MeegoPad T01, Pipo X7, MeLE PCG03, MINIX NEO Z64, etc.. you could name a pretty long list of Intel Bay Trail-T Z3735 mini PCs running Windows 8.1… They all cost above $100, but the ones that include a valid Windows 8.1 license usually cost closer to $150. That’s because contrary to the Windows 8.1 with Bing on small tablets that comes free and with a one-year subscription to office 365, Windows 8.1 with Bing on mini PCs adds about $30 to the price, and it does not even include a one-year subscription. So using a tablet as a mini PC should be cheaper, even with the extra touchscreen display and battery. And as I checked out Liliputing’s list of cheap Windows tablets, Winbook TW700 stood out as it sells for just $60 on Micro-center (US only) or $70 on Amazon US, and features a mini HDMI port, a full-sized USB port, meaning it can easily be connected to an HDMI TV, and be used as mini PC for over half the price of actual Windows 8.1 mini PCs.
- SoC – Intel Atom Z3735G “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics (2.2W TDP)
- System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
- Storage – 16 GB eMMC + micro SD card slot (up to 64 GB)
- Display – 7″ IPS display; 1280×800 resolution; 5-point touchscreen
- Video Output – micro HDMI
- Audio I/O – micro HDMI, 3.5mm earphone jack
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Camera – 2MP Front-facing and rear cameras
- Sensors – G-sensor, light sensor
- Misc – Power and volume buttons
- Battery – Rechargeable lithium-on battery (Capacity not specified)
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
- Dimensions – 189 x 121 x 11 mm
- Weight – 350 grams
So the memory and storage are a bit tight, but it should probably be enough to run Kodi 14 with the default skin, and should make a very good media player based on my Kodi 14.1 testing with MeLE PCG03, providing a smoother experience than on any ARM based mini PC I tried in the past, as long as you play videos up to 1080p, and don’t need HEVC/H.265 video decode. Some people also noticed an overheating issue on other devices while playing high framerate videos (50 fps @ 720p or 1080i), leading to throttling on Pipo X7, but I could not reproduce this in MeLE PCG03. It mostly depends on the thermal design of the device, and one person also said running Kodi in Linux does not exhibit the issue, but requires a USB sound card, as HDMI audio does not work (yet). Hopefully a working OpenELEC image will soon be released for Intel Atom Z37xx devices.
One other difference is the use of Z3735G instead of Z3735F, which means the maximum memory is 1GB RAM, and the memory bandwidth is only 5.3 GB/s instead of 10.6 GB/s.
As I understand it, Winbook is a US brand and only sells in the US, so if Amazon US won’t ship to your country, you’re out of luck. But as the device is certainly a re-branded Chinese table, so I checked out for similar Z3735G tablet on Aliexpress. I could not find an exact match, but PiPo W7 and Cube iWork7 tablets are selling for about $80 including shipping, and both include micro HDMI and micro USB OTG ports, but no full-size USB port.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.