This mini Bay Trail PC is the size of a thumb drive

We've seen a lot of mini PCs based on Intel's Atom SoC, but this latest one is easily the smallest. A Chinese vendor called Shenzhen Apec Electronics has started offering an honest-to-goodness x86 computer that's the size of a thumb drive. See for yourself:

Source: Shenzhen Apec Electronics

The "APM-D01" measures only 3.9" x 1.5" x 0.38" (100 x 38 x 9.6 mm) and weighs just 1.6 oz (46 g), but its internals wouldn't look out of place inside a much larger tablet. The micro machine is available with a choice of quad-core Atom Z3735F or Z3735G processors from the Bay Trail generation. Both chips are clocked at 1.33GHz with a 1.83GHz burst frequency. The "F" is limited to 1GB of RAM at 5.3GB/s, while the "G" can address 2GB of memory at 10.6GB/s.

In addition to being available with different CPU-and-memory combos, the device comes with 16GB or 32GB of internal flash storage. Otherwise, all the versions have identical specs: one HDMI output (male), one Micro SD slot, dual Micro USB 2.0 ports, and both 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0. I see what looks like a full-sized USB port on one edge, but it's not mentioned on the official product page. That page does, however, indicate that the system can run Android, Windows 8.1, and Linux.

Quad-core Bay Trail chips have enough pep for light desktop work, HTPC duties, and even casual gaming, so having one squeezed into something roughly the size of a Chromecast is pretty appealing. Similar ARM-based Android sticks do exist, of course, but they can't run Windows.

Unfortunately, getting your hands on one of these might prove problematic. Although the device is listed on Alibaba, it's only available in 500-unit quanties. At least the "US $1-70/piece" price range suggests the sticker should be low if these things eventually turn up stateside. Thanks to CNX Software for the tip.

Comments closed
    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Unfortunately, getting your hands on one of these might prove problematic. Although the device is listed on Alibaba, it's only available in 500-unit quanties. At least the "US $1-70/piece" price range suggests the sticker should be low if these things eventually turn up stateside. [/quote<] That's because alibaba is geared towards large order quantities. If you want to find vendors that will send smaller quantities you should be looking at aliexpress.com instead. Here you can find them from a supplier and they are listing at $110 US. [url<]http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sell-Mini-PC-with-both-Android-Windows-8-system/2044898752.html[/url<]

      • LoneWolf15
      • 5 years ago

      Wish we could find the higher end version. Looks like the low end one.

      • burntham77
      • 5 years ago

      Thank you for the link. I cannot tell which model is being sold on this site. It lists both versions in the listing, and even the photo is not clear. I sent the seller a message asking how I could know which model I was buying, but I haven’t heard back yet.

        • Deanjo
        • 5 years ago

        According to the item specifics it has 2GB of ram model which corresponds with the “G” model.

          • burntham77
          • 5 years ago

          The seller told me that they only have the 2gb RAM/16gb storage versions. The 32gb version will be available at a later date.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    Yo dawg, we heard you liked USB ports, so we got you a USB computer, so you could USB while you USB.

    Seriously though, I’d probably buy one of these, if I could also buy a kit with the cables that would let me plug it all in easily. Imagine having a computer I could bring onsite in my pocket to troubleshoot networks with. I’d probably like to have something to adapt the USB port to a power outlet or battery pack easily though.

    I can think of a number of uses for something this small.

    • colinstu12
    • 5 years ago

    The large USB port is probably used to power the whole thing.

      • way2strong
      • 5 years ago

      It looks like one of the micro USB ports is for power.

    • UberGerbil
    • 5 years ago

    The (someday) USB Type-C version of this will really rock: one connection for power, video, and IO to the monitor (which presumably has a USB hub for connecting your peripherals).

    • ET3D
    • 5 years ago

    Came here thinking I’d see a PC the size of a thumb drive, but apparently it’s more like the size of a small candybar phone. Still neat, but not as impressive as the title made it to be.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      It’s an INTEL thumb drive. Intel only does big things, so the size naturally follows.

    • dashbarron
    • 5 years ago

    Official Intel USB power adapter: $499

    • Shouefref
    • 5 years ago

    So, if I understand correctly: you hook up a keyboard to the USB 2.0, a mouse to the other USB 2.0, and a monitor to the HDMI, and you have a full fledged PC?
    And the Micro SD slot and 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0. give possibilities for backup and internet connection?

      • UberGerbil
      • 5 years ago

      Or you could use Bluetooth for your Keyboard/Mouse

    • tootercomputer
    • 5 years ago

    It would be a gas to install the new Win 10 developer’s edition (or whatever it’s called) on this thing and play around. That is really amazing.

    • burntham77
    • 5 years ago

    While I prefer having my media on my HTPC (which currently has 1TB of storage), it might be worth replacing it with this and just storing me media on my NAS (which is current just a backup drive), or maybe a USB hard drive. Think of the space savings!

    • trackerben
    • 5 years ago

    This could make a cool Win8 pervader. Link bluetooth keyboard, plug thumb PC into USB charger, connect iOS screen mirroring app, and your iPad’s Modernized!

    • The Egg
    • 5 years ago

    Pretty cool, but at just under 4″ long, I don’t like the male HDMI port being directly attached to the device. If I were to use this as an HTPC on my current TV, it would probably stick out past the edge of the TV bezel, and then have wires hanging from it. Also, many TV/monitors don’t have 4 inches clearance going straight outward. I’m sure new TVs will be better about this (with all the Chromecast-type devices coming out), but I wouldn’t count on it for older stuff.

      • unmake
      • 5 years ago

      Most devices of this sort probably come with extension cables – the Chromecast does.

