Chinese device maker Mele has been making small desktops and TV boxes for a few years. In fact, it was a Mele device from 2012 that first alerted me to the growing trend of ARM-based media boxes that could function as Android or Ubuntu/Linux-based desktop computers.
More recently the company has started branching out into boxes with Intel processors and Windows software including the Mele PCG03. The company is showing that box at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, along with a larger model that has room for a hard drive.
The PCG03 is a fanless mini-desktop computer with an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core Bay Trail processor, 16GB to 32GB of storage, and 1GB to 2GB of RAM.
A Mele representative tells me that the wholesale price for a basic model is just $59… if you order 10,000 units and don’t want Windows software installed. Licenses for Windows 8.1 with Bing add $20 to the price.
The PCG03 is currently in mass production, and you should soon be able to buy individual units at retail marketplaces including AliExpress for around $100 to $150, depending on the configuration.
A growing number of small, inexpensive desktop Windows computers are hitting the market these days, but the PCG03 manages to stand out a bit thanks to a wider-than-average selection or ports. The little box has VGA and HDMI ports, A/V output, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10/100 Ethernet, a microSD card slot ad a headset jack.
The Mele PCG09 has similar hardware, but a much larger case with room for a hard drive.
Note that the Mele spec sheets for these boxes mention support for 4K video playback, but I’m a bit skeptical of that claim.