MeLE PCG35 Apo Apollo Lake Mini PC Review – Part 3: Ubuntu 17.10

I completed the review of MeLE PCG35 Apo with Windows 10 Home a few days ago, and as promised, I’ve now installed the freshly released Ubuntu 17.10 in the Intel Celeron J3455 “Apollo Lake” mini PC. I’ll start by shortly explaining the step to install Ubuntu 17.10 in the M.2 slot, although you could also install it to the internal eMMC flash replacing Windows 10, then show what works and what does, and finally include a video reproducing the tests I usually do in Windows 10. How to Install Linux in MeLE PCG35 Apo This partially follows the procedure I used to run (not install) Ubuntu 16.04 on MeLE PCG03 Apo mini PC. First you’ll need to download the ISO of your choice (ubuntu-17.10-desktop-am64.iso in my case), and prepare a bootable USB flash drive with the software of your choice be it Rufus, Startup Disk Creator or others. I did mine with Startup Disk Creator in my Ubuntu 16.04 computer […]

MeLE PCG35 Apo Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Home

Laptops and mini PCs powered by the new generation of Intel Gemini Lake processors are coming soon, but companies are still launching Apollo Lake based products with various features. MeLE PCG35 Apo mini PC is one of them, and what makes it interesting compared to most of the competition is support for 80mm M.2 SSDs and 2.5″ SATA drives, on top of featuring a Celeron J3455 processor, one of the most powerful of the family. I took photos of the mini PC, accessories, and internal design in the first part of the review, so I’ll report about my experience with Windows 10 Home, explain how to manage the different drives, and test stability under load. MeLE PCG35 Apo Setup, Drives Configuration, Display Settings Last time, I’ve showed how to install an M.2 SSD and 2.5″ SATA hard drive inside MeLE PCG35 Apo, so I just have to connect a few cables (HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, Power) and USB peripherals with USB […]

MeLE PCG35 Apo mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Teardown, and M.2 SSD / SATA HDD Installation

MeLE PCG35 Apo is a mini PC powered by Intel Pentium J3455, one of the most powerful Intel processors from Apollo Lake family, coupled with 4GB LPDDR3, 32GB eMMC flash and support for M.2 SSD and 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD. The company sent me a sample for review, and I’ll start by taking photos of the device, accessories, and internal design, as well as showing how to install an M.2 SSD and 2.5″ SATA drive, before publishing the second part of the review with Windows 10 at the end of next month. MeLE PCG35 Apo Unboxing The mini PC comes with the usual black package with gold fonts the company has used us to. The side shows the main specifications of the fanless mini PC. The mini PC, which comes with an aluminum heatsink shaped as number 6, ships with a 12V/2A power supply plus UK, AU, US, and EU plug adapter, a quick start guide, and a zip bag with […]

Testing KingDian N480 240 GB M.2 SSD in MeLE PCG03 Apo Mini PC

MeLE PCG03 Apo Apollo Lake mini PC supports M.2 80mm SSD’s, but at the time of the review I did not have such accessories, so I only tested the computer with its 32GB eMMC flash and external USB drives. I’ve now received Kingdian N480 240GB SSD courtesy of GearBest, so I’ll install it in the mini PC, test it in Windows 10, and install Ubuntu 16.04. KingDian N420 M.2 SSD Hardware Installation I’ve received a big carton box for the SSD, but finally the retail package is minimal. You’ll find the SSD and a screws in the package. You’ll note the device supports both M.2 Key B and Key M sockets. I’ve already explained how to open MeLE PCG03 Apo, basically loosen 6 screws, and then I just had to insert the SSD with the right orientation (check the 4 / 5 pins on each side), and use the screw already found inside to keep the M.2 card in place. […]

Running Ubuntu 16.04 on MeLE PCG03 Apo Mini PC

I completed my review of MeLE PCG03 Apo mini PC with Windows 10 about two weeks ago, and at the time when I tried Ubuntu, all I got was a black screen. MeLE said they would release an Ubuntu image for the board soon, so I did not investigate further. The company has now released Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop ISO via a link on Twitter together with (partial) instructions, and the company told me another company had worked on the image. I sent the link to Linuxium, as in the past MeLE or that other company used his work without asking. I turns out the ISO was identical to Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop ISO released in April last year.

Anyway, I still got the black screen issue using that image, and that’s because I first failed to find the option in the BIOS to change boot to Linux. When the mini PC starts, press the Esc key to enter Aptio Setup […]

MeLE PCG35 Apo mini PC is Powered by Intel Celeron J3455 “Desktop” Processor, Supports 2.5″ SATA Drives

Many Apollo Lake mini PCs have come to market recently, but most of those are based on N-series such as Celeron N3450 or Pentium N4200, which are normally designed for what the company’s refer to as “Mobile” devices referring to regular or 2-in-1 hybrid laptops, while the company also offer J-Series specifically designed for Desktop application with a higher TDP and CPU and GPU clocks. I’ve just completed my review of MeLE PCG03 Apo mini PC based on Celeron N3450 processor, but MeLE is about to launch a similarly spec’d PCG35 Apo model with a faster Celeron J3455 desktop processor instead, and support for 2.5″ SATA drives. MeLE PCG03 Apo specifications (bold highlights show differences with PCG03 Apo): SoC – Intel Celeron J3455 quad core “Apollo Lake” processor @ 1.50 / 2.30 GHz with a 12 EU Intel HD Graphics 500 @ 250/750 MHz (10W TDP) System Memory – 4GB LPDDR3 (soldered) Storage – 32GB eMMC flash (soldered), 1x M.2 […]

Review of MeLE PCG03 Apo Fanless 4K Mini PC – Part 2: Windows 10, Benchmarks, and Kodi

MeLE PCG03 Apo is an update to MeLE PCG03 mini PC, and one of the rare Apollo Lake mini PCs to be both fanless, and support HDMI 2.0 output. I’ve already checked out the hardware design in “MeLE PCG03 Apo Fanless Apollo Lake mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown“, so in the second part of the review I tested Windows 10, focusing on HDMI 2.0 features, audio pass-through in Kodi, and performance and stability tests to see how well it compared to similar actively cooled mini PCs such as Voyo V1 VMac mini. MeLE PCG03 Apo Setup and System Information I connected a USB 3.0 drive to one of the USB 3.0 ports, USB keyboard and mouse, and RF dongle for a wireless gamepad to the other USB 2.0/3.0 ports, as well as USB type C to micro USB adapter itself connected to a micro USB OTG adapter in order to add a USB flash drive. Finally […]

MeLE PCG03 Apo Fanless Apollo Lake mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

You’ll now easily find mini PCs powered by Intel Apollo Lake processor, but many of them are actively cooled, and only support HDMI 1.4 output limited to 4K @ 30 Hz. MeLE PCG03 Apo, an update to the company’s PCG03 fanless mini PC, is powered by an Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor, support HDMI 2.0 video output up to 4K @ 60 Hz, and is passively cooled. On top of that, it can also be upgraded with an M.2 SSD. The company has sent me a review for sample, and while I’ll focus on testing HDMI 2.0 support, audio pass-through, and whether the mini PC can handle high loads without CPU throttling in the second part of the review, I’ll first have a look at the hardware design today. MeLE PCG03 Apo Unboxing I’ve received the device in the usual black retail package showing the key features  with 4K UHD, HDMI 2.0, dual band WiFi, and USB type C. […]