Home > Android, Hardware, Intel Atom, Testing, Video, Windows 10 > Review of GOLE1 mini PC with 5″ Display – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

Review of GOLE1 mini PC with 5″ Display – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

GOLE1 is a portable mini PC running Windows 10 and Android 5.1, featuring a 5″ touchsceen display, and powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” processor. The device was launched on Indiegogo, and the project raised close to $300,000. I’ve now received an early sample with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage for review, with – I was told – a 1,800 mAh battery instead of the 2,600 mAh battey backers will receive. I’ll do a 2 or 3 parts review, starting by checking out the hardware, before testing both Windows 10 and Android 5.1 on the platform.

GOLE1 Unboxing

The device is packed into a simple white box with “GOLE1 Designed by GOLE” string.
GOLE1_Package

The mini PC ships with a 5V/3A power supply which should be powerful enough to connect a USB 3.0 hard drive, an HDMI cable, and a user’s manual in English.

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Click to Enlarge

The device looks a little like a mini portable TV because of its shape an antenna. The top features the 5″ touchscreen display, as well as volume, Home/Windows, and power buttons. A micro USB port, USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 ports, and a micro SD slot can be found on one of the sides, while the rear panel includes the WiFi antenna, a 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI 1.4 output, two more USB 2.0 ports, a Fast Ethernet port, and the DC jack.

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Click to Enlarge

I planned to show a quick boot demo with Windows 10 and Android 5.1 in the unboxing video, but the battery was depleted, so the unboxing / hands-on video is little less interesting than expected.

GOLE1 Teardown

GOLE1 metallic enclosure can be opened by taking out of four rubber pad on the bottom, and loosening four screws. The bottom cover does not come off that easily, so I used a sharp tool and inserted into one of the ventilation holes to gently lift it up.

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Click to Enlarge

Cooling is achieved with a large heatsink covering Atom processor, the memory and a Samsung eMMC flash. Finally, I did get a 2,600 mAh battery if the markings are to be believed [Update: the company has now double confirmed I truly got a 1,800 mAh battery, but they applied the mass production sticker on it]. I wanted to completely remove the board from the case, so I removed the battery, and loosened 6 more screws, but I did not come easily, and I did not want to risk damaging the unit at this early stage.

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Click to Enlarge

We can still have a closer look at the board and check out some of the chips. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity is achieved via an Ampak AP6234 module supporting dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and BT 4.0, with an external antenna plugged into a connector (i.e. not soldered). Davicom DM9621ANP USB 2.0 to Fast Ethernet controller is used in conjunction with PHC SMD-16003NL transformer to provide wired network connectivity. Other ICs includes Genesys Logic GL850G USB 2.0 hub controller, and ATMLH602-46D which should an I2C EEPROM to store data like the MAC address.

If you’ve missed the crowdfunding campaign, you can (pre-) purchase GOLE1 mini PC starting at $99 with 2GB RAM / 32GB flash, and up to $144 with 4GB/64GB on GearBest (GBGF4 coupon may lower the price further). I have not found the device for sale on other websites yet.

Update: Part 2 of GOLE1 review with Windows 10 and Android 5.1 has been posted.

  1. R. D.
    July 21st, 2016 at 17:35 | #1

    It is my understanding that a magnetically attached external drive enclosure is an option.
    Is there a pogo pin connector on the unit’s base?

  2. July 21st, 2016 at 17:37 | #2

    @R. D.
    No pogo pin connector. I think they must be using the USB 3.0 port on the side for the HDD dock.

  3. Ray
    July 21st, 2016 at 18:53 | #3

    Ouch … only 10/100M Ethernet? With a USB Bridge chip behind a Hub?

    The Indiegogo campaign clearly says “Gigabit Ethernet”.

    If this is still true for the actually released model, then they outright lied on their campaign page.

  4. July 21st, 2016 at 19:38 | #4

    @Ray
    The user manual also reads “Gigabit Ethernet” (See second picture).

  5. Mrc
    July 21st, 2016 at 20:14 | #5

    Hi,
    Is the wifi module AC and do you know if it support miracast or it is used on other box?
    because for me it’s first time that see this brand

  6. July 21st, 2016 at 20:30 | #6

    @Mrc
    Together with Realtek, Ampak (based on Broadcom) is probably the most popular solution for TV boxes and mini PCs, at least among Chinese manufacturers. Miracast is a software thing, so provided the firmware supports it, then it should work.

    The module only support dual band 802.11b/g/n, no 802.11ac.

  7. tarwin
    July 21st, 2016 at 22:12 | #7

    In that case miracast would be iffy at best (I’ve experienced more issues with single-band devices than with dual-band ones.
    Nice to see they made it though (given how a successful crowdfunding campaign doesn’t always result in actual/promised products).

    • Zio
      July 21st, 2016 at 23:01 | #8

      On campaign they said 2600 mha battery.. Gigabyte ethernet and ac wifi.
      Pins on the bottom to connect HDD.

  8. Roger
    July 22nd, 2016 at 08:53 | #9

    What you seem to have there is a device with the same spec as the announced Pipo X3 from mid April, rather than the claimed Indiegogo spec of the GOLE1.

  9. July 22nd, 2016 at 09:31 | #10

    @Roger
    It’s quite possible. That would be pretty dumb of their part though to send PiPo X3 for a GOLE1 review…

  10. Ray
    July 22nd, 2016 at 16:56 | #11

    They just posted an update to their campaign with videos from their assembly line.

    In the first video at 2:00 you can see the PCB. This looks absolutely the same as the image posted by CNX. The Davicom USB/Ethernet bridge chip is in the same place. NO GIGABIT on GOLE1!!!

    So, they are actually trying to rip us all off and hope nobody will notice.

  11. jim stephens
    July 24th, 2016 at 15:13 | #12

    The price went from $144 in the US on Gearbest to $138.59 with the code.

  12. Chuck
    August 9th, 2016 at 17:14 | #13

    @jim stephens
    with the code tenoff you have to pay only $129.60

  13. crnibenko
    May 23rd, 2017 at 13:03 | #14

    What is the value (code) of a yellow capacitor next to the jack for charging … thanks

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