigh the cost/benefit of things that could increase revenue against the impact they have on page load times and other user experience issues.

          For the past month or two I’ve actually been making minor adjustments to the ad setup on a roughly weekly basis… so if you feel generous, you might want to try disabling the ad blocker every now and again to see if the experience is any better. And if you’re less annoyed by what you see one day, feel free to shoot us an email through our contact page!

          https://liliputing.com/contact

          1. Thanks for addressing that Brad.

            I have Liliputing added to my Whitelist on AdBlock Plus.

            I’m happy to allow ads on a site that occupies my lunchbreak at work everyday. I’d encourage any other readers to the same.

          2. Thanks Grant!

            It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks Liliputing is balancing the need to generate revenue with the need to not annoy readers too much. 🙂

      2. Yes, I do get audio playing when the video auto starts. Super annoying. And as someone mentioned below, its not uncommon for the page load to hang

        1. Thanks for letting me know. I haven’t encountered that myself, but I also can’t test every possible browser/os/location configuration myself.

          I’ve asked the ad network that I think is responsible to just disable all video ads, but in the meantime I’m not running anything from that network at all.

  4. Would you consider throwing Ubuntu on it and running some benchmarks with that? I’m very interested in the comparative performance of these new Atoms.

  5. How are you getting improvements in handbrake on the Atom chips with QSV activated when none of them support it?

    1. All Atoms have supported Quick Sync since Bay Trail came out, which used a Gen 7 (Ivy Bridge) Intel GPU… The newer Cherry Trail’s now use a Gen 8 (Broadwell) Intel GPU with more advance Quick Sync Support and 50% to 2x more graphical performance than the previous Bay Trail offered… Little to no difference on CPU performance, though…

      1. Why does Intel ARK say different then? Plus it makes no difference which graphics hardware (Gen7/Gen8) the soc uses. QSV doesn’t run in the GPU. It uses separate decode/encode circuitry.

        1. The ARK simply doesn’t mention it because it’s standard now, they don’t disable it even on the Celeron models anymore…

          Really, Miracast requires QSV to work (provides the real time encoding for the video stream) and all ATOMs now support Miracast… While these are SoCs, so just about everything is integrated now…

          The only ones that will lack it are the mobile phone SoCs as those use either Imagination PowerVR GPU or Mali…

          Also, keep in mind that Cherry Trail is using the same Airmont architecture as the Braswell based Celerons/Pentiums, just a difference of TDP and the Braswell supports more than just mobile components… and Intel does list many of these features under those Celeron/Pentium models…

          While it was traditionally the Celerons/Pentiums that had Quick Sync support disabled, along with some other features as that is how they originally justified the lower pricing of those models even though they were based on the same Core architecture as their higher end chips and lower clocks wasn’t enough to justify that price difference but with Miracast, and the higher competition on graphical performance, they had little choice but to keep that enabled by default now…

          1. Seems strange that ARK still mention QSV support for the latest skylake chips if it’s so ubiquitous that they don’t need to mention it.

          2. Nothing new for Intel, especially for their lower end products but QSV is tied into multiple features now… You can’t get Miracast and all the hardware accelerated decoding and encoding without it…

  6. Geekbuying is trash. I ordered an rk3368 box from their promotion almost 2 months ago that hasn’t shipped yet. Only sign up for this if you want to get your money took with no product ever being shipped. Think ill wait for PIPO to release their Cherry trail box @ 100 dollars and order from gear best who can actually manage to ship things on time.

    1. HI
      Sorry to hear your problem. I thought we have replied you in freaktab pm, and already help to update your order to dhl shipping FOR FREE, and you will get the Gigabit verion of Orion r68, and tronsmart just update the firmware recently, add root and netflix fix, so you should get your orion r68 with the newest firmware.

      about the pipo product you are talking, as we know, you can’t get the cherry trail box with official licensed windows 10 key for under 100, on geekbuying, we don’t want to sell product which don’t have correct windows license, that will cause a lot of problem in custom, it is not good for the customers.

      hope you understand.

      Eric

  7. 10/100 Ethernet….

    Thanks, but I’ll pass. Again.
    Is it that hard to make a mini PC with gigabit ethernet?

    1. You can use the usb 3.0 port for gigabit ethernet adapter. Or buy liva pc with 4gb ram and 64 gb ssd and giga ethernet port for 170$. Bring your own OS though

      1. Thank you for your suggestions.

        However, I read that USB 3.0 GbE adapters aren’t very linux-friendly, and I would use the machine as a linux media/file/whatever server. Besides, it just seems wrong wasting a USB port and leaving the original ethernet port empty.

        On the subject of LIVA, I’m guessing you’re referring to the new Core model – the only one with an SSD (all others have emmc). That one would be perfect for my needs, but for the life of me I couldn’t even find the listed price for it, let alone the shop that would actually sell one. Where did you find that price?

        Seeing that their LIVA-X 4GB/64GB model sells for about $255 (https://goo.gl/AfI3Yc), I seriously doubt that the newer model that uses better storage (ssd vs emmc) and much more expensive CPU (Core M) would go for $80 less.

    2. You could get the year old fanless Gigabyte Brix. It’s $99 plus the cost of a SODIMM and 2.5″ drive. It has GbE.

      1. Exactly my point.

        What is the purpose of creating a NEW mini pc with a 10/100 ethernet? It’s just like putting a floppy drive, rs232 port or v92 modem on it.

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