Ubuntu has always been one of those wonderful underdog operating systems living in its own world (world, meaning the folks who know it and prefer it). But, the Linux OS is now finally making its way into more devices than just computers. Chinese mini PC manufacturer, MeLE (or Shenzen Mele Digital Technology Ltd.), also known for 4K TV box sets, HD media players, and Internet hybrid TV boxes, has decided to put Ubuntu on its new computer-on-a-stick called PCG02U. Just like Ubuntu showing up more and more these days, PC sticks are doing the same. The exception is, most sticks are running Windows 10 (like the Intel Compute Stick) or Chrome’s OS (like Asus’ Chromebit), and they all take your television’s display and turn it into a lot more with that magical extra HDMI back there.
Getting more out of that HDMI port on your television already? You’ve got the Roku or the Chromecast? Yeah, so do I. But those two dongles, while great for media streaming with the click of your smartphone or laptop, aren’t full-fledged PCs. Stick computers are, because well, they are magical. MeLE’s tiny PCG02U dongle comes with Intel Atom inside, an x86 BayTrail Z3735F quad-core processor running at 1.33GHz, with bursts up to 1.83GHz. There’s integrated Intel HD graphics, plus 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and 32GB of eMMC 5.0 internal flash storage. Also featured, is Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, HDMI 1.4, USB 2.0 with data connection, microUSB for power, a microSD card reader, and a Kensington lock. Many of its specs you will find in Intel’s first-gen Compute Stick, meaning one could argue the PCG02U has a bit of catching up to do (SoftPedia).
Ubuntu Linux, version 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) will be the operating system PCG02U comes with, however, users will likely want to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which released last month. The stick, which measures a mere 4.5 x 1.9 x .65 inches, is of course fanless, but comes with an adjustable antenna on the side. That, and the 10/1000 Ethernet jack at the end of the device are pretty distinct characteristics for a PC dongle. Perhaps this means putting aside the softly outdated hardware just became a bit easier for you? If so, you can pick the PCG02U for $70 on Ali Express, or the MeLE website.
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