Wintel Pro CX-W8 Cherry Trail mini PC Sells for $85

I reviewed Wintel W8 mini PC powered by an Intel Atom Z3735F last year, although since the model could dual boot Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4 I mostly focused my review on the Android part. There’s now an upgraded model running Windows 10 only, based on Intel Atom x5-Z8300 quad core Cherry Trail processor, and very much the same interfaces except one of the USB 2.0 ports has been upgraded to USB 3.0.

Wintel_Pro_mini_PC

Wintel Pro CX-W8 has very similar same specifications to other Cherry Trail mini PCs available on the market:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz (Bust freq: 1.84 GHz) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics (2W SDP)
  • System Memory –  2 GB
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm microphone jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 (RTL8723 or AP6234)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB port
  • Misc – Power button with LED
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 9.80 x 9.80 x 2.00 cm
  • Weight – 250 grams
The device is said to run Windows 10 Home, and ships with a power adapter, an HDMI Cable, and a user’s manual in English.

Cheap_Cherry_Trail_mini_PCThe most interesting point of this particular mini PC is the price, as GearBest sells it for $85.68 shipped, and it’s also sold on Banggood and Aliexpress but with a price around $100 [Update: At least one seller offers it for $84.99]. At this price, you can be sure Windows 10 is not activated, and while that could be an issue of you really want to run Windows 10, if you ever planned to run Linux, Android or Chromium OS that’s possibly an asset, provided it’s not confiscated by your customs. You can also find a recent review on AndroidTVBox.eu with some benchmarks, impressions, Kodi testing…, and a rather positive conclusion.

Update: And while I’m at it about good deals on Intel mini PCs: Onda M2 with Intel Celeron J1900, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD sells for $189 shipped.

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Andrius
Andrius
4 years ago

I’m looking for an windows-less Intel mini-pc with VGA output. Can you recommend one?
I plan to use some Kodi distribution on it and I do not want to pay for Windows.
This box looks nice but sadly does not have VGA. I need it for my current installation.
Also I’d like it to be intel because I hope it would better support 800p resolution of my projector. Wouldn’t it?

RK
RK
4 years ago

There’s a company called “Wintel”?! Couldn’t they have at least googled the name first? Dang…

Oh, about the activation, my Meegopad T01 that came with an inactivate 8.1, go magically activated when I installed windows 10 on it…

RK
RK
4 years ago

@RK
Gets updates and everything: http://postimg.org/image/i6x1djzyh/

I had debian installed previously and the auto-start kernel. It gets regular updates and I’ve been using it as a desktop since I bought it a year or two ago. Though I only switched back to windows from linux a couple of month ago since I’m mostly using an ARM SBC for as my linux development workstation and desktop nowadays.

Anyhow, I’m saying all of this since they might have Win10 activated. It would seem to me Microsoft just doesn’t care.

Ron
Ron
4 years ago

@Andrius Mele has mini PCs with VGA output. PCG03 Plus: (now it’s being sold at full price – 179$ – so wait for a discount… I think that before Chinese new year its price was 149$) http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Fanless-Intel-Mini-PC-StarCloud-PCG03-Plus-Windows-10-Quad-Core-Cherry-Trail-Atom-Z8300-2GB/715968_32580905881.html and in these days there is going to be a new “PCG60 plus” model: http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/01/19/mele-star-cloud-pcg60-plus-cherry-trail-mini-pc-comes-with-hdmi-and-vga-outputs-gigabit-ethernet-and-more/ @Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft): I thought MS is giving Windows (with Bing) for free for these devices (at least when their RAM is not more than 2GB). So you say that in fact the Windows licence costs a few tens of dollars? So it’s rather not free, but at… Read more »

shar
shar
4 years ago


considering 4k & price, what would be better, J1900 (most of your suggestions) or x5-Z8300?

Tutanchamount
Tutanchamount
4 years ago

how much watt this thing eat?

xxx
xxx
4 years ago

Does it support Remix OS?

