MeLE unveiled Start Cloud PCG02U Ubuntu TV stick powered by Intel Atom Z3735F processor with 1 to 2GB RAM and 32 GB flash a few weeks ago. The TV stick is a variation of PCG02 TV stick running Windows 10, but featuring an Ubuntu orange case, and running Ubuntu 14.04. The company has now launched the 2GB RAM version for $69.99 shipped on their Aliexpress store.
MeLE PCG02U specifications:
- SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz / 1.83 GHz with Intel HD graphics Gen 7 (2W TDP)
- System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
- Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 128 GB
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
and Bluetooth 4.0with external antenna
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB port (for power only)
- Misc – Power button, Kensington lock
- Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
- Dimensions – 115 x 49 x 16.5 mm
The TV stick ships with Ubuntu 14.04.4. Since HDMI audio drivers have now been ported to mainline Linux for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processors, it should be easier to upgraded than before when such TV sticks would have to be stuck with Linux 3.16. I’m not sure what exact image MeLE is using there, or if they have done anything themselves on the software side, but Linuxium has very recently released a Ubuntu 16.04 image for Bay Trail mini PCs so it should definitively be possible to upgrade to a newer version on PCG02U too.
I’ve never reviewed PCG02 myself, but their earlier MeLE PCG01 TV stick had very good build quality. Provided they’ve kept the name components, the company has also gone very aggressive with PCG02U pricing, as MeLE PCG02 (Windows 10) is now selling for $145 on Aliexpress.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
Will this be the launching price? 70$ is the half of the windows version. Can’t be the windows licence is so expensive.
Maybe. They also often have discounts on their Aliexpress store rather than always selling at low price, so it’s possible the windows version sells for less from time to time. I think the windows license costs $25 for this type of product.
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
On Aliexpress page there is no word about bluetooth. Does ubuntu model has it ?
Any idea why it’s Ubuntu 14.04, not a more recent one?
The Windows 10 version is now $108.75 by the way. Time limited discount as usual for MeLE.
You’re right. I’ll remove that. Maybe that’s one way they chose to decrease the cost.
Other companies who sold Ubuntu TV stick simply took Linuxium image, and loaded it. Ubuntu 14.04 is still not too bad as it’s supported until Aril 2019. Intermediate versions like 14.10, 15.04 15.10 and only supported for 6 months if my memory serves me well. Ubuntu 16.04 went out a few days ago, so they may not have made a working image for it yet.
I never had a device like this ubuntu stick, so I would like to ask if is possible to use it without a TV, like a server ?
Yes, it’s possible, except possibly for the first time setup, as I’m not sure ssh is enabled.
I would buy it for work to replace my laptop, but I need to know if it has a full fledge Ubuntu and if I could use Remmina, Libreoffice, Simplescan and if it use the same repos of any Ubuntu box and if performance would be tolerable (2GB RAM should be fine: my laptop has 4 and I can do way more of what I need, the CPU worries me more).
I think there’ll be a review pretty soon.