Many Apollo Lake mini PCs have come to market, but it’s still pretty hard to find a fanless consumer mini PC based on Intel Apollo Lake processor, and even harder if you also want HDMI 2.0 output for 4K @ 60 Hz support. MeLE has been working on an upgrade of their PCG03 mini PC that brings all those features. PCG03 Apo fanless mini PC is powered by an Intel Celeron N3350 dual core processor with 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and features HDMI 2.0 and VGA ports.
MeLE PCG03 Apo mini PC specifications:
- SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core “Apollo Lake” processor @ 1.10 / 2.20 GHz with 12 EU Intel HD Graphics 500 (6W TDP)
- System Memory – 4GB DDRL3L (soldered)
- Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.0 flash (soldered), 1x M.2 SSD slot, 1x SD slot
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, and VGA
- Audio – Via HDMI, 3.5mm audio combo jack
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 3x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB3.0 Type-C port
- Misc – Power button, Kensington Lock, 75x75mm VESA mount support, BIOS features: PXE boot, Wake-on-LAN, BIOS reset button, auto power-on after power loss
- Power Supply – Input: AC 100-240V, Output: DC 12V / 2A with UL, UK, GS, and SAA plugs
- Dimensions – 150 x 103 x 37 mm
- Weight – 500 grams
The mini PC will run Windows 10 Home (64-bit) with English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Polish, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Russian and Arabic languages pre-installed. Linux support is not a given on Apollo Lake mini PCs, as I’ve recently found out with Beelink AP42 whose BIOS does not support Linux, despite being advertised with Linux support. Maybe there’s a better chance of Linux support with MeLE, since they’ve sold Ubuntu mini PCs in the past.
MeLE PCG03 Apo is now listed for $199 on Aliexpress, but I’ve been told it will be on sale for $159 with free shipping by DHL to the US, Canada, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
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.
16 Replies to “MeLE PCG03 Apo is a Fanless Apollo Lake mini PC with HDMI 2.0 Output”
Why are they still including a VGA port on these? It’s a complete waste. I would much rather have a second digital output.
You can convert HDMI/DP to VGA with a $3 adaptor: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/UNSTINCER-HDMI-to-VGA-Cable-Converter-Adapter-Male-To-Female-Converter-Adapter-1080P-Digital-to-Analog/32797226214.html
You can’t convert VGA to *anything* useful. Please stop including VGA! Much rather have a second digital output.
Hopefully N4200 version is coming soon!
8GB would be even better.
My main concern would be on performance impact of the fanless design and how they stay within the thermal limits.
Or will this be yet another box that suddenly slows down due to thermal throttling?
I’m expecting a review sample, so I’ll test thermal throttling with HWInfo64 + Aida64 stress test.
I personally find the VGA port very useful as I have VGA cables in walls for my projector (no HDMI :-().
I tried a converter some time ago and got the colors distorted so that it wasn’t pleasant to look at the resulting picture any more.
There aren’t many options for kodi with VGA output currently and only with Intel CPUs.
Well, if you step outside of your bubble, you’ll find out VGA is still useful in some areas (projectors come to mind). Also, cheap monitors still come only with vga.
And same is still true for many/most other projectors. I exchanged my laptop exactly 15 years ago for one with digital video output only (to work in ‘docking mode’ with an external large LCD) and realized that I forgot to order the DVI-to-VGA adapter back then days later at a presentation in customer’s conference room. Years later I had to buy a miniDP-to-VGA adapter and now it’s time for USB-C-to-VGA since… projectors.
And then it should be noted that there exist el cheapo DVI-I/HDMI/DP-to-VGA passive adapters that all require the graphics card internally recognizing the need for analog video somewhere behind cable/adapter (I believe that’s backwards compatibility with DVI-A/DVI-I and the graphics card generates analog video on its own already) since otherwise you would need an expensive active converter that converts digital display output to analog and has to deal correctly with both EDID info and color transformation (RGB vs. YPbPr).
I would believe many people buying those $3 ‘*-to-VGA’ passive adapters that will not work on their devices simply throw the adapter away neither opening a dispute on Ali nor knowing that they would need an active converter anyway. ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ as usual.
1. Pity it’s not with the Pentium 4200. I wonder why?
2. Does it have dual channel memory? I guess not, and it also is a pity, because this would improve the performance quite a lot.
3. Why did Mele base this on their old chassis design – PCG03, and not the new one – PCG60? Why go back, after they have evolved to a better thermal design?
Here is a reminder of these designs:
Do these Apollo Lake mini PC’s support HDMI CEC? Would be nice when using them as a media center.
And why on earth are they (Beelink AP34/AP42, Voyo V1) not supporting alternative OS’es? Beelink even falsely advertises with it (as mentioned somewhere else here on CNX). As I think this would be a beast with LibreELEC or something, especially with HDMI 2.0 (4k HEVC proof and such) and really future proof for a great price. In particular because you could run a bunch of other x86 software on it and it wouldn’t hurt these machines (something I can’t conveniently do on my current ARM hardware, Amlogic S905X box).
I’m thinking of stuff like running a full (Plex) media server on it at extremely low power or Tvheadend or any other server software I want (seeing as it has the x86 architecture).
Anyway, for now none of these Apollo Lake mini PC’s are a buy for me.
Answer to Linux support question:
Some updates to the specifications:
* Upgrade SoC from “N3350” to “N3450”, it is pin-to-pin on the PCB board so that it does not take too much time to appply it in the first massive production in end of this month.
* Upgrade power supply from “12V 1A” to “12V 2A”, it will make sure the stable and full performacne when it bursts to higher frequency sometimes.
I’ve added the link to Aliexpress shop. MeLE PCG03 Apo will be sold for $159 with free shipping.
Now the price shown is $199, but please wait as this afternoon the price will drop to $159.
Well priced for the specs. and compete favourably on the market. Possible best mini pc box for price
How is the HDMI implemented ?
Is it DP > third party chip > HDMI or true HDMI 2.0 hdcp 2.2 ?
There has been a lot of trouble with Intel NUC’s using this method eg hd audio pass through.
Intel have released FW updates to fix these some of the issues. I’m guessing that we wouldn’t be able to use the FW updates from Intel and will be left to mele to do that and com what I have seen on their website support is next to none existent.
That was a timely comment. I’ve just published the teardown of the mini PC: http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/06/08/mele-pcg03-apo-fanless-apollo-lake-mini-pc-review-part-1-unboxing-and-teardown/
I’ve been looking at the Vorke V1 Plus but just spotted this as a possible alternative.
Does anybody know if HD audio formats are supported?