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
  PB01CF
CPU Celeron N3350
2C/2T at 1.1 – 2.4 GHz frequency, 2 MB cache, iGPU
PCH integrated
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 500 (12 EUs) Gen9
Memory 2 GB LPDDR4
Storage 32 GB eMMC
Wi-Fi Intel 802.11ac
Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connector
Display Outputs 1 × HDMI (up to 4Kp30)
Audio via HDMI
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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Source: ECS

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  • vladx - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    Awesome little box to use as HTPC. Reply
  • HideOut - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    Would be nice to have a bit more RAM, min 4gb with option of maybe 8. And 64gb of solid storage too. Reply
  • close - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    I don't get the memory limitation either. The CPU supports it. I have Atom devices that are limited to 2GB by CPU support and they really feel gimped because of this and much of the usefulness is gone. An extra 2GB couldn't have increased the price by that much but then again maybe they actually researched the market before coming out with this. Reply
  • p1esk - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    Windows. Reply
  • neo_1221 - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    Those should all be upgradeable - I want more USB ports. Still, if it's cheap enough... Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Sunday, May 07, 2017 - link

    Upgradeable? Tell me how you'll fit a sodimm socket that dimension 70x70mm Reply
  • neo_1221 - Thursday, May 11, 2017 - link

    http://downloadmoreram.com/

    In seriousness though, good call. I'd only skimmed the article and didn't realize quite how small it was. If the memory is soldered on, all the more reason to ignore this.
    Reply
  • vladx - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    Still good enough for movies and streaming. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    Yeah, 2GB RAM is a joke in 2017, 4GB is the absolute minimum and 8GB should be the standard. Considering the size, I'm guessing the RAM may very well be soldered onto the board - hopefully AT will get one of these in for review and teardown. Reply
  • sc14s - Friday, May 05, 2017 - link

    I mean yeah its silly to have the ram limitation but when the hell would a HTPC need 8gb ram? I've never seen my traditional desktop pc go above ~7gb since I don't video edit or anything. Reply

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