Piper
Piper
4 years ago

For anyone interested: all USB ports are on the same bus (at least that’s how it looks on Linux), including Ethernet adapter (Realtek), WiFi/BT module is on SDIO. Windows is activated and can be reinstalled but… Windows can’t find drivers for HDMI audio and BT/WiFi module. Still GPU works flawlessly on both on Windows and Linux making it a nice alternative for arm based boxes. Power adapter (5v/3A) uses a smaller barrel then the (more or less) standard 5.5/2.1. Arch uefi iso/installer work well (don’t touch uefi shells, not even in the menu), grub uefi works fine but I wasn’t… Read more »

Martin
Martin
4 years ago

I have opened the device to see wether it’s possible to tune up the heat problem. It’s very tricky: There is a 2mm grey Thermal Pad between the cpu and the heat spreader. On the “mainboard”, many other chips and components are a little bit higher than the processer, so there is no way to use thermal paste, because it won’t fill the gap between cpu and heat spreader. In fact, there is one chip that lies so high, that the whole head spreader hasn’t the same distance to the board at all areas! And as it is not a… Read more »

Gaetano
Gaetano
4 years ago

HDMI on Linux now works!!! And there’s also an Openelec image!
http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/04/19/hdmi-audio-in-linux-is-now-working-on-cherry-trail-mini-pcs-openelec-7-0-image-released/
Thank you Pierre-Louis Bossart !!!!!

Mark Maynard
Mark Maynard
3 years ago

Sorry to reply to an old thread bit I installed the openelec image you posted and the kodi seems locked I can’t install addons etc did you have the same issues if so did you find a work around?

niro
niro
4 years ago

@Martin
escape key, several times, no continous

niro
niro
4 years ago

@Martin
and take care editing bios parameter, I already bricked one W8; no tv signal

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

I have found that Geek Buying.com sells at least 3 different versions of the W8 Wintel. I bought 3 item number 363000’s and 1 came with windows 10 activated and 2 were not. I had no trouble activating them and they all updated no problem. The other 2 models are 343918 (dual Boot) with Android and windows and 366248 that is marked CX in front of the W8, I don’t know what the CX means. I was told they are made by different manufacturers and they have 3 different prices within $10.00. I love mine but I can’t find any… Read more »

gencap
gencap
4 years ago

@Tom: Beside the old Baytrail Z3735-based model (w8 without ‘pro’), there are *at least* two different ‘Wintel w8 pro’ devices: i) Label on the bottom of the case: WINTEL BOX MODEL CX-W8 Pro Label on the top of the PCB: INET-T8-REV02 W8 PRO 2015-11-10 Realtek RTL8723BS Wireless LAN 802.11n SDIO Network Adapter Coaxial wire WiFi/BT antenna MAC address OUI: 20180e Computer Brand Name: Insyde CherryTrail BIOS Manufacturer: INSYDE Corp. BIOS Version: Mx.WT8.NNNNREN02 BIOS Date: 11/25/2015 The WiFi of this model performs very well: full 54Mbps with a Cisco E4200 in the same room. ii) Label on the bottom of the… Read more »

mitsarasss
mitsarasss
4 years ago

@gencap
I am trying to find a driver that works for Broadcom 802.11n Wireless SDIO Adapter. I tried all drivers I found on the net, but still no luck.
Can you help me out bro? Thanks

Eli Landes
Eli Landes
4 years ago

http://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_324845.html
is this the better model (option I) ?

Fossxplorer
Fossxplorer
4 years ago

+@Eli Landes
I wonder the same @gencap
Are you saying this also comes with 64-bits BIOS so we can install Linux? 🙂

SAS
SAS
4 years ago

Hi all ,
been trying to install ubuntu server ( 16.04 / 14.04 ), onboard fast ethernet not detect , are there any work around about this situation ? running well with ubuntu desktop … 🙁

SAS
SAS
4 years ago


Will try once more , and trying to reset my router before installation , when same situation happen will reinstall desktop version and competly convert to server version …:(

