Last time I checked in on the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Mi Mini PC, the folks behind this pocket-sized computer had raised over $350,000 from folks willing to spend $149 or more to reserve an inexpensive, compact, and versatile machine that could run Windows 10 or Android.

That was a week ago. Now the figure is more than $800,000 from over 10,000 backers. But I’m starting to wonder if those backers are going to be disappointed.

As I had previously noted, the Mi Mini PC looks like it’s based on the same design as the Gole1 mini PC I reviewed a few years ago, but the new model has a lower price tag and upgraded specs. That’s… interesting, but not entirely unrealistic for a device that’s launching two years later.

But now the folks behind the campaign are making some additional promises that, frankly, seem rather unrealistic. And I can’t help but wonder if they’re just aimed at getting potential customers to keep throwing money at the campaign.

This week the developer of the project announced a new stretch goal: if the campaign hits $1 million, all units would be upgraded to an Intel Core M3-7Y30 Kaby Lake processor (up from an Atom x7-Z8750) and 16GB of RAM (up from 8GB).

The upgrades are said to be free for all existing backers and they’re not expected to cause any delays: the Mi Mini PC would still ship in September, 2018 and early backers would still be able to reserve one for just $149.

Sure, that’s supposed to be a promotional price, but even the normal list price of $299 seems rather incredible for a computer with a Core M3 processor, 16GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel touchscreen display.

I’m not saying the Mi Mini Mix won’t ever ship… but color me kind of skeptical at this point. If nothing else, the Atom x7-Z8750 and Core M3-7Y30 processors use different architectures and a fair amount of work would need to take place to alter the design of this little computer before making that change. Core M3 chips are also significantly more expensive than Atom processors.

It also doesn’t help that one of the pictures that’s said to show “the Mini PC production and development facilities where we’re hard at work preparing to make all your Mini PCs” seems to be a stock image.

Anyway, even if the device does ship.. it’s a kind of weird form factor. As I discovered when reviewing the Gole1, despite having a battery and phone-sized display, these mini computers are a bit too thick to really feel like tablets, the screens a bit too small to really serve as laptop replacements, and a bit too underpowered to really use as desktop replacements. They’re kind of jack-of-all-trade/master-of-none devices.

If the Mi Mini PC really does ship, maybe that’s worth spending $149 on. But at this point, I’m a bit skeptical that it’ll happen.

Update: The Indiegogo campaign update has been… updated. The pictures have been removed, as has the promise to upgrade the device to a Core M3 processor. Yet, project founder Leo Chung still promises to upgrade the Mi Mini PC to 16GB of RAM if the goal is reached… even though the Atom x7-Z8750 processor only officially supports up to 8GB of memory. 

Update 2: After hitting the $1,000,000 stretch goal, the latest update says the device *will* ship with a Core M3-7Y30 processor, but there are still no pictures and the team only promises to show a working prototype with the new hardware once mass production begins.

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123 replies on “The Mi Mini PC might be too good to be true (crowdfunding)”

  1. All,

    If you have been wondering what really is going on, let me tell you the dark side of this wonderful crowdfunding sites that were supposed to be of good will, just like any other sites or revenue generating engines.

    People have abused it, abused the trust of it, and used it for cheating, scamming and social engineering. Quite a number of campaigns (could be few tens of them) were operated by a syndicate, professionally trained to engage in online scams and campaigning kickstarters like these i.e. Mi Mini PC, Coolala, and many more.

    Getting some facts right straight and easy,
    – The same production/marketing company is used to make professional videos, product specs, unbelievable invention which are so attractive and irresistible
    – The same physical locations and actors to provide updates
    – The same techniques in socializing and responding to backers, with deliberate intention to misunderstand questions and answer “like a Chinese” e.g. Yes we are excited too!

    Believe it or not, they will not stop. More products or what they call ‘inventions’ will be out soon that will draw more and many innocent backers for millions of funding.

    No point attacking among yourselves, no point finding Leo, he doesn’t exist. It could have been a pretty lady called Leona in some sexy photo. The syndicate operates as a large organization that has enough resources and funding to create scams for ten-fold rewards.

    If you think you have been burnt, be more vigilant the next time or back a trusted company (or at least one that is already selling stuff and only putting up new launches in KS and IGG for additional funding purpose).

    Once again, don’t believe for a moment you have been scammed by Leo. This is a large syndicate organization we are talking about with tons of scam professionals creating and working on new scam campaigns as we speak. I don’t need you to be smart to decipher what I am saying or form a line of defense claiming this is baseless. Just take 3 steps back and look at the bigger picture. The world is bigger than you think it is. Stay calm. Good luck.

  2. Haha, the list just keeps growing! It is indeed a time and mind game for silly backers. Let me, the real “Leo”, guide you how:
    41) Step 1: The grand scam plan started late last year, using only IGG as the funding platform (not Kickstarter) since the control will be loose. Between Jan to May 2018 was the time to register domain, create website, create facebook page, shoot videos, create product specs, register co-working space for IGG verification purposes
    42) Step 2: Announce a new and non existing hard-to-resist product to draw people’s attention (sorry i do pity those poor, students and the blind who put hope and backed thr project), with dirt cheap upgrades and highly desirable combinations of accessories
    43) Step 3: Draw more funds by employing fake causasian Leo demo’ing Gole1 making it convincing that the product/prototype already existed and ready to ship, or at least ready to be manufactured (covers the red flags about badly done website, company reputation, etc.)
    44) Step 4: Draw even more funds by offering incentives and irresistible upgrade to m3 and 16gb, diligently using it as a double-edged sword for reason to delay later (see the architectural and heat sink/fan issues, and possible design problem or components cost excuses which Leo didnt get to use)
    45) Step 5: End the official funding campaign while keeping the InDemand perks going to get more funds, smartly getting the first and largest batch of investments into the bank first, by then it was around late June/early July. Earn extra for income by selling backers’ data to marketing companies i.e. LaunchBoom for email adv and database marketing
    46) Step 6: Keep the hopes high that the perks will deliver in Sep 2018, in a smart attempt to hold on to the funds and ensure lesser chances of IGG discovering, scrapping the campaign and banks chargebacks (thereabout the consistent smash about competitors, trolls, team resigning, stealing of paperwork, gathering of silly allies i.e. Jerry Gunn lol, etc.)
    47) Step 7: Nail the funds and time to sit back and relax by getting lazier in responding to questions/requests. Honoring apologetic delays to Nov 2018 in another smart attempt to avoid issues of bank chargebacks and immediate fraud claims, making it impossible for anyone at all to recover a single cent
    48) Step 8: Let all hell break loose (see today’s comments), stop responding since there is nothing IGG can do anymore even if they want to, very little to zero chance for banks to issue chargebacks, and let angry backers, campaign destroyers (nanashi, Patrick Lim) and clueless supporters (Jerry Gunn lol) fight among themselves, till all realise the last laugh actually belongs to Leo, good luck all

