It would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but you can now buy a computer capable of running Windows or Linux and shipped to your door for just $65.99 (with coupon GBi5) thanks to i5 mini PC based on Bay Trail processor (not Core i5 as the name may have implied), and the usual 2GB RAM and 32GB storage combination.
i5 mini PC specifications:
- SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz / 1.83 GHz with Intel HD graphics
- System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L
- Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD card slot
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4, and VGA
- Audio I/F – HDMI, 3.5mm earphone jack
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Misc – Power Button, power LED
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
- Dimensions – 13.00 x 7.50 x 2.00 cm
- Weight – 348 grams
i5 mini PC is not the first Intel platform below $70, but the others I have in mind use the TV stick form factors such as MeegoPad T02 or the more recent Star Cloud PCG02U running Ubuntu 14.04.
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.
Any word on who’s the manufacturer? Thanks
I searched for it before posting, and I found an Egreat i5 mini PC with Atom Z3735F processor, but it’s clearly a different hardware. So right now I don’t know.
The motherboard: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Quad-Core-Z3735F-Z375G-Windows8-1-MINI-PC-win8-tablet-pc-motherboard/32562574340.html?ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_8,searchweb201602_4_10037_10017_507_10032_401,searchweb201603_3&btsid=7ca5799c-f415-43c0-a66c-637017ac6b9a
Without Win licence it is not a good offer. Recently I purchased dual boot tablet (Teclast x80) with similar config except Cherry Trail SoC, of course no VGA and ethernet port, but with nice 1920×1200 IPS display and mini HDMI output. And I paid in promotion $68! So for now buying ARM based media player for more than $60 is wasting of money.
Wow, good find. It looks like it could be the one. The board is more expensive though.
It’s not a fair fight between mini PCs and tablets because of Microsoft silly licensing policy: free for small tablets, $25 (or so) for mini PCs. Recent ARM media players do have the advantage of supporting HDMI 2.0 over similarly priced Intel platforms.
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
– small tablets – compete with Android/iOS
– mini PCs – compete with Windows on large PCs
Do these small computers work the same way as normal PCs in the sense of installing operating systems? For example could I put an Ubuntu image on a memory stick and boot from it? Or attach a USB DVD drive and boot from a Windows 7 DVD and install the OS that way?
True, that’s why some Chineese manufacturers sell their Win boxes with small often useless screen – to avoid Win license.
why not? if your going to be installed OS has needed drivers for this device’s peripherals, then you can install and run it. it’s a PC with x64 CPU.
@simver @cortex-a72 I understand Windows 7 does not support Bay Trail processors, so you’ll have to use Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. You’ll also need the drivers for the mini PC, which reminds me I need to ask to GearBest. Linux ISO will boot, but it’s not straightforward, first because of 32-bit and 64-bit UEFI issues, and then Intel has not done much to support Bay Trail (and Cherry Trail) processors in Linux, so you may not have WiFi, Bluetooth, or even audio working, unless you use some of the community made ISO (search for linuxium in Google or this… Read more »
@onebir tell me, if you were selling your OS, you would have other “logic”? would you compete with yourself and give away market for competitors? Don’t think so. Another: if the device can run high resolution screen, then it is an ordinary desktop/workstation, so it is licensed appropriately. Noone forces you to buy it. run your free ubuntu and that’s all. And finally, small PC’s don’t compete with their large brothers, they have different performance capabilities overall. The main competitors for Windows always were and will be the previous versions of Windows. I would not be surprised if MS just… Read more »
A nice little board. VGA addition is great, as many low cost monitors still only come with VGA (along with older ones and projectors as well.
I personally hate the external antenna though.
I wonder if it using metal or plastic chassis. Also how is the heat dissipation. On most minipc its pretty crappy.
lol “i5” is kinda misleading… and that’s the old Intel Inside sticker from 2001 that was used on Celerons iirc
looks like the top casing is metallic.
Atom? Isn’t Atom not supported officially by Intel on Linux, making it not suitable for linux installations?
it would not be suitable because the bios is usually 32-bit, but here it is stated 64
bits and then you can only have problems with wifi and audio
Not only is Atom not supported by Intel on Linux. Intel is killing the Atom line period.
And have a look here as to why cheap Atom based systems mostly run x64 based OS’s with 32-bit UEFI https://blogs.intel.com/evangelists/2015/07/22/why-cheap-systems-run-32-bit-uefi-on-x64-systems/
This is basically the final nail in the coffin of Intel Atom. I’d never consider purchasing these devices at this point even if I wanted to run Windows 10 on them…which I’d never do anyways.
What do you need intel support for Linux? Makes no sense.
Ofc it makes sense if Intel does indeed support Linux.
2MB RAM is too small. Atom’s of this ilk still don’t work properly with the Linux Kernel. Good luck finding Windows drivers for this thing. The spec says Win 8.1, this hints that even if you can find drivers for 8.1, Win 10 drivers are likely out of the question. Good luck trying to get the UEFI to allow a smooth Linux installation. Overall, unless you want to put a significant amount of work into these Atom boxes – just stay away.
Just because Intel isn’t official supporting Linux on new Atom releases doesn’t mean the Linux community can’t… and they have https://www.linux.com/news/linux-41-speeds-intel-atom-socs (and that was a year ago).
Guess that’s why it has 2GB 😛
It is the same processor that is used in an Intel Compute Stick which can have Ubuntu preloaded: http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/hardware/201504-18282/
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Any updates about producer?
I’ve only asked about the firmware, and it will take time because of the dragon boat festival in China.
To find the manufacturer, somebody need to buy a sample and try to find clues: MAC address prefix, markings on the board….
Unless the Aliexpress seller of the board is also the manufacturer: Qotom -> http://www.qotom.com/zhongduanji/view_340.html
That board is 420 RMB ($64) according to that page, which seems a little high considered the full PC with accessories, and shipping is $66 to $69.
A very good point.
Look at the kernel bugzilla entry 109051. Especially comment 375 by Len Brown, an Intel developer (and the one assigned the bug), https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=109051#c375
Tere is also Tronsmart Ara IZ37 with similar specs (i Z3735F 2GB RAM, 32GB Flash, LAN WiFi etc.) for $64 on Geekbuying.
They claim the Windows 10 license is authorised.
Item code 348870
Good find. The Windows 10 license is supposed to cost $25 for this type of device, so there’s almost no way a proper license is included, otherwise we’d see $40 to $50 Intel Atom Z3735F mini PCs.
Drivers for i5 mini PC: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-otRcubD2DtenJmMmdUdS1EWGM/view?usp=sharing
I have one of these same , I need to install windows 7 , someone help me please as I should ?
Sorry, no Windows 7 on Intel Cherry Trail hardware.
which operating system you recommend me
Just use the one installed on the machine. You could also try to update to Windows 10, and if it failed re-install Windows 8.x with the drivers linked above.
A consultation friend to reinstall Windows 10 as I do?
Hi, It is possible to install windows 7 on it.
You can’t install Windows 7.
It should be possibly to reinstall Windows 10, provided you either get the Windows 10 firmware image for the mini PC, or find the necessary drivers.
exact model of the lan card? please!