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

Just an update on Geek’s Wintel W8 Pro. I ordered 10 more and they were seized by US Customs and Border Patrol. They could not find any illegal aliens so they are now checking all “TV BOXES” as declared on the shipping paperwork from China to US. 6 weeks later I got a 7 page letter from them saying they were seized not detained. The reason given was a trademark violation printed on the bottom of the box that is for Microsoft Windows 10. It is sworn to be an illegal trademark by Microsoft. They give you several options I… Read more »

Gennaro Capuozzo
Gennaro Capuozzo
4 years ago

@eli landers: IMHO, the “I” (first) model has been designed more accurately and its WiFi performs way better than the other. Gearbest answered my inquiry saying that they’re selling the “good” model (the one with the INET-T8 board). Anyway, the bottom of the enclosure in their pictures seems to be the other one: the INET-T8 model has four rubber feed hiding the screws, while the “cheap” model has no screws at all and just one little hole. You can open the enclosure with a suction cup. @fossexplorer: The 2 models run a 64 bits UEFI which can run _signed_ EFI… Read more »

gencap
gencap
4 years ago

@eli landers: IMHO, the “I” (first) model has been designed more accurately and its WiFi performs way better than the other. Gearbest answered my inquiry saying that they’re selling the “good” model (the one with the INET-T8 board). Anyway, the bottom of the enclosure in their pictures seems to be the other one: the INET-T8 model has four rubber feet hiding the screws, while the “cheap” model has no screws at all and just one little hole. You can open the enclosure with a suction cup. @fossexplorer: The 2 models run a 64 bits UEFI which can run _signed_ EFI… Read more »

Fossxplorer
Fossxplorer
4 years ago

In the comments section on Gearbest, they state both USB ports are 2.0 🙁
I find it strange.

kubik256
kubik256
4 years ago

One USB is 2.0 and the other is 3.0 😉

If you’ll get your Wintel MiniPC, don’t ever turn off “GOP driver” in BIOS setup!
I’ve bricked mine right this way …and now still searching for solution, BIOS reset and backup battery disconnect is not working as usual 🙁

SAS
SAS
4 years ago

Dear all,
USB 3.0 onboard speed only as usb 2.0 on ubuntu 16.04 , been testing on windows 10 with crystaldisk my enternal ssd could run at full speed up to 470/450 MBps r/w … , are there any chance for ubuntu on usb 3.0 at full speed 🙁
Regard’s

M
M
3 years ago

My keyboard is not working can anyone help I bought3 diff kinds

Ivo
Ivo
3 years ago

Wintel Pro CX-W8 board.
Please I broke one SMD component.
Please help!! What is this smd component. I will replace it, but I don’t know what is it?
Look pictures. Thx.

comment image
comment image
comment image

Ivo
Ivo
3 years ago

Thanks for replay. I also think that is a capacitor.
I send message to Sunchip. I am waiting to respond.

Davide
Davide
3 years ago

@kubik256
Did you find a solution? I have the pc with linux on board. I disabled the gop drivers and no more signal from hdmi, but I can reach the machine via ssh, so it is still alive. If i press f2 while booting i’m sure it will go in the bios, so if somebody can guide me as a blind a can pherhaps reset the bios.

Ivo
Ivo
3 years ago

@Davide
I read that we have to flash BIOS. So, I order USB programator to flash BIOS on board.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=CH341A+24+25+Series
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=SOIC8+SOP8+Flash+Chip+IC+Test+Clip

So, I am waiting items from ebay to come.

But, when I remove heat-sink I broken one component on board.
Now I have a another problem. I don’t know what component is it and which value?

Please If someone can help with identify component on board?

comment image

kubik256
kubik256
3 years ago

@Davide
No luck for now… I’m searching for some BIOS screenshots coz I also prefer your “blind” way instead of flashing BIOS in programator 😉

If somebody has screenshots of BIOS, please send it here!
Many thanks 😉

Davide
Davide
3 years ago

Yes. If someone could give us some screenshots of the bios would be really great!