    1. Well said, if you are not the real Leo but you definitely sounded like you could create the same scam. The campaign is more or less dead now and backers have now filled the comments section with meaning poetry and you are definitely right about the bank chargeback impossibility. Even large and successful campaigns like OSSICX can eventually fail in the end because of too much spent on R&D, don’t think we are going to expect all receiving the real end product but if god is kind to the few who came from disadvantaged families and bought this then probably there should be enough funding to build the real thing for at least the 1%. Anyway this whole Leo campaign was a scam right from the beginning so they are most likely not going to get anything or maybe some junk shells of Gole1. Interesting to see how Leo still makes empty promises on production without prototypes or even solving architectural issues, and the most entertaining part is to see people still believing in him. God bless the poor backers.

    2. Campaign Context: Like many great startups e.g. Yeelight, Aqara, Yi, and other Xiaomi related partnerships, this Mi PC World (or Leo to be specific, or “myself” to be delusion-ed), was trying its luck to obtain funding to just to create a few prototypes. And then sell idea to Xiaomi and get a proper license, factory, manpower and network to sell the real stuff once the partnership is sealed. Conveniently “Leo” would name this product as Mi Mini PC, something which Xiaomi hasn’t had at the moment, which will make the transition ideal and seamless. Pretty damn great idea actually. The intent was good too.

      In Reality: Greed took over, so much can be done at Indiegogo that has a good reputation of scam campaigns and cheating of backers’ hard earned money. So why not, farm the US$1.5m and give nobody nothing at all, rather than go through all the proper business protocol and make losses for the first few years. With minimal effort by intensive marketing, fake Caucasian Leo video creations, shutterstock factory images, endless empty promises and self-demeaning of Chinese values and dignity about competition, the US$1.5m had been quite easy to come by.

  3. More juicy updates:
    37) Leo MIA for almost a week, ended up with demoralized backers and more becoming skeptical about the campaign
    38) Leo came back and outright replied to a few comments only – said typhoon damaged many trees and houses lmao
    39) Leo has neither answered any questions nor given any direct answer to anyone about the product, prototype, refund, updates, specs
    40) All perks have been removed, only open donation is available – IGG removed it or Leo? Scam coming to a light? Seems many have filed a complaint to IGG but to no avail, looks like the $1.5m have been spent :_(

    A total of 40 scam alerts till date, can’t imagine some of the backers are still so clueless about this little scam campaign. The product initiative DOES NOT EXIST, let alone seeking to see a working prototype. Much like a lot of scam calls and emails to phish for information or request for payment, tricking you about pending DHL shipments or unpaid phone bills – 100% of these scams are from China. In today’s digital age, these scammers are highly tech savvy and would use productivity tools i.e. photo editing, video editing, engaging of actors/vloggers (the Caucasian Leo 🙂 lol), piecing up bits and pieces of available internet details together to form a believable story. Thumbs up to Leo, you deserve the $1.5m. Your website still sucks though and you still have 40 stupid sins, and counting.

  4. 32) Product manager asked for 60% salary increase and left lol. Next up the tea lady will be asking for 100% pay rise and then leaves, the whole production might stop lmao
    33) Jerry Gunn continues to serve as a distraction, most recently diverting attention to Gole1 capabilities and how things will also work for the non existent mini PC, what a puppy
    34) Leo responded Gole1 is ‘just similar design’, ‘just needed to show for scamming purpose’
    35) Leo being Chinese attacking own chinese folks about integrity and competition issues, biggest joke ever
    36) Still no sign of prototype, sample pictures/videos, or answers to design related questions – 10 Sep 2018

  5. 23) Leo who looks like 28 has 18yrs of computer software experience (read the Story)
    24) Still no prototype photo as at 26 Aug 2018
    25) Blaming now fan/heatsink issue due to upgrade to m3, GG wifi and display even if it works
    26) Selective response to “trolls”, praises and refunds only, with copy&paste style reply
    27) Website domain only registered this year, claimed to be veteran company
    28) Update #12 is also copy&paste, see https://igg.me/at/n-tech/shre/13755591 update #12
    29) I guess only 100 backers will get the unit, but it’s the old Gole1 atom, means Leo still delivers!
    30) 100% fraud, common sense

    1. 31) selling of emails now to “tom” at “TOM’S FINDS”…..SUPER low blow to those poor backers!!!!..(without any of thier consent)!!

      1. Tom’s Finds is associated with LaunchBoom – a partner of Leo’s.
        Every day makes me more please I canceled my order.

    2. Wish I could cancel. Do you think a reverse on my credit card would get the money back?

      1. You can try saying you pledged wrongly, needed to change perks. Then ask for refund and “promise” to pledge other perks again. See if it works… good luck!

