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The Mele Quieter4C is a compact computer small enough to slide into your pocket. But it’s also a versatile little machine  with support for up to three 4K displays, up to 16GB of RAM, and dual storage (eMMC + SSD).

It’s also a the latest in a line of Mele Quieter-branded computers featuring fanless designs for silent operation. What makes this model different is that it’s the first in the series to feature an Intel Alder Lake-N processor, which Mele says brings a 35% performance boost over last year’s Quieter3C.

The new model is powered by an Intel Processor N100 chip, which is a 6-watt, 4-core, 4-thread processor with support for CPU speeds up to 3.4 GHz and a 750 MHz Intel UHD GPU with 24 execution units.

It features 8GB to 16GB LPDDR4x memory, an eMMC module for 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage, and an M.2 2280 slot that support sup to 4TB of PCIe 3.0 x3 solid state storage. There’s also a microSD card reader with support for cards up to 2TB, although it only supports SD card data transfer rates up to 60MB/s.

Other features include support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1, and a Gigabit Ethernet port with support for Auto Power On, PXE network booting, and Wake on LAN functionality.

Ports include:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode, power input, and 10 Gbps data)
  • 1 x USB Type-C (power input only)
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (10 Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (5 Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A (480 Mbps)
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x microSD card reader

The computer measures 131 x 81 x 18mm (5.2″ x 3.2″ x 0.7″), making the Mele Quieter4C almost exactly the same size as the new Lenovo Chromebox Micro, which is also a compact fanless PC. But Mele’s computer has a newer, faster processor and support for a broader range of operating systems including Windows and GNU/Linux distros.

Mele’s Quieter4C also weighs less than half as much as the Lenovo mini PC, at just 203 grams (7 ounces), although I suspect that’s not necessarily a good thing, because it suggests that the Mele Quieter4C has a plastic chassis. Lenovo’s Chromebox Micro, meanwhile, has a metal case that not only makes that model sturdier, but also probably helps dissipate heat.

The Mele Quieter 4C is available from AliExpress for $241 and up. The starting price is for a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage, but you can also configure the system with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage (256GB eMMC + 256GB SSD).

Mele is also offering several promotions that bring the starting price down to $157 if you click all the on-page coupons. Those coupons expire December 4 though.

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    1. It’s weird, yeah, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t actually matter too much in terms of performance. The N100 only has 9 PCIe Gen 3 lanes, so they need to make decisions on how many lanes to allocate to what.
      It looks like they have more USB support than the N100 natively supports, so they needed to allocate lanes to that. This is probably the DP alt Mode being a lane hog. The NVMe only gets 3 lanes, and there’s likely only one lane allocated for wifi. With only a single Gen3 lane wifi 5 and 6 would have basically identical performance, and the range benefit is unlikely to matter given the size of the unit.
      I also noticed that the N5105 spec sheet lists AX Wifi integration, but the N100 chip does not list any integrated Wifi at all. That strongly points to Intel dropping integrated wifi from N100 product line as a cost saving measure.

      I’ll admit that I’m disappointed due to wifi 5 slightly increasing the power budget, but I’ll give Mele the benefit of the doubt here. After all, they ARE producing the cheapest passively cooled N100 system on the market, and that requires making tradeoffs to keep costs down.
      Given the choice between spending money on Wifi 6 or on the overall build and design quality, I would absolutely trade Wifi 6 away to get a better engineered product.

  1. Why does it need to be pocket sized if it does not also include display, keyboard, mouse or touch-device import support?

  2. I actually own a Quieter3C, which is based on the n5105 chip.
    While I can confirm the case is plastic, I can also confirm that it’s thermally conductive plastic. While that’s not as effective as a case made out of aluminium or copper, it’s enough for the heat load here while not being electrically conductive.
    The engineering showed thought and care, and the fit and finish was surprisingly good.
    I bought my unit well after release, long past the point where some Chinese manufacturers start reworking products to be cheaper to produce, but didn’t see any signs of that behavior with my unit. It’s been running solid 24/7 since I got it, with the only restarts being from my choice or power outages.

    I should probably point out for people who want to purchase that the 512gb version is actually 256gb eMMC and a 256gb NVMe drive, not one drive of 512gb.

    1. So, I ordered one of these – the 16gb/256gb model.
      The build quality is still excellent.
      I did notice that the 2280 standoff was about 1mm further than it should be, but it’s better to be slightly too far than slightly too close, and they provided a wide screw that ensured a secure fit. This is not an issue, but was something I observed.
      Further, when I received my unit the bottom panel was slightly bowed – about 0.5mm further out in the middle than at the corners. That corrected itself after I reassembled the unit post-inspection, suggesting that the screws were a touch too tight.
      The overall performance is significantly better than the 3C.
      While the GPU 3D performance is only slightly improved, there’s a noticeable improvement in the performance for hardware accelerated video encode/decode.
      The real gains are in CPU-bound tasks, where that 35% performance uplift appears to be genuine.

      For most use cases I don’t believe it would be worth upgrading from a Quieter3C to a Quieter4C, but for anybody looking for a new fanless system the 4C is the clear winner.

      1. Are you sure the gpu performance isn’t improved much from the n5105? Did you run some benchmarks or tried the same game? What have you noticed?

  3. The 16gb ram version seems to have issues on AliExpress: it rings in at $900

    Also the coupons seem to be gone already.

    1. I figured those wouldn’t last long (it’s already Dec 5 in China).

      The 16GB RAM / 128GB version shows a $860 list price for me, but the 16GB/256GB and 16GB/512GB versions are $292 and $310, respectively.

  4. I’m in for one with the coupons that brought it down to just over $160 shipped. Perfect for a pocketable media player I can connect to the hotel TV when we go on vacation so we can watch movies and TV or play some lighter games. Right now we use a Roku for that but it’s so limited on the file types it accepts, it would be easier to just throw Kodi and some emulators on an actual PC, and control it with my gamepad.