Currently on the market we have a lot of devices (tablets, laptops, mini PCs) equipped with the popular Cherry Trail chip from Intel, namely the Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail. Therefore, today we want to introduce you to MeLE Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC review. In this review we want to bring you the the features and impressions of using Star Cloud PCG03 Plus and answer the questions: how Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC works in normal use, how copes with video playback (also in 4K) and that we stumbled upon some problems. We invite you to read.
I want to say thanks to MeLE company (Shenzhen Mele Star Technology Ltd.) for sending us a Star Cloud PCG03 Plus to review. Star Cloud PCG03 Plus is available in the official MeLE store for $128.88.
Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC Technical Specifications:
- OS: Windows 10 Home Edition (activated)
- CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail (quad-core, up to 1.8GHz)
- GPU: Intel HD Gen8 Graphics
- RAM: 2GB DDR3L 1333MHz
- Storage: 32GB eMMC, expantable via SD/SDHC (up to 512GB)
- Connectivity: 802.11n WiFi,10/100Mbps Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0
- Video Out: HDMI 1.4, VGA
- Audio Out: HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack
- USB: 2 x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
- Other: Power button, power LED, Kensington security lock
- Power Supply: 12V/1A
- Dimensions: 150 x 120 x 40 mm
- Weight: 360 grams
What’s in the box?
What we find in the box?
- Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC
- Power adapter 12V
- 4 Power plugs (EU, US, UK, AU)
- Quick Start Guide
The following video from our YouTube channel where you can take a look at more Star Cloud PCG03 Plus and bundled accessories.
The Star Cloud PCG03 Plus is a really well made mini PC. PCG03 Plus housing is made of high quality plastic half matte and half reflective, with “Intel Atom” sticker, printed name Star Cloud logo brand on top and model name in front. On the front panel Star Cloud PCG03 Plus was placed Power LED and RST hole. On one side is a USB 3.0 port, SD card slot and Power Button. On the rear panel are: Kensington Security Lock, DC 12V/1A jack, VGA port, HDMI (1.4) port, Fast Ethernet port (RJ45), 2x USB 2.0 and Headphone/Microphone out jack. Below the real pictures.
At the bottom of the device are small rubber feet for stability. In the middle of the machine is a warm air outlet. Therefore, the device is fanless and can heat up so it is recommended take off label from the mini PC after you started to use the mini PC.
Star Cloud PCG03 Plus measures 150 x 120 x 40 mm. This is not the smallest mini PC. Below we include the PCG03 Plus mini PC photos in combination with a matchbox, so it was easier to see the size of Star Cloud PCG03 Plus.
The PCG03 Plus mini PC is powered up via the power button. Booting Windows 10 Home to the login window takes about 00:34.8 seconds. The Star Cloud PCG03 Plus comes with Windows 10 Home. Windows 10 has a full license, which can easily activate during the first start up . Updating the device downloads easily and correctly.
There’s a single 28.0 GB C:/ drive that had 15.7 GB free space before installing Firefox and Adobe Flash. During the tests, Windows 10 Home runs without problems and stable. Installed Windows 10 has the most current drivers, but also you can check if there are new driver updates via the Intel Driver Update Utility.
When you enter the BIOS, you can see that the device has UEFI 2.4. Below are a few screenshots.
The MeLe company deserves a Big Plus! for equipment mini PC (except HDMI) connector VGA. This allows you to connect an additional screen and dual display. Gen8 Intel HD Graphics GPU handles this without a problem.
I had no problem with Ethernet and WiFi connection to my router and to Internet. Below screenshot from Network Speed Test (connection to Internet).
The tests were performed at a resolution of FHD 1920 x 1080. In addition to the standard keyboard and mouse,I used also Xiaomi gamepad and remote control app – Intel Remote Keyboard Host App. Intel has prepared a really great application, which allows using a smartphone (as in TV Boxes with Android OS) can be remotely (via WiFi) to use the mini PC. To perform test video was installed the latest stable version Kodi 16.0 Jarvis.