  6. Seems to me that Leo cannot get his story straight and the delays continue. Before he said it was in mass production and posted a picture purporting to be PCB QC. Then it was a delay at the manufacturer. Now it’s a changing of the schematics of the active cooling which it was never supposed to have in the first place. Seems like he is at least offering refunds to people still which makes me think that it will probably, eventually, happen but not anytime soon or at least not at the specs it was advertised to be.

  7. Totally agree with “Leo” and Daniel. Let us add on to the list…

    21) You pay peanuts u get monkeys, paying $149 may unlikely give u the good m3 but most probably the same old atom used in Gole1 and Ockel Sirius (another unpatented clone). And at that price you most likely get the cheap chinese knockoff atom, ram, hdd, battery, and screen. you’d be lucky getting by using it 2 weeks unharmed. Could it explode? Just exaggerating things though 😉

    22) Let those self-denial supporters (Jerry, Gerry, or could it be Leo in disguise) fight with those complainers and among themselves. No effort required from the real Leo, no real need to answer emails as well, no accountability required since it is a “new idea” that there is nothing like this product before (see above).

    Most most honest opinion and wish is for the backers to receive what they paid for === a cheap chinese knockoff components build that last slightly longer than 2 weeks.

    I only pity those (who claimed they were from the blind association) that they are not going to get the real and solid stuff.

    If this campaign is one big scam then this is going to be very sinful and unethical to those who gave so much trust and hard earned $$ (esp the poor and blind) to Leo. But then again, if Leo is a scammer, would he even care about ethics? Only time will tell…

  8. more food for thought:….Update 11 is supposedly a picture of their QC section,of the…I’m guessing… mini pc’s, yet a post further down states it is a second party factory that is to produce the pc’s in Nov. AFTER they have finished thier other obligations….so…is that a picture of the OTHER obligations????…hmmm…..so is it THIER factory, second party’s factory, or just a snap off of shutter stock again???..WOW do the red flags keep piling up!!

    1. I was hoping to find that picture on Google images but I couldn’t. Doesn’t mean it’s not there it just wasn’t nearly as obvious as the ones sent in the first few updates. Still your conclusion is the same one that I had. He’s posting up pictures of PCB’s without saying anything else. He has clearly setup the Nov delay to give him time to people to forget about it but the comment section is unlikely to allow people to forget. But what can they do? What recourse do they have? it’s a great place to scam and one reason I don’t bother dealing with those sites anymore unless it’s from an established company like GPD.

  9. This thing has become 1 big joke…………..Luckily I backed out 1st month!..Even if this thing was to make it out, it will be a piece of crap that might only work the first week with those sub-par electronics that they get “In bulk the prices can be VERY resonable” that “LEO” so famously stated throughout this campagne!!!..NO WAY IN HELL can THEY make this pc that cheap, they are not even a big enough organization to receive those items in specs at those prices!…If that was the case, more pc’s would be popping up on the web for ridiculously low prices too!..I like so many others that backed out, are just watching this abortion unfold ..I do feel bad for all those people that are expecting a WORKING WELL pc with 16gb ram and core m3 processor {that will probably be throttled way down to barely no use whatsoever….and just forget about the after purchase servicing this unit, he dosen’t even answer any important questions NOW!!} It will be like the posts on the Gole1 campagne, no parts and service help, shipping probs, etc…….

    1. Yup, I read over the comments once a day. I feel terrible for these people but I tried to enlighten them when my pledge was still active. I have wanted to do an add-on just to scream from the mountain tops that it’s a scam to hopefully help stop the infighting but it wouldn’t do any good. it’s not like they are entitled to a refund of any kind. Plus I would just be labeled as a “competitor” or “troll” and no one would listen. not to mention I have no interest in sending that guy any money. I wised up about it and GotTFO.

  10. Well, I can call myself Leo too 🙂 Nobody knows right 😉
    Perfect Scam for silly backers = Mi Mini PC – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-most-powerful-pocket-sized-pc-laptop-win-10-computers#/
    Here are your quick facts for those who doesnt mind paying for the entertaining comments:
    1) Too good to be true specs, too cheap to be true – verified
    2) Video guy is Leo, profile photo then changed to a young boy also Leo, new guy also Leo, well done 🙂
    3) Leo now comes with “Mei-ming”, in Mandarin that is “没名” – means “no name”, dont u guys get it 🙂
    4) Shutter stock photos during initial updates – none of those production ever existed
    5) Office logo – made by online image generator – verified
    6) Horrific website – looks like a 10mins job using cPanel/Plesk website generator
    7) So called prototypes – those are 100% GOLE1 refurbished
    8) So called production – old unwanted GOLE1 at bulk buy, thats the most they could be getting
    9) New and unique factory photo! – WOW, go to any shenzhen factory office and you can take one too
    10) Constant delay without update – there is really nothing to report, LOL
    11) Self claimed competitor trolls – low class donald trump style distractions 🙂
    12) Shipping in Nov ’18 now – next time it’s Jan ’19, then Mar ’19 becos of Lunar New Year, then Aug ’19
    13) Selective response – anything about schedule, deep-technical stuff, questionable issue, IGNORE
    14) Still at prototype stage and allowing project backing – for entirely clueless backers
    15) Factory manufacturing for big companies now, therefore the delay 🙂 – WOW 🙂
    16) Office locations – iirc, it was HK, then SZ… now Foshan… next the name might change to Wong Fei Hung!
    17) Legal liability or Indiegogo help – my utmost sympathy guys, if u havent gotten ur refund, u r screwed
    18) Apparently 2 strangers came to their “office” and stole their paperwork – Wow, i mean, wow!
    That’s all for now, hope to continue #19 when more drama comes along or if someone wants to add to this list. By my guest! Getting more popcorn tomorrow to continue watching. To be honest, I might not mind now to pay a hundred bucks to fund and watch this drama!
    Signing off for now, yours sincerely, “Leo”.

