Chinese company Mele has been offering small, low-cost TV boxes with ARM-based chips and Android software for the past few years. Now the company is showing off its first Intel-powered model.
The Mele PCG03 features an Intel Atom Z3735D Bay Trail quad-core processor and supports up to 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage, although entry-level models will have less.
Mele is showing off the PCG03 at the HKTDC fair in Hong Kong this week, and the company says wholesale prices will start as low as $49.
A mode decked out with 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and Windows 8.1 software could cost considerably more — but even stores double or triple the price before selling the device, the Mele PCG03 could be one cheap Windows computer.
Entry-level models will have as little as 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and in addition to running Windows 8.1, the Mele PCG03 will be able to handle Google Android software.
A look at the case suggests that the little guy suggests that while you could probably use the little computer as a desktop PC, it’s really designed to hang out by your TV. In addition to HDMI, VGA, and S/PIF ports, there are composite A/V jacks for connecting to an old-school TV.
Other features include 2 USB 2.0 ports and a 10/100 Ethernet jack. There’s also 802.11b/g/n WiFi and a headset jack.
The Zotac Pi320 can be pre-ordered on ShopBLT.com.
STAY AWAY from the Minix Z64. Minix has horrible customer service, and lied to us at IFA’14. We were told that the Z64 came with Windows 8.1 but sources indicated to us that is not the case (it will only come with Android).
Looking at those composite jacks I’m thinking cheap Squeezebox device to a set of powered speakers in situations where a dedicated DAC or receiver isn’t necessary.
Where can you get one?
Composite out? I doubt it will ever get to the US. Big media has been doing everything they can to get rid of (even low resolution) analog video ports. Too easy to record.
Well, be glad that there is the internet, so you can order it directly from China and get it even cheaper.
I want them to take my money for one of these little guys, but it is impossible. Perpetual vaporware.
I think it needs more USB ports, or integrated DVB-C/T/S with an internal SATA for DVR if it can handle it, and the obviously missing, (on all these things), external WI-FI antena connector.
Under 80usd ? vesa monitor mount? I think I’d be in.
Looks like a great xbmc front-end. If they can sell that for under $80, with no flash storage (usb boot) I would totally buy one. I would love it if they had a dual-nic version that could be used to run snort and VPN (I wish I could move that off my home server).
I was thinking Steam Box + Home Streaming; I’m not sure what’s the status of the Steam Distro and if XBMC has been ported to it but it’d be one deadly combo in my house hold.
I needed gigabit ethernet and 80% CPU (single core) from my chromebox 2955u to get steam to stream with 1080p 60fps. I don’t think that linux steam streaming can take advantage of multi-core, as I only saw one of the 2 cores hit 80% (the other core never went above 20%). Just a data-point.
Aww man, if only we had a gigabit ethernet port, i could do so much with it. Or, if USB 3.0 was on it, i could at least add a gigabit dongle. I would love this as a Steam box for streaming from my main computer, but i just don’t think i could get enough bandwidth into it.
Give me these specs, and I’m in even for $150!
chromebox 2955u will kill this for less than that
There are already barebones 2957u systems for about $120 like the Zotac ZBox BI320.
Thanks for the heads-up. This looks like a great ethernet box.
It’s a great little basic box with enough graphical oomph to fill a lot of multimedia needs. I have one hooked up in the living room to the big TV as an aux box for web surfing and playing videos.
My Chromebox was $180 final price, and I only use gigabit ethernet. I would definitely but the BI320 if I needed another HDTV front-end.
memory + storage you are way above 150usd.
and no wireless either…
That was my big gripe too, but in practice, the gigabit ethernet turned out to be handier than the wifi. I got a $30 USB wifi adapter for it for the occasional times it may need wifi. Also, the “$150+usd” price tag gives you the freedom to install whatever OS you want (assuming it supports the hardware) without hackery as it comes with an unlocked bootloader.
It’s also a more capable machine. Unlocked bootloader, 2 Haswell cores and a 10 EU integrated GPU supporting all the latest intel graphical extensions, as opposed to 4 silvermont cores and a 4 EU GPU. Sure, the Z3735D sucks up less power and generates less heat, but it’s also stuck at 2GB of ram and has the lower powered GPU. My BI320 idles at 8W at the wall which is plenty efficient for me.
The stronger CPU is nice, but there is only 16GB eMMC in the Chromebox. Will have to replace ChromeOS (no offense to anyone, but Windows 8.1 is a bit more complete and useful). Also the analog outputs are a big plus for me on this box, my TV don’t have HDMI, and my screen is also VGA/DVI, so this box would be quite nice.
Chromebox is also pretty much locked to chrome, so not much of a choice there.
very easy fix with the asus chromebox.
I wouldn’t call installing seabios before the OS installation “very easy” : / It’s a very hacky route and the results can vary quite a bit depending on the firmware and hardware revision you get. There’s still the issue of the missing sound drivers for windows…I’d rather not spend a day or 2 hacking something when I could get something with comparable specs and price that doesn’t force me to jump through a bunch of hoops.
The Zotac pi320, the Minix z64, and now this one. I’ve heard for months about these small baytrail computers … still haven’t been able to buy one.
Forget Android, put Linux on it. Looks like it would make a sweet MythTV frontend. Phooey on the Arm machines, we have been watching those for years now and still none of them support a Linux desktop because of the idiocy of the chipmakers in always picking closed video cores. ARM Holdings is friendly enough to the Penguin and some of the chipmakers do try, but always the video is the holdout. Intel themselves typically puts all of the needed drivers straight into the upstream kernel.
Ok, I know about the Pi (hopelessly obsolete and available from single vendor in a gimped product) and the TI chip in the open laptop project with serious effort working on free drivers. But that TI chip isn’t used many other places so again, not much help in general.
This doesn’t look like a very good Android mini-PC, so I assume it is meant as a China-market TV box. In such a case Linux doesn’t make much sense. Seriously, you guys who want hardware for running Linux should just stick to devices meant to run Windows, you’ll probably be less disappointed. Just shop for “last year” models where discounts may get you a fine little box at a good price and with far les pain.
Reread the article. This box IS marketed as a Windows 8.1 device. Which means it probably has a BIOS and boots like any other PC and since it is an Intel based device the driver support should be solid. Perfect breeding ground for penguins. Arm is the arch that could have been but wasn’t and it is about time we realized it isn’t going to be and stop pining and dance with the ones that brought us, Intel and AMD. If AMD really ships their ARM chips as planned it could get interesting though.
Ok, point taken. I assumed something based on your post that isn’t relevant. Of course now I’m even more mystified: a Windows TV box makes even less sense to me.
Windows Media Center?
WMC doesn’t come with Windows 8/8.1. You can buy it but it is the same (not updated) version that came for free with Windows 7. If you want to go that route you might want to check out snapstream first.
MediaPortal is a great Windows SW for TV center. Also XBMC (now Kodi) is available.
But running Kubuntu Linux on such device would be perfect. You can run Linux on some of the ARM boxes but as John Morris wrote, you always end up with no GPU drivers. So no HW 3D acceleration, no HW video decoding.
I wonder why Canonical (or anybody else) is not offering such devices. I would pay extra 50 USD if it had full support by a distribution maker.
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