Intel plans to release a NUC mini desktop computer soon featuring an Intel Celeron J3455 Apollo Lake processor. But Intel isn’t the only company working on tiny desktops with low-power Apollo Lake chips.
A handful of device makers at the Consumer Electronics Show are also revealing plans for Apollo Lake-powered products. Mele has some on the way. And I found a working prototype of a smartphone-sized PC called the Bben MN17A.
Bben is a Chinese PC maker that sells notebooks, PC sticks, and other mini PCs. While the company is at CES looking for distribution partners, you can also buy many of Bben’s products directly from China through the company’s AliExpress store.
Most of the computers Bben is showing at CES are powered by Intel Atom Cherry Trail processors, but the upcoming MN17A has a Celeron N3450 quad-core chip which should offer better CPU and graphics performance. Among other things, there’s hardware support for HEVC/H.265 and VP9 video.
Bben’s computer will be available with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, 32GB to 128GB of NAND flash, 32GB to 256GB of SSD storage, and it features 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.
There’s a USB 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The computer does have a small fan in the case, but Bben says it’s very quiet. I couldn’t hear it when I stopped by the company’s booth at CES, but then I was also in a crowded, noisy convention hall, so that’s not surprising.
All of those features come in a compact package: the Bben MN17A measures about 5.5″ x 2.8″ x 0.7″.
It should be available soon, and it’s expected to sell for about $150 wholesale, with retail pricing probably starting at less than $200.