    1. #19) possible update11 photo stock image…says its his factory QC section, yet tells a backer that shipping would be delayed cause of 2nd party factory delays..so image is probably not of mini pc boards at all…… (kind of goes with number 9 on your list)

      1. 20) took down a photo of “the team” at the bottom of the story line..why???..has alot of time to remove and post fake photos, but no time to put in updates for backers…sad

  11. And the first delay has been declared… Shipping has now slipped to October, with a promised update in August

    1. Yeah, I saw that too. I wasn’t planning on keeping up with the campaign (since I backed out) but man the drama in the comments went from 0 to 100 in a matter of weeks. And you have people and the CREATOR calling backer’s trolls or representatives of their “competition” because they don’t like their questions or criticism. Most seem to be from people that have no idea how these projects work but there are a few that I feel are quite legitimate and still the creator comes back with ridicule and insults. I would be pissed if that happened to me. It’s a full-blown shitstorm.

      1. In the meanwhile i have backed the GPD Pocket2 campaign. I have the Pocket1 and love it. I think I’ll like the Pocket2’s keyboard even more (and the faster processor not that the Pocket1 is a slouch for what I want to do).

    2. I have also been following the campaign even though I refunded. The comments section is just so entertaining. Delay has gotten worse too. Apparently now it’s November, due to the manufacturer delaying production due to “producing other famous big customers” according to Leo.

      So glad I pulled out of this before I got stuck. The most recent update is supposed to be a photo of their QC in the factory, but how are they QCing products when their production is delayed?

      1. Obviously one big lie… Now says “Factory hasn’t started production yet until end of Oct”. How can shipment be in Nov when production can only start after end of Oct? QC photo is definitely random, look at the circuit boards, large enough even for 11″ laptops. Remember when he said refund is not allowed because production has already started. Not even a true prototype has been made. Leo is probably very troubled now, thinking hard how to enjoy the US$1.5m and laugh at the comments everyday.

  12. The latest update is far from reassuring. The boards pictured do not seem to match the product. Jerry Gunn suggests that there may be multiple boards per sleeve, but there does not seem to be the symmetry required to be multiples of the same item. I wonder if he is a shill?

  13. Well that didn’t take long before the pitchforks came out. Gonna get some popcorn for this one.

    1. So apparently Leo Cheung also goes by Daniel Pauls Schack (see profile)

      If you’re going to scam people at least hide your identity!

    2. To his credit, Leo on Indiegogo said he had NOT started a Kickstarter Campaign. Though it is common for the same products to appear twice (I backed my lovely Kuro Hana kitchen knife set on Indiegogo but it was also available on Kickstarter, for example).

      Anyway, Clearly a scam and has been cancelled.

  14. Ive already paid for my unit. Im contemplating if i should ask for a refund or not. I want this to be real but everything points to the opposite. their facebook page is not updated regularly, they claim to have employees who were formerly employed by Microsoft, Intel ect.. why would such employees worth mentioning work for a crowdfunded start up if they can go work for a legit company? the real deal breaker was their website. its horrid. i mean a toddler could put a better site together. they must not take their image seriously or the crooks behind this scam wanted to save costs on hiring a web designer and just decided to make a site on their own. their image of the MI logo claiming to be the “Mi World Office” is clearly CGi.. can Indiegogo be held accountable for hosting what is obviously a scam? how they are still in business baffles me..

    1. That’s the thing about these project sites. They hold no liability or accountability which only adds to the inherent risk. Backers are essentially producers but most think they are customers pre-ordering a product that in many cases doesn’t even exist yet. The reward is exactly that. A reward for their investment. What most don’t realize is that, just like any other investment, there is a chance that they will see zero return on it. It’s only after that happens do people realize what the reality is and that they usually have no recourse. I got burned once on a 3D printer on Kickstarter and now I pay a lot more attention to what the creator offers before the project closes. “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”

    2. Well just like what some of others have said, the domain was only created in Jan 2018 this year, and I believe every scenario that Stephen and Aron mentioned may somewhat come true. A lot of poor backers are going to see their investment go down the drain. Either they get nothing in the end or get something that is next to nothing. More importantly, bubble dream of a new invention bursts.
      I personally invested heavily on GPD Win2 and that paid off pretty well, because I trusted GPD and they have the track record. This Leo and Mi stuff, sorry to say that their “investments” went pretty heavily into internet marketing and intensive sales presentation. Little effort went into covering their tracks i.e. poor official web design, infant domain, infant facebook page, shutterstock photos on production, deleting of comments instead of responding in igg, last but not least, too good to be true pricing.
      Honestly, I might be willingly to pay for the extra effort in making everything believeable even if none of them are true in the first place. But no, certain things are just too obvious and just don’t deserve a single cent from me.

  15. I’ve lost confidence in this project and requested a refund before it’s too late. My primary computer is a 15″ retina MacBook Pro with a full HD so no room for Bootcamp, and I’m not happy with my Win 7 Ultimate in a virtual machine.

    I was going to use the MiniPC with my 55″ 4K TV to run Quicken 2017, as the 5″ screen would be too small for serious work. I don’t want to throw away $254 for this with all the perks, when I’d be fine with a $499 Lenovo 12.5″ 2-in-1 on sale with Win 10 and 4GB Ram and 128GB SSD. Now I wont need an external monitor for it to be useful.

  16. I too have been following this campaign. Given the components that are supposed to be in this tablet and the price being charged for it, I think there is a strong possibility that either fake or substandard components could be used. You can see them on Ebay or Alibaba, even Amazon. There have been fake Intel Core i7 processors, fake ram and fake SSDs. If these are used in Leo’s tablets, customers will experience poor performance and premature failure and Leo and his team will be long gone. Leo constantly mentions his suppliers who will give him good deals. These are probably manufacturers in China who will sell him junk. Caveat emptor.