    • Milo Burke
    • 5 years ago

    Can someone give me the brief version of Atom performance over time?

    I remember the old Atoms were horrid. But is it the Bay Trail or Cherry Trail or both that are actually decent? Which is more common, and which is better? How?

    I’m looking for an ultra low budget HTPC. Any system recommendations?

      • ludi
      • 5 years ago

      Unless you have some really tight budget or space constraints, you can probably do better in the used/refurb market. For example, a Dell Optiplex 760/780 in the small-form-factor chassis variant. Take a look at this, and note that the onboard video includes an HDMI output:

      [url<]http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-OPTIPLEX-760-DESKTOP-COMPUTER-PC-C2D-3-0-GHz-500GB-4GB-WINDOWS-7-/261599103952?pt=Desktop_PCs&hash=item3ce8858bd0[/url<] These machines do have a pair of fans (one for PSU, one for BTX-style airflow) but are incredibly quiet.

        • Milo Burke
        • 5 years ago

        Good to know. That price is pretty attractive.

      • Flying Fox
      • 5 years ago

      *cough* [url<]https://techreport.com/review/25329/intel-atom-z3000-bay-trail-soc-revealed[/url<] *cough* Moving around in Windows is ok, but definitely super smooth. The GPU is fully capable of decoding H.264 so if your player can use GPU decode your MP4/MKV should be fine as well. That is why for HTPC use this is more than ok. BTW, Cherry Trail is the successor of Bay Trail.

        • Milo Burke
        • 5 years ago

        So anything Bay Trail or Cherry Trail can be considered “good enough” computing?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          Yeah I think so. Cherry Trail isn’t out yet, but Bay Trail is the heart of all those $200 Windows tablets that are all the rage. The Dell Venue 8 Pro is definitely “fast enough” for the web and watching videos. Not great performance in Hearthstone, though.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            I wish I could get one of those “tablets” without a touchscreen and battery.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            yeah, for sure. it’s really weird that you can’t.

            • NeelyCam
            • 5 years ago

            I want a cell phone without an antenna.

            • Milo Burke
            • 5 years ago

            Ipod Touch?

            • NeelyCam
            • 5 years ago

            Oh. Apparently I already have one, just didn’t know it. No wonder my phone calls don’t go through

          • MadManOriginal
          • 5 years ago

          More or less, maybe like a lowend desktop from 6-7 years ago, as long as expectations aren’t too high. With integrated devices like this it will always be important to read actual reviews. Things like the quality of the eMMC can make a big difference in actual use.

      • Tirk
      • 5 years ago

      As I have learned from this forum,

      “Even your grandmother would weep if you got anything but the awesome Core architecture.”

      “A kitten dies every time someone buys something that is not derived from the Core architecture.”

      “Bay trail was made by Intel only so people knew how crappy it was and how awesome Core is.”

      On a more serious note, casual consumption of media and light HTPC duty would probably go off without a hitch on a Baytrail, but if you’re looking for something with more fluid use and casual gaming I’d look for something a little more beefier.

      For portable gaming and HTPC while I travel I’ve been very happy with the A8-6410. Just ran Archeage last night on it with very playable framerates and that game uses the Crysis 3 engine (no discreet video card). Its a 15w tdp chip so it wouldn’t fit in a usb thumb drive but it is very happy in a convertible laptop and similar form factors. But I’ve just mentioned another non Core architecture so I’m sure Zeus is getting ready to strike me down any moment now.

    • blastdoor
    • 5 years ago

    Looks like a great espionage tool.

      • Wirko
      • 5 years ago

      Put Linux on it and hope it doesn’t spy on you all the same.

        • Grimreaper
        • 5 years ago

        Unless your running a pre 2003 version of Linux, your system is running SELinux, which was developed by the NSA, so yeah they can still spy on you.

        [url<]https://www.nsa.gov/research/selinux/[/url<] Also see: [url<]http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/42383/how-trustworthy-is-selinux[/url<] And : [url<]http://yro-beta.slashdot.org/story/13/07/02/1241246/nsa-backdoors-in-open-source-and-open-standards-what-are-the-odds[/url<]

    • Spittie
    • 5 years ago

    Looks damn cool, I wonder how XBMC/PLEX would work on it.

    Yeah, Kodi, not XBMC. Ew.

      • Pez
      • 5 years ago

      Bollocks to that get MAME on it

      • cynan
      • 5 years ago

      I’d imagine pretty well. Particularly if using a lighter weight OS over windows (ie, Openelec)

      And how is Kodi different from XBMC.

        • ermo
        • 5 years ago

        XBMC was rebranded to Kodi. Kodi is XBMC >= 14.

    • Peter.Parker
    • 5 years ago

    Is this mini PC geting its power from a regular USB port? COOL!

      • Flying Fox
      • 5 years ago

      Most likely one of the micro USB ports. From the picture, there is one with the USB logo, but the other one seems to be a power logo.

        • Peter.Parker
        • 5 years ago

        Oh, I thought it’s a regular USB plug on top. You can only see it in the first 3 pics. But reading the specs on the product page, it says it needs an AC adapter. 2 Bad.

          • trackerben
          • 5 years ago

          You’ll likely use this with an external USB3.0 drive which usually runs off a 1.5-2A 12V supply. You can get one with an extra 2A USB charging port and power both devices off the same adapter. Or power the thumb PC off your tablet’s charger.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Looks interestly but… make sure to parse [code<]cat /proc/cpuinfo[/code<] carefully to make sure it doesn't say Allwinner... just sayin'....

    • Helmore
    • 5 years ago

    I’m not sure what I’d use it for, but if the price is right then I’d really like to have one.

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