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Mini-PC runs Ubuntu on quad-core Bay Trail Atom

Jul 11, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 2,073 views

Mele has launched a “Star Cloud PCG03” mini-PC that runs Ubuntu on a quad-core Atom Z3735F with 2GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, three USB ports, Ethernet, and WiFi.

Shenzhen Mele Digital Technology Ltd. has released an Ubuntu 14.04 equipped Star Cloud PCG03 mini-PC based on its earlier Windows-based Mini PC PCG09 and Mini PC PCG03. Like these models, as well as Mele’s first Ubuntu-based device, the Star Cloud PCG02 stick PC, the new Star Cloud PCG03 mini-PC runs on a quad-core, 1.33GHz (1.83GHz turbo) Atom Z3735F, a tablet-focused SoC from Intel’s 22nm Bay Trail generation.

Star Cloud PCG03s front and rear views
(click images to enlarge)

The Star Cloud PCG03 has twice the onboard storage of the Windows-based PCG03, but lacks its Bluetooth 4.0 radio or Gigabit Ethernet port. Both PCG03 models are very similar to the Windows-based PCG09 except that they are smaller, and lack the PCG09’s support for 2.5-inch HDDs and SSDs.

(click to enlarge)

Compared to the 100.17 Euro ($111) PCG02 stick computer, the similarly Ubuntu equipped Star Cloud PCG03 is larger (150 x 120 x 40mm) and pricier ($142). It also has twice the storage, with 64GB of eMMC 5.0, and has a microSD card that supports cards up to 512GB, four times the amount supported on the PCG02.

Relative to the PCG02, the Star Cloud PCG03 adds two more USB ports for a total of three, one of which is USB 3.0. In addition, a VGA port has been supplied along with the HDMI 1.4 port, supporting dual independent displays.

Otherwise the Star Cloud PCG03 has very similar features. These include 2GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, a 10/100 Ethernet port, and 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n with an external antenna. Other features include an audio jack, a Kensington security lock, and a 12V DC-in power jack. The fanless device runs at 12 Watts, and offers a modular design for upgrading to new Intel SoCs, says Mele.

Star Cloud PCG03 illustration, showing its modular architecture
(click image to enlarge)

As illustrated above, the PCG03’s internal electronics are based on a carrier board along with an SODIMM-style computer-on-module. This allows it to be configured with a range of processors and soldered-on RAM.

Further information

The Ubuntu-equipped Star Cloud PCG03 is available at AliExpress for 128.64 Euros — currently about $142 — with free shipping to the U.S. For now, at least, Mele’s website lists only the Windows 8.1 based PCG03 and PCG09, not the Star Cloud model.

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