    1. Yeah, or they will just post a ‘sorry’ about the suppliers being unable to support the needed amount of m3-7Y30 CPUs, so they’ll let you get a refund, or if you choose to stay, they will send you a HiGOLE Gole1 with an x5-Z8350 (instead of the originally planned x5-Z8750), which can only handle 4GB of RAM, they’ll include a 64GB eMMC drive, so mission accomplished, you got something, they’ll have a few hundred thousand bucks more, and everybody will forget this campaign. @Leo is a scammer, that’s for sure, they (because there are more @Leos obviously) want to earn some easy money, but it’s ridiculous how the campaign is always extended… The backers got +8 days to let them have a $2 screen protector, but they won’t succeed, there are only 3 days left with almost $150K missing. ;))

  17. All it is just a Technology. Without Technology we wouldn’t know the world today and tomorrow. No printers, no magazines, books, and news papers. No processors, no TV’s, PC, phones tablets, etc. No computer boards, no electronics. if that’s in case, no newer vehicles. If someone buys a piece of crap tablet that has crappy specs, 1 sorry processor, for the same amount of the price of mine mini PC. For a on the go pocket size device. That has 2 operating system. Which I think it’s awesome. The price is just right. To the people that thinks it’s a scam. Go try and invent one better.
    ,,


    ..,

    1. “The price is just right”? No, the price is too good to be true and when something seems too good to be true it usually is.

    2. Sorry, but @Leo is obviously not Teresa of Calcutta, so if he and his team want to have at least a slight profit, they would have to sell it for $300 or more. This is the cheapest m3-7Y30 tablet on GB: https://www.gearbest.com/tablet-pcs/pp_590393.html?wid=1433363 for $340 with discount, and it only has 4GB of RAM instead of 16GB! Alldocube (formerly Cube) has manufactured over 10M tablets, while @Leo says they get a very special price from the suppliers for the few thousand Mi Mini PCs! As @Bob said, if it sounds too good, then it is.

  18. I was a backer up to this point: “pitt zhang [1 hour ago]: Does UEFI support” -=> “Leo Cheung (Campaigner) [1 hour ago]: @pitt zhang Thanks for your support. It only comes with BIOS. Many thanks.” – that’s the 100% proof of this being a scam. What kind of PC has BIOS these days? I’ve tried to discuss a lot of things with @Leo to no avail – they are playing with hidden cards, never answered to the sensitive questions and I didn’t want to lose $174 ($149 + shipping). If they aren’t scammers, I wish them all the best, and I’ll definitely buy this Mini PC for $299 if it’ll be half as good as promised.

    1. You and me both. I just had my refund processed. I was questioning how they are going to individually customize partition sizes and still get it out on time and got this response:

      “Thanks for your comment. However, I still found that you are stilling contributing. I would strongly suggest to cancel the pledges if you feel anything uncomfortable. However, you will not receive anything earlier if you think that telling people to leave the campaign. Many thanks.”

      Of course I was still a contributor! I couldn’t comment if I wasn’t. I was holding on for some explanation but I never got anything that made me feel comfortable with this project. The idea seems very possible but I really just don’t have any confidence in the creator. If it comes to fruition I’d happily buy it after it gets produced and is reviewed.

    2. I was once being a backer of this campaign myself untill I realize that what point doing the crowdfunding project when you can not even get any profit out of it? Beside ervery promise that the owner made was so unrealistic and seems too good to be true even for only just atom processor.

      But look as their funding still continue raising, I’m starting to hope that even they can not make M3-7Y30 for CPU comes true atleast the backers would get the Atom model instead of nothing.

      1. I pulled out too. I think they over reached and will not be able to bring the upgraded version to market. if they told me the original version would be the one shipped, i would have stayed. but the cynic in me will sleep well tonight…

        1. Yes everything there seems like we are in a dream. I remember your questions that have been posted there that get only the replying like “Thanks for this and thanks for that…” the worst thing is the campaign owner even too far by saying that your comment make too much noise. That’s so out of my limit and stir some suspicious in me also.

          Still hope that more than 10,000 backers would get something in exchange for their money. I feel like this is some kine of scam that aiming for easy money.

          1. If @Leo Cheung (or @John Doe, since there are at least 25 Leo Cheungs in Hong Kong on LinkedIn, as well as the other “creators”) and the whole “team” won’t run away with all the sum they collected, I’m 100% sure that there will be an update like this around September or October: “Sorry, but our supplier couldn’t provide the needed m3-7Y30 CPUs, so we’ll refund your money or you’ll get an x5-Z8350 (worse than the original promise ;)) version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC. Thanks for your understanding!”

  19. I owe the Gole1 64GB with the same foldable keyboard. And I would pay another $149 for the same device, if the USB 3.0 Port would work and the microSD would recognize my 128GB. There is no need for these unrealistic promises.

  20. Last post, then I’ve said enough to this topic.
    He goes on and on and on.
    He always raises the counter.

    For a last time:
    100% (ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ) OF EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE OF THE MI MINI PC WENT DOWN FOR $149 EARLY BIRD PRICE!!! THE CAMPAIGN STARTER CLAIMS HE WILL DELIVER THIS HARDWARE FOR $149!!!

    T H I S I S A S C A M!!!!

    1. Hey Toni. You’ll get a kick out of the most recent update from the Mi Mini PC team:

      We’ve got some exciting news for you – Indiegogo has agreed to allow us to extend our campaign for an extra week in order to help us hit our third stretch goal!

      CURRENT BACKERS – DO NOT WORRY: We would like to assure all of our current backers that this extension will not delay any of our shipping timelines! You will still receive all your Mini PCs in September as planned.

      Our goal with this extension is to help us hit our third stretch goal to send all of you free screen protectors with your upgraded Mini PCs, but shipping to you on time is our top priority!

      We’re really excited to extend our campaign, and hope we can hit our stretch goal!

      -Stephen and Leo

      1. They’re noobz in tech, but they sure know how to lure an abnormal amount of dollars from people’s pockets. ;)) I wrote a comment about @Leo and his “team” being descendants of Teresa of Calcutta, but they don’t have the slightest sense of humor, which is scary. 99% that I did the best with getting a refund before the deadline. BTW, after contributing $1 to be able to comment and enlighten backers I also got that $1 back, although I haven’t asked for refund this time – which means they don’t want anybody on board who doesn’t give them enough money for nothing, but wants to share his/her opinion on the campaign being a scam, and @Leo being a complete newb.