Davide
Davide
3 years ago

I don’t even remember which key I have used to enter the bios. F2? F11? Del? I don’t know. I remember i firse screen with few options then i touched something and i went in advanced options. Here if i remember we can press F9 to reset to defaults and then F10 to sve and exit. If this is true we must just jave to know the key to enter the bios and whick key we have to press to go to advanced.

gencap
gencap
3 years ago

@Davide: @Kubik256: 1) To enter the firmware menues you have to hit ‘ESC’ at powerup (several times); at this time, if you hit ‘ENTER’ you go straight to Win10 loader (“Continue”). 2) Press CURSOR-DOWN 5 times and press ENTER (Setup Utility); you land in “Main” tab where you can change language and date/time. 3) Hit CURSOR-RIGHT to show “Advanced” tab (without hitting ‘ENTER’!). 4) Press CURSOR-DOWN to highlight “Video Configuration”, and hit ENTER to show that section. 5) You should have “GOP Driver” settings highlighted, so you could press ‘F5’ or ‘F6’ (Change) to re-enable it; I didn’t ever try… Read more »

gencap
gencap
3 years ago

@Davide:
@Kubik256:

A nice shortcut or alternative:

1) ESC, ESC, ESC … ESC at powerup;
2) 5*CURSOR-DOWN + ENTER (Setup Utility)
3) 1*CURSOR-LEFT (without ENTER) (Exit tab)
4) 3*CURSOR-DOWN + ENTER (Load Optimal Defaults)
5) 3*CURSOR-UP + ENTER (Exit saving changes)

I think that the “Optimal Defaults” should have the “GOP Driver” enabled…

GC

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

A friend just had a mini pc from china taken at customs for trademark violation. “HDMI” THIS TIME, SO NOW THEY ARE TARGETTING anything with a HDMI tademark. This was clearly a mini computer not a tv box.

kubik256
kubik256
3 years ago

@gencap Many many thanks for a great post… I’ve tried it about 10 times, but no luck for now 🙁 Can you please look if there is YES/NO question prompt after you press F10? … and if is YES highlighted by default? Good advice: Don’t ever try to turn it off!!! I’ve already disassembly whole box, and unlike the traditional PC, there is no BIOS reset jumper and remove CMOS battery and short the pins also not working. So there is absolutely no emergency way to fix critical settings in BIOS 🙁 If you are wondering why I’ve disabled this…… Read more »

Davide
Davide
3 years ago

gencap : @Davide: @Kubik256: A nice shortcut or alternative: 1) ESC, ESC, ESC … ESC at powerup; 2) 5*CURSOR-DOWN + ENTER (Setup Utility) 3) 1*CURSOR-LEFT (without ENTER) (Exit tab) 4) 3*CURSOR-DOWN + ENTER (Load Optimal Defaults) 5) 3*CURSOR-UP + ENTER (Exit saving changes) I think that the “Optimal Defaults” should have the “GOP Driver” enabled… GC Thnak you very much for the help, but…here I have the same situation as @kubik256 …! Can you check if there is some question prompt we have to answer? Another question…I saw in a some screenshots on the web that pressing F9 will load… Read more »

gencap
gencap
3 years ago

@Davide, @Kubik256:

Good news!

‘F9’ works as supposed: it loads the Optimal defaults and prompts with ‘YES’ highlighted;
‘F10’ prompts you for “Save and EXIT”; it highlights the ‘YES’ option too.

To wrap up, while in ‘Setup Utility’, ‘F9’+ENTER and ‘F10’+ENTER should be the right recipe.

Could you confirm that, please?

GC

kubik256
kubik256
3 years ago

@gencap
I’ve tried many times new steps with F9 and F10, but still no luck 🙁

1) ESC, ESC, ESC … ESC at powerup;
2) 5*CURSOR-DOWN + ENTER (Setup Utility)
3) F9 + ENTER (Load Optimal Defaults)
4) F10 + ENTER (Exit saving changes)

Ivo
Ivo
3 years ago
kubik256
kubik256
3 years ago

@Ivo
Hi, I think that there is no help from any expert, because it is almost impossible to measure capacitor value while it is connected in circuit. However these capacitors are usually used as filters, so good idea is to try to replace it by some low capacity… I think it should work and it should be safe to test 😉

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