While I've been less than charitable about Mini-PCs in the past, I had to eat my words somewhat at Electronica 2022. The MeLE Quieter2Q Mini-PC was on display at the OKdo stand, and it packs a lot into a tiny form factor.
@electromaker.io Silent, SSD slot, Comes with Windows, what's not to love? #raspberrypi #minipc #linux #raspberry #kalilinux #raspberrypizero #pcb #raspberrypi #minipc #linux #raspberry #kalilinux #raspberrypizero #pcb #homeautomation #smarthome #technology #automation #security #smarthometechnology #homesecurity ♬ original sound - Electromaker
The processor here is the Intel Celeron J4125 (Gemini Lake), a basic but capable CPU that isn't going to come close to its Jasper Lake counterpart but also isn't going to cost as much either. You also get 8GB of pre-soldered RAM, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2, and 128GB eMMC storage.
Most of my gripes with Mini-PCs stem from my background in physical computing. In short, when I see boards like these, I immediately think, "Ok, good, but where are the GPIO pins?"
It's a fair question when there are super-powered boards like the LattePanda 3 Delta offering all the same perks as any Mini-PC for a comparable price but with a broken out mainboard perfect for a variety of enclosures and of course, the onboard coprocessor for working with GPIO pins using the Arduino IDE.
This Is Not the Sbc You Are Looking For
Many have pointed out, however, that not everyone thinks like this. There are many applications where a small, quiet, and tiny x86 PC is perfect. For example, the MeLE Quieter2Q supports blisteringly fast nVME SSD via its M.2 slot. It also has 4 USB 3.0 ports, and can output dual 4k HDMI. That's a lot of potential storage, both fast and slow access, and a lot of signage, from a box just 13 x 8 x 2 cm.
This is a cheap and lightweight computer to use as a lower-powered desktop device, or as part of a networking setup, or for digital signage. In those use cases, you probably want something that works out of the box, and, crucially, comes with a box. Most SBCs ship without an enclosure. Some don't even include a power cord. This has both, including a Kensington Security Slot.
If you are looking for a cheap, silent, and powerful PC that ships with Windows 10 pro, and comes with an enclosure, you cannot go wrong with the MeLE Quieter2Q. For the full specs, including a purchase link, head to the OKdo website.