  21. If any backers are reading these comments and still not convinced this is a scam, here you go https://i.imgur.com/tBJww9Y.png

    Unlike “Mi PC World”, Chuwi has a reputation for actually building laptops / tablets and is a pretty well known Chinese brand.

    1. In fact, it’s totally possible to install Android on Kaby Lake — for example, Cube Mix Plus declares this possibility. However, it still doesn’t come with pre-installed Android because it’s true that Kaby Lake is not fully supported by Android, and users encounter a number of issues because of this. But it doesn’t mean that Leo lies totally. I’d say, he’s simply too carefree in answering to these questions, although all these updates will seriously affect the overall quality of the mini PC and the production schedule. I’d predict a 1-year delay, if it’s going to be released at all, of course. Leo gives away too little information, that’s true.

      1. Yeah, there is an x86 version of Android which runs on Atom CPUs like the originally announced x5-Z8750, and it works pretty well: I have a Teclast X98 Plus A6C9, which has an x5-Z8300 CPU, and it has Windows 10 and Android 5.1 on it. BUT John “Leo” Doe’s campaign is 100% that it’s a scam, because when somebody asked if he could buy more 512GB SSDs for a single PC, then the answer was of course ‘yes’ as you could anticipate. I would believe that you can upgrade a 128GB SSD to a 256GB one for $30, but $50 for a 512GB Kingston SSD? Yeah, sure. @Leo always says “in bulk it’s cheaper” and “we have good supplier”. Xiaomi won’t lose a dollar on you, neither will Chuwi, and they have billions of dollars and tens (if not hundreds) of millions of product sold (not dreamt of).

  22. sent an email to LaunchBoom who is sponsoring this campaign raising my concerns about this project and never received any response back. I find the whole situation pretty shady…. the campaigners website also looks like it was designed with Microsoft FrontPage 97 (plus all the other red flags mentioned here in the comments). If you backed this farce then get a refund before its too late.

    1. further more on their website they state “MI PC World founded in 2011, is an innovative technology company focusing on advanced laptop, tablet and mini PC.”

      What products have they made before crowdfunding for the “Mini PC” !? chances are absolutely nothing

      https://whois.domaintools.com/mipcworld.com
      111 days old
      Created on 2018-01-30

  23. If you click the “MORE” tab under this chancer’s name, you will see that he has generated $1,100,000 dollars, which is roughly $60,000 more than the total represented in the campaign limit.

    I have noticed in various campaigns that this “MORE” tab value under the name of the campaigner lists a gross total and not the cancellations… Whether this is intentional or not, I do not know, but it’s been interesting to watch the refunds pile up over the last couple of days.

  24. I am now convinced it’s a 100% Scam… I posted a comment listing parts prices adding up to a very best case $500…
    Then asked him how he intended to cover $300 loss per device with over 5000 sold…

    He immediately (3 minutes) refunded my pledge so that my comment would disappear from the the comments list…

    I think Indiegogo is despicable for allowing campaigners to delete comments… Nasty and defaming comments should be moderated by a 3rd party, not the campaigner….

    Reasonable and logical and DOUBTFUL comments should be rebutted by the campaigner.

    Here is my deleted post in full:

    M3 7Y30 – Lots of 1000, $281
    16MB DDR3 – Unbranded $100
    Kingston 512mb M2 SSD – $280 (let’s say $200 bulk).
    6000mAh Lithium battery ?
    5″ Touch screen ?
    Aluminium case ???

    Minimum $500 for for the bargain price of $199…

    That’s a loss of $300 per device… PLUS R&D PLUS TOOLING PLUS ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION…. And you’ve sold 5000 or more of them – who knows since you keep increasing the limit…

    So please tell me you have extra investment worth > $1M US dollars in investment or loans to cover the losses or I’m calling this out as fraud with intent.

    1. Are you able to re-contribute to get back on to continue commenting or have you been banned?

  25. Thanks Brad for the article and you guys for comments. As a backer, I’ve reflected upon all of this and then requested a refund.

  26. Of course it’s a scam, but don’t think that intel price is real bulk price, how it’s possible to find $300/$400 machines with Core M3-7Y30 if it’s really $281 (cube mix 2 plus ~$299)

  27. I want to believe this project but having had my comment deleted, I have decided to withdraw. If they can’t answer my question, they don’t deserve my money. It’s that simple.

    I was planning on using is as a glorified photo frame and photo storage on the go, letting me review my shots on a largish screen…

  28. I looked at the price and I don’t think that it’s “too good to be true”. The Gole1 video shows that it’s $99 on the guy’s table but the early bird was $79 and $89 on their site, and their intended retail price is $149. Mi Mini set their early bird to $118 and $129, and intended to be $299. So, I would not be surprised if the PC is actually $89 to make. For the backers count of 11619 backers, only 4663 (note not actual PC unit count) are PC purchase orders and the rest are add-ons. I can see the prices being lower since their PCB probably resembles more like a PC and not the cramped ones in our phones that fill only 1/3 of our phones. Apple iPhone at one time costs roughly $200 to make and sold for $400 more on that. The price bump for the storage size upgrade is not that off as well, since it’s just bumping up like paying extra to super size your meal. I do share the same concern as some of you, but only for the CPU and not the RAM (once again, super size analogy). Changing the CPU would mean that they would have to redesign the circuits on their boards, and ask their programming team work on it again.

    1. So far not many hinted to the Gole 1 project of some years ago. At least not the Mi Mini PC guys. The “new” mini PC looks identical to the “old” Gole 1, the only visible improvement seems to be the USB-C slot.