Also, to tests ran the most famous games that we tested on Android TV Boxes – Beach Buggy Racing and Jetpack Joyride, Asphalt 8: Airborne. Games work without a problem, handling through a standard keyboard and mouse as well. On the other hand I was not able to play using Xiaomi gamepad – the problem with drivers. Detection Xaomi gameped and pairing via Bluetooth without a problem, but I had to visit many forums to find a solution on Xiaomi Gamepad compatibility with Windows 10. Despite the use of several solutions I could not play Beach Buggy with Xiaomi gamepd (like solve the problem let you know).
Operating system and components
As I wrote earlier, Star Cloud PCG03 Plus runs on Windows 10 Home, the system is activated. PCG03 Plus mini PC is equipped with a well known Intel processor – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail (quad-core, @ 1.44GHz up to 1.8GHz) and Intel HD Gen8 Graphics GPU. On the following screens you can see exactly the components used and their specification (Information taken from the AIDA64 app ). HWiNFO64 detects Atom x5-Z8300 processor and its Gen8 GPU correctly. Below screenchots.
Performance tests and benchmarks
Video playback by Kodi 16.0 Jarvis runs smoothly and stable. MPC-HC runs smoothly and stable. Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC without problem seems plays movies with the resolution of 480p,720p and 1080p (24fps, 30fps,60fps) and also 4K (60fps) with various codecs video such as H.264, H.265, MPEG2, MPEG4, RMVB and audio – DTS and AC3. Dolby Digital 5.1 worked fine via HDMI. Also I tested several video formats – AVI, MKV, MP4 (typical formats in which it holds the majority of films) and also videos wasplayed without anyproblems. I was able to play back media from both my USB flash drive and USB powered 2.5″ HDD without any issues. The tested PCG03 Plus mini PC plays video files in 4K (also 60fps) without any major problems (Big Plus!). Unfortunately, playback video in 4K on Youtube was not stable, and did not work smoothly. Format 1080p work correctly.
|MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6Mbps||OK||OK|
|MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6Mbps||OK||OK|
|H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2Mbps||OK||OK|
|VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 25Mbps||OK||OK|
|VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8Mbs||OK||OK|
|Sintel – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 24fps||OK||OK|
|BBB Sunflower -H264 – 60fps||OK||OK|
|Honey Bees – 96fps||OK||OK|
|Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbps||OK||OK|
|Puppies Bath – h264/AAC 2.0||OK||OK|
|Tears of steel – 60fps||OK||OK|
|HD Club Chimei – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 60Mbps||OK||OK|
|Tears of steel – H265-HVEC / AAC 2.0 – 15Mbps||OK||OK|
|Youtube – VP9 / 1080p||OK||OK|
Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC Benchmarks
The Star Cloud PCG03 Plus scored 18 004 on Ice Storm 1.2 (Graphics Score – 21 447, Physics Score – 11 528), (W8 Pro (CX-W8 Pro) mini PC scored 7030 on Ice Storm 1.2 – Graphics Score – 9054, Physics Score – 3945). The PCG03 Plus scored 1618 on Cloud Gate 1.1 (Graphics Score – 1910, Physics Score – 1055).
The Star Cloud PCG03 Plus scored 74958 on AnTuTu Benchmark v6.0.5 UWP Beta5. Below also results from PC Benchmark.
MeLe Star Cloud PCG03 Plus is very well made and aesthetically looking mini PC. Which successfully replace a typical desktop. Therefore PCG03 Plus is worth interest and purchase. In addition, that he is equipped with the Cherry Trail processor also has an additional VGA port for dual display. Plays typical video content in 1080p and copes well with the video in 4K (also with 60fps). The device works stable and does not heat up too much, it has good heat dissipation. The Star Cloud PCG03 Plus runs on Windows 10 Home (activated) also quickly, so that you can be a fully enjoy Windows 10. Working with a PCG03 Plus is a real pleasure. Once again I want to say thanks to MeLe company for sending us a Star Cloud PCG03 Plus sample. It is good value for money !. If you are looking for a mini PC with Windows 10 for basic activities like surfing the Internet, email, writing documents, watching movies (including streaming), playing games and other entertainment is PCG03 Plus meets these requirements without any problem. Perfect for at home as a home PC and small office. We recommend Star Cloud PCG03 Plus mini PC.
Discussion about this post