MeLE Star Cloud PCG60 Plus Cherry Trail Mini PC Comes with HDMI and VGA Outputs, Gigabit Ethernet and More

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Most Cherry Trail mini PCs on the market features only one video interface, usually HDMI, and only support 10/100M Ethernet. After introducing MeLE PCG03 Plus a few months ago, MeLE is about to launch a new Cherry Trail mini PC called Start Cloud PCG60 Plus that includes both HDMI and VGA video output, two USB 2.0, but also faster networking thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac.

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MeLE PCG60 prototype, the final product will include a grey/silver WiFi antenna – Click to Enlarge

MeLE Star Cloud PCG60 specifications (highlights in bold show improvements over MeLE PCG03 Plus):

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.84 GHz (Turbo) with Intel HD Gen8 graphics
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, and VGA
  • Audio I/F – HDMI, 3.5mm earphone jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 host ports
  • Misc – Power Button, standby and activity LEDs
  • Power Supply – 12V/1A
  • Dimensions – 110 x 110 x 38 mm (Metallic case)
The fanless system run Windows 10 Home 64-bit with a proper license, as MeLE is one of Microsoft’s IP license partners. The company showcased both MeLE PCG03 Plus and PCG60 at CES 2016. Please note since the event, PCG60 has been renamed to PCG60 Plus.

MeLE’s representative says MeLE PCG60 Plus will be available at the end of the month, but that should be to distributors and resellers, and the company told me that the mini PC will be listed for $169 on Aliexpress in March.

Via Netbook Italia and AndroidPC.es

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onebir
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onebir

No (cheaper) Linux version planned?

Fossxplorer
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Fossxplorer

@onebir
I wonder the same ๐Ÿ™‚

TLS
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TLS

Intel doesn’t support Linux on Cherry Trail.

That said, it seems like Ubuntu 15.10 mostly works with Cherry Trail, so it might not be a total bust.
The problem is that there won’t be an official graphics driver and there might be some problems with things like SDIO based peripherals used by many of these boxes.

onebir
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onebir

@TLS
“The problem is that there wonโ€™t be an official graphics driver”
:(:(:(

vince
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@onebir
good question

TLS
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TLS

“Support for Windows* 10 Desktop, Windows* 8.1 (Pro), Android* Lollipop (Android 5x)”
http://www.intel.co.uk/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/atom-x5-processor-z8300-product-brief.pdf

Yet they’re pitching this as an IoT platform… Intel really doesn’t seem to know what they want.

Ron
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Ron

1. Why doesn’t it use the stepping version – x5-Z8350 – that it supposed to replace the older Z8300?

2. I wonder why Intel-based mini PCs have always not provided composite video out, but only VGA? Why Intel’s GPU doesn’t support composite video?
I think that nowadays, composite is more useful that VGA. DVI had replaced VGA longer before HDMI replaced composite (and s-video). so composite is more relevant than VGA (and both are for old devices…).
My question is not about the technical reason, but about Intel’s decision to do that.
In contrast to that, Arm devices have composite and not VGA. So Arm (and its GPU) decided differently than Intel! And good for that!

Nelbert
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Nelbert

@TLS If you want to try running a 3.x Kernel then I would expect problems, but with the 4.1 onwards Intel have contributed plenty of Kernel code for Cherry Trail support, pin control updates as well as power state updates.
What happens with the latest Fedora release? Intel don’t release a Fedora package for the latest HD graphics because the distro already contains the latest HD Graphics stack, unlike Ubuntu.

Obviously the proof is in the testing, but the UP team have their Linux running, which is based on Debian using a 3.x kernel. They also confirmed their dev work was mainly required because Intel only started adding Cherry Trail updates to the Kernel from 4.1 onwards.

As the X5/X7 use the 8th Gen Intel HD graphics I would expect the latest open source Intel drivers to work. They are certainly what is pulled down when building Yocto Linux with the default provided 4.1 Kernel.

If the box had an X3 chip then I’d fully agree sol on drivers as that has a PowerVR GPU, but the X5/X7 I would expect to work.

@Ron I would consider composite and s-video outputs on pcs to be obsolete these days. With the chip going into devices for desktop use, HD playback or tablet based a composite output brings minimal benefit vs cost. Tablets will probably use the DSI interface and I doubt Windows 10 would be very usable at NTSC/PAL resolutions.

The Cageybee
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The Cageybee

@Nelberb x3 uses an ARM Mali for graphics. Still the same problem as with PowerVR though.

BORIStheBLADE
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BORIStheBLADE

Man I have been wanting a box like this to run Linux. Its a shame there isn’t much at all..

Ron
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Ron

Mele PCG60 Plus was supposed to arrive by March.
March has almost ended, and I thought that the ETA wouldn’t be achieved.
But surprise surprise – at the last hours of March it finally appeared on aliexpress!

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Fanless-Intel-Mini-PC-Star-Cloud-PCG60-Plus-Windows-10-Cherry-Trail-Z8300-2GB-DDR3-32GB/715968_32640465073.html

The full price is 199$ which is too much. But there is a reduced price – 149$ when buying with the aliexpress app.

I wonder whether there is an actual stock, or that Mele just uploaded the new model to aliexpress just so that they could say that they fulfilled their promised ETA.

There are several inconsistencies in the aliexpress specifications vs. the description:
– is there a Kensington lock security slot?
– is the wifi ac? at some places it says n.
– the first specs table says <40GB drive – what is this?!
I guess all these issues are errors due to lazy copy+paste from another device's description…

I'm curious about the quality of the thermal solution they used for the SoC, and about the eMMC read/write speed and the ac WiFi reception quality.
Hopefully cnxsoft would make a review of the unit, and especially compare it to the Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus.
And hopefully this new PCG60 Plus won't have the issues that the first Ara X5 (not Plus) had.