  29. Clicked on the refund button and got the response that international cards might take upto a week. Lost trust in the campaign with all the changes. Ask any serious technical question in the comments section and you dont get an answer. Ask something which may show the campaign in bad light, it gets deleted instead of debunking it. Sigh, wished it were true. Now moving on.

    1. I’ve got my refund just in 2 days on an international credit card. Lost about $10 on currency conversions, but that is better than $200 :))

  30. I suspect they are planning to just buy in the next Gole mini-PC when it is released. Gole in turn appear to target commerical applications and then sell the resultant somewhat compromised design to the public.
    I wouldn’t expect to see the m3 upgrade as that seems unfeasible for the price.

  31. after being spammed with those 4 emails from the campaigner within a 1 hour period which have minor alterations trying to resize, move and them finally deciding to delete the pictures altogether and replacing “M3-7Y30” to “upgraded CPU”…. thats when its time to back out, got my refund before its too late.

  32. Leo, the dude running the campaign has updated the 2nd stretch goal to no longer specify the processor that the device will be upgraded to at 9:30AM May 16. Getting sketchier… It can’t be an upgraded Atom since the Z8750 is already the top-of-the-line Atom processor… plus can’t keep the same processor and still support 16GB since the Z8750 only supports 8GB max.

    1. Others have called them out on that and their response was “We keep promise to use M3 if we reach stretch goal.” Hmmm…

  33. I think I’ll wait awhile on this one. I may jump in when they offer an i9 CPU, 32 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD for $149. Now, that would be hot!

  34. Thanks for all the feedback and realism. I am currently backed and was skeptical at first given the price but figured that it was essentially on the verge of being too-good-to-be-true but with the recent stretch goal upgrades it just pushes in full-on into that territory of over promising. Not to mention the huge red flag of trying to pass off a stock image from 2015 of someone examining PCB boards as their own “factory”. They have since sent out the same update #5 email with that stock imagine now missing. However, the newest email includes yet another stock photo from shutterstock (https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-6675206-stock-footage-china-october-chinese-workers-producing-pcbs-on-modern-factory-assembly-line-mainland-china.html) literally under the Google search term “china factory assembly”.

  35. I backed two projects on KS which illustrate what’s a scam and what’s not.
    1. The superbook, a dumb laptop and keyboard that uses your phone as it’s CPU.
    The developers had a prototype of a previous project and a beta app of the phone part of it on day one. We’ve had at least monthly reports throughout and they have very specific details of delays and so forth. This experienced team will deliver about a year late.
    2. The superscreen, a dumb tablet that mirrors your phone 100%. People said that it was too good to be true and that it couldn’t support the iphone as the videos suggested. Still waiting on the product and I get an update every quarter trying to upsell me to more units. The team had no established history.

    I’m out $99 on #2, it’s okay to lose the money providing that you don’t lose the lesson

    1. The list price of a m3-7y30 processor is about $281, and the Mi Mini PC only sold for $149 now. The price $149 includes 128G SSD, 16G RAM, Windows OS license, 5″ touchscreen, wireless keyboard, and blah blah blah…
      Why would you think they can get the cost down to fit the unbelievable low price when there is more than 10,000 backers fund this project?

  36. SCAM PROOF:
    The “Super Early Bird” limitation gets liftet up everytime, when the maximum is reached.
    487/500 -> suddendly 487/1000
    934/1000 -> suddenly 934/1500
    and this happend THREE MORE TIMES!

    RED FLAG!!!
    RED FLAG!!!
    RED FLAG!!!

    THIS IS A SCAM!!!
    The campaign creator does everything possible, to get money thrown at him.

      1. Good eye. I’m definitely backing out now. I never got a straight answer why they were using pictures from shutterstock.com that came up in Google when searching for “china factory assembly”. Their response was to send out the latest update email FIVE times, using different pictures, until the last one just had all picture removed, lol.

    1. It has been increased yet again.
      2674 / 2750
      BOOM!
      2674 / 3000

      The LOGIC behind “Super early bird” is:
      “DON´T THINK! BUY!!! BEFORE IT I IS TO LATE!!!”

      But the creator let’s “too late” never happen. This makes the “super early bird” price to the REGULAR PRICE!!
      The regular price for this hardware is $149

      Come on people.
      $149?!
      Come on…
      SCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAMSCAM

      1. Another update! The XXX / XXX counter has now been removed completely. Instead they put a countdown of limited stock. Currently 282 and counting down. I BET!! It will be 293 in 24 hours, because they increase this number when it get’s near zero.

        1. Aaaand I was right. He increased the counter, when it was below 100. Now it is 364 again.
          100% of every sold Mi Mini PC went for $149 over the table.
          $149 for this hardware?
          S
          C
          A
          M

          1. Last post, then I’ve said enough to this topic.
            He goes on and on and on.
            He always raises the counter.

            For a last time:
            100% (ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ) OF EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE OF THE MI MINI PC WENT DOWN FOR $149 EARLY BIRD PRICE!!! THE CAMPAIGN STARTER CLAIMS HE WILL DELIVER THIS HARDWARE FOR $149!!!

            T H I S I S A S C A M!!!!

  37. They also opted for Flexible Funding: “This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal” as opposed to Fixed Funding.

    I did turn up a link to Leo Cheung (Hong Kong) and he appears in a Feb/2016 write-up as a professional modder (it it’s the same guy); link (remove spaces): makerhub . coolermaster . com / mod-hong-kong

  38. Maybe they have an outside investor willing to inject them with funds if their campaign hit’s 1 million dollars? Idk probably not

    1. What would be the market strategy here?
      1: Sell device for a small number of people on the internet at a massive loss even compared to the price of the parts and not counting the design, shipping, human resources, etc.
      2: ???
      3: Profit!

      The only way this works is that #2 being: don’t give them an actual product, just take the money and run.

