ECS Quietly Adds PB01CF Ultra Compact PC to Lineup: a 5 Oz Apollo Lake Desktopby Anton Shilov on May 5, 2017 11:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Apollo Lake
ECS has quietly added a new small x86 desktop computer into its lineup. The ECS PB01CF ultra-compact PC is powered by Intel’s Apollo Lake platform and uses an enclosure the size smaller than most wallets. The computer is clearly not a powerhouse, but it supports all the multimedia capabilities that Intel’s latest low-power chips have to offer.
The ECS PB01CF is based on Intel’s Celeron N3350 processor, a mobile SoC with two Goldmont cores clocked at 1.1-2.4 GHz, 2 MB cache and Intel’s HD Graphics 500 (Gen9) iGPU with 12 EUs. The SoC supports Intel's new multimedia playback engine that supports hardware-accelerated playback of 4K video from HEVC and VP9-based sources. The system comes equipped with 2 GB of LPDDR4 memory, 32 GB eMMC storage (not a lot, if you want to store UHD videos locally without using an external hard drive, but enough for streaming) and runs Windows 10 Home. As for connectivity, everything looks fairly standard here: a 802.11ac Wi-Fi module, a GbE controller, a microSD card reader, two USB Type-A headers, and one 4Kp30-capable HDMI output to connect to displays or TVs (note that the system does not have any analog connectors for monitors or audio). The PB01CF measures 7×7×3.1 cm and is powered by an external 24 W adapter.
|Brief Specifications of ECS 5-Ounce PC|
2C/2T at 1.1 – 2.4 GHz frequency, 2 MB cache, iGPU
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 500 (12 EUs) Gen9|
|Memory||2 GB LPDDR4|
|Storage||32 GB eMMC|
|Ethernet||Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connector|
|Display Outputs||1 × HDMI (up to 4Kp30)|
|USB||1 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps)
1 × USB 2.0 Type-A (480 Mbps)
|Dimensions||70 mm × 70 mm × 31 mm (0.15 liters, 5 ounces)|
|PSU||External 24 W|
|VESA Mounts||75 mm/100 mm|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
From a performance and connectivity point of view, the ECS PB01CF is somewhat behind the company’s LIVA Z computers, which are positioned as universal systems for office and media-centric applications. By contrast, the PB01CF is considerably smaller while offering 4K hardware-accelerate video playback, which makes it a viable solution for content streaming or digital signage. In fact, the latter is one the primary applications that ECS positions the PB01CF for, apart from being a cheap office PC attached to the backside of the display, of course. Meanwhile, when compared to Compute Stick systems, the PB01CF has more USB ports, a card reader, GbE and active cooling.
ECS has not publicly announced pricing of the PB01CF and large retailers as well as price search engines do not list the product in their databases. Moreover, at press time ECS’ web site did not host any manuals or BIOS updates for the PB01CF, which may indicate that the manufacturer has not launched the device yet. Given the fact that the PB01CF does not seem to be designed for general public, it is possible that the PC is only going to be available via special channels with ECS as an OEM - a common avenue for ECS' business.
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vladx - Friday, May 5, 2017 - linkExactly, even 2GB is plenty for some Plex/Kodi and Netflix.
close - Saturday, May 6, 2017 - linkMy Atom x5-Z8300, 2GB RAM (Win10 Home) tablet that I use for this exact purpose very happily slows down after filling all the available RAM, sometimes even accompanied by the "running low on memory, close some programs" popup. But maybe some 2GB of RAM are better than others. I would have been a lot happier with 4GB of RAM but the CPU can't handle it.
Win10 Home supports 128GB of RAM. Is there a licensing limitation (like the use of a maximum screen diagonal, RAM, etc.) that would limit it to 2GB? Also the form factor made me think that the RAM is soldered especially since I don't know of any 2GB LPDDR4 module.
Looks like a nice little box but knowing how a Cherry Trail 2GB RAM device behaves I can't really be excited about an Apollo Lake 2GB RAM device when the CPU itself isn't actually the limitation.
I am curious about the pricing though.
vladx - Saturday, May 6, 2017 - linkYeah different CPUs can manage memory differently. I think Windows S would be perfect for this little box with Plex, Kodi and Netflix already available in Windows Store.
t.s - Sunday, May 7, 2017 - linkthe CPU CAN handle it. It usually is limitation from windows (2GB free, 4 or more pay)
close - Monday, May 15, 2017 - linkI know the CPU can handle it, I know Windows can handle it. The question was if there's any licensing limitation.
Lolimaster - Sunday, May 7, 2017 - linkMaybe browsing the web?
10-20tabs browsing easily eats 2GB of ram, Chrome barely runs with 4GB and 20+ tabs.
vladx - Monday, May 8, 2017 - linkWho'd be stupid to use an Apollo Lake box like this for that?
helvete - Thursday, July 20, 2017 - link"apart from being a cheap office PC attached to the backside of the display, of course"
Einy0 - Saturday, May 6, 2017 - linkAgreed, 4GB would be plenty for 90% of usage scenarios. 2GB is too constrictive and means the Windows swap file is in use all the time. This drastically reduces the lifetime of your eMMC. Also 32GB of storage is a real pain with Windows 10. You need to remove programs sometimes to install the giant Windows Updates! My brother has one of those HP Streams that have an Atom chip and 32GB of eMMC. I had to connect a USB HDD to install the last Windows update for him.
takeshi7 - Friday, May 5, 2017 - linkThe fullscreen Best Buy ads that you're running on the site right now are really annoying because they load on every page and I have to scroll to the very top to get rid of them. Please stop with annoying ads AnandTech or I am going to stop visiting.