  39. I am following (but not yet contributing to) the campaign myself, and would like to ask questions there, but cannot until I am a participant 🙁
    I would dearly love this all to be true, and that the ‘M3-7Y30 CPU/16 GB RAM’ target be achieved — so is there anything I can do (other than to be skeptical) to validate this as genuine before participating — or not?

    1. “I would dearly love this all to be true”
      Yes, that’s what they are banking on. And in this case: make bank on.

      Here’s the rub. However unlikely, let’s assume that this is a real product. If they – as a tiny startup with their first project in the market – can produce this item at this cost … anyone can. Never mind the big players who are actually able to eat a loss in the beginning, just think of the Chinese, the kings of producing something down to a cost.

      Naturally, you are tempted to buy into the so-called “first mover”, the first one to bring something “revolutionary” to the market. It’s a natural inclination we have to be part of something new, something exciting. And we like to root for the underdog. But there’s only two possible outcomes with products like these: Either it turns out to be one of many similar products to come, or it turns out to be a scam. And you, personally, are carrying 100% of the financial risk.

      If you really want one of those, wait for the regular retail product. Or better yet, wait for round two.

  40. Ah, another day, another crowdfunding campaign promising the sky on IndieGogo. It’s going to be an expensive lesson for a lot of people, and a lot of heartache. But I can’t say I’m not looking forward to see this trainwreck unfold, with the appropriate amount of popcorn in hand. A fool and his money …

    1. That’s a pretty shitty way of thinking… Why on Earth would you want 1000s of people to be scammed? What kind of person wants a criminal to get away with over a million dollars of other people’s money?
      I sometimes just can’t understand keyboard warriors.

      1. I don’t “want” them to be scammed, but there is no shortage of people lining up to get scammed on Indiegogo, people with an infinite appetite for clever marketing, people with too much disposable income and too little critical thinking.

        It’s just going to happen – enjoy the show.

        1. I can’t enjoy this…. I wish there was a way to contact them and enlighten them re. the situation so as to allow them to come to some sort of informed decision…
          I want the campaigner to demonstrate that he CAN pull this off or cancel it. I certainly don’t want him to walk away with $1M of other people’s money.

          So no, I’m not enjoying this one bit… I’m psychologically incapable of enjoying innocent people (even Americans who seem to keep getting shot all the time despite being able to vote different senators in) getting hurt by sociopathic types…

  41. Someone post the link of this article on the project comments, and it seems disappeared in a short time. Do the project campaigners of Indiegogo have permissions to delete comments?

    1. I got here by seeing a link to this article while viewing it from the indiegogo mobile app. I happened to be sitting here at my desk so I threw it into a search engine instead. Color me stupid but I was hoping prices were continuing to come down on hardware that could affordably deliver this (admittedly entry level to midrange netbook form factor) type of performance (web browsing, media server, social media band aid) and features (aux and HDMI out, ports, etc) for under what we’ve been paying up to now. Look at some of these smartphone companies and the crazy stuff they are shipping for under $200 all the time. Yeah, I backed it. I just hope I didn’t throw away $170ish bucks. I did the VIP early buy in at like $118 and then went and bit again at the SSD upgrade- I was already committed. Sigh..

      1. Another comment mentioned this article has disappeared, I think it’s a scam clearly, so I just requested for refund my orders.

        1. Can you please tell how did you do that, cause i want to do the same

  42. As we speak 16GB of RAM costs more let alone the CPU. Also being on Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter is a red flag. Not that Kickstarter is a guarantee that the project delivers, but Indiegogo hosts more scam than real projects. PGS, Smatch Z, etc…

  43. I have the “old” Gole 1 as a holiday backup device for fotos. I would never take it for anything else only on its own. But it has HDMI out and therefore can be attached to any decent hotel tv. For purposes like this the basic “new” hardware – 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage – is more than sufficient. For $ 150 this would be a decent device. The upgrade promises seem to be an ugly scam thing and unbelievable.

    1. Is it possible that this price that you’ve linked to is per unit? If a company were to purchase these processors in bulk then perhaps the price might come down significantly? Still it might leave very little margin for profit.

      1. The $281 is the per unit price if you buy a minimum of a tray. Which I believe is 1000 SOCs. That said, companies can get the SOC much cheaper than the listed prices. But considering the crowdfunding price is $149 which not only includes the M3-7Y30 SOC but also 16GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. Then yeah, that’s hard to see how they can do that for the price. Their explanation is that this low price is a promotion. I guess that means they are taking a hit. That’s if you believe that

        1. I don’t see any way this happens. The GPD Win 2 has roughly the same specs – a Core M3, 8GB Ram, a 128 GB SSD (an actual M.2 SSD, not the unknown SSD they’re claiming), and a 1280*720 screen and retails for $700. I don’t see any way this gets shipped to backers at this price and specs or retails for $300. Or if it makes it to production as is, it probably gets stuck in limbo, with backer units being held for years while retail profits pay for them to be made at a loss (like the Coolest Cooler.)

          1. GPD Win 2 is overpriced considering the specs alone (excluding the engineering to fit it in such a small form factor). My Cube Mix Plus with the same specs (albeit just half the RAM) with 10.6″ 1080p screen, detachable keyboard, tempered glass and wacom EMR stylus costs only $415. So, the retail price of Mi Mini PC sounds kinda fit in for $300 considering the even smaller form factor and much less hardware (5″ 720p screen, no stylus, no big durable keyboard). The indiegogo (promotional?) price, which is only half of it, indeed sounds too good to be true.

        2. From Intel’s web:

          “Recommended Customer Price (RCP) is pricing guidance only for Intel products. Prices are for direct Intel customers, typically represent 1,000-unit purchase quantities”

    2. These MSRP is nothing to real word bulk prices to manufacturers.
      For an example:
      Acer Aspire E15 costs $700 with i7-8550U ($409). So, in $291 included 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, nVidia MX150, FullHD display, chassis, battery (up to 15hours), battery charger and even Windows 10 Home license.
      And this processor is very so-so, roughly mobile analog for HT-enabled Pentium.

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