Mini-PC Bargain of the Day – €28.26

An Intel-based mini-pc (not even an Atom, but a fairly decent quad-core Celeron) with a case and power supply for less than the price of a Raspberry Pi.  Can it be real?

[Update 11th March]  —  Looks as though these (assuming there ever was more than one) have sold out.  😦    Scroll down for some other, not quite as cheap, but still available mini-pc bargains.                                 —      …and the answer is, probably not!   Check the delivery cost very carefully before clicking the order button.  As far as I can tell, this seller is hoping to charge you €999.00 for express delivery of the first item and €80.00 for each additional item.  It’s not clear to me whether that is the default, or whether you can have it shipped “normal delivery” for €4.99; perhaps someone more familiar with on-line shopping in French can comment on that? Reader “raspi” has confirmed that delivery in France is €4.99 (see the comments section, below), so it does look as though this is a bargain after all (but you should still check delivery costs and final price before confirming your order).

It looks like the Europeans get the best deal of the day (again), with CDiscout.com currently advertising a J3455 (quad core Celeron) with 4GB of main memory and 64GB of eMMC for a measly €28.26 (it might be a misprint, but they do say quite plainly “€190 Savings”).

Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned before, Cdiscount only sell/deliver to a small number of western European countries, so the rest of us are out of luck, but if you’re in France, Spain, Germany or Belgium …get them while you can (and let us know in the comments if you manage to snag one of these at the advertised price).  [IMPORTANT – If you didn’t read the update at the top of the page, go back and read it now — verify the shipping cost before you buy!!]

AMAZON J3455

At a somewhat more realistic price, Amazon.com is currently advertising a J3455-based, Coofun branded, mini-pc with a very respectable 6GB of memory and a 128GB M.2 SSD for $170.  What appear to be identical units but with a different name are currently selling for $189.99.  Amazon U.S. will also ship these units to selected countries outside of the U.S. for a very reasonable price (but you might end up having to pay a stiffer bill for postage back to the U.S. if you need to return it for any reason).

Silence is golden — Although the adverts are usually vaguely worded, you can safely assume that most of these thin, Celeron-based systems have a laptop-style fan hidden away somewhere inside (generally the earlier generation, Atom-based mini-pcs didn’t).  The Coofun advertisment above very straightforwardly displays a photo of the heatsink and fan unit, so there’s no guesswork involved.

AMAZON N3150/J3160 BAREBONES

Currently (11th March 2020), most Amazon regions (including the U.S.) are advertising an N3150 or J3160 (virtually identical) based fanless model with 4 x USB3, 2 x USB2, 2 x HDMI and 2 x GbE.  Note that this is the barebones price (no memory, no SSD/HDD).  The price seems to be pretty much the same for Amazon US, Japan and UK at roughly $135 with free shipping:-

It seems that you’ll be shipped whichever CPU is at hand when your order is received (in other words, you can’t choose).  It’s still very attractive, though; this is a Celeron machine at the current Atom-Z8350 price.  From personal experience with similar machines, you can expect this beastie to run fairly hot; not hot enough to burn you, but hot enough to be uncomfortable to the touch.

 

As usual, these are not “monetized” links and I have no relationship at all with CDiscount.com (because they won’t sell or deliver to me).  I am an occasional customer of Amazon.com, but I haven’t ever bought a “Coofun” branded computer (from them, or anyone else), so please do treat this as a simple pointer and not a recommendation. [ END OF THE SMALL PRINT ]

7 thoughts on “Mini-PC Bargain of the Day – €28.26

  1. Hi,
    I’ve just checked the link and the price is right and no delivery cost..
    don’t know what to think… what kind of OS could be install on this?
    there is no mention on which OS could be install or supported and how?
    does it boot from USB? SDcard ?
    how to boot from the 64 Go EMMC Flash ?
    will Linux with docker run on this device?
    I will try to contact the vendor.
    Thanks for the info

    Like

    • Raspi,

      I think I can answer some of your questions with a fair degree of certainty (I already have several, similar systems running here).

      I’m running Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD, so these small systems will boot and run reliably (my oldest one has been on-line 24/7 since December 2016 …search the site for “Z83-II”). My machines are:-

      – The old, original Z8350 running OpenBSD and providing the usual support services for our home network (DNS, NTP, DHCP, NSD) and acting as a back-up server for daily dumps.
      – Two J3160-based firewall systems, with a VPN link across two (family) sites.
      – A J3355 (the dual-core version of the J3455) which is running FreeBSD with a couple of 4TB disks using ZFS to provide a TimeMachine back-up server for our Macs.
      – A newer Z8350 which is an off-site, off-line back-up server (this one is still waiting for the price of 8TB disks to come back down).
      – Another of the newer Z8350 machines which sometimes runs Ubuntu 19 (with a ZFS root, just so that I can snapshot it to a back-up server) working mostly as a media server (with VPN), but also frequently booted into something different, to try out new configurations and different releases. It is currently running FreeBSD with Linux clients under bhyve (so far I’ve successfully tried Alpine, Devuan, Ubuntu and a couple of others as clients).

      I have run docker on one of these machines in the past, but to be honest, I can’t remember which one it was (I wasn’t too impressed with docker, although the machine ran it well enough).

      Booting the older Z8350 machine was a pain the first time round, because of the limited BIOS. All of the newer machines have much improved BIOSes though and things like auto-boot after power fail can now be set. UEFI boot capable devices should be fine. I haven’t had any issues with the newer machines and the OSes listed above, booting from USB-key (for installs) and eMMC, USB HDD, or internal/external SSD. I don’t remember trying SD-card.

      To be honest, as long as you’re happy with the delivery charge issue, I don’t think you can go wrong with one (or two, or three) of these systems. I did see a comment from someone a while back saying that he had one of the fans die on a machine after a relatively short time, but he easily replaced it himself (sorry, that comment was on a seller’s site, not here and I can’t find it again right now …but it wasn’t for this specific model, anyway). The fan on my J3355 does come on sometimes, but isn’t particularly loud.

      Hope this helps. Please do let us know how it goes if you get one.

      -John-

      Like

  2. Update:
    The technical support is telling me Windows 10 is already installed..(Family edition I suppose)
    can’t obtain information how to boot it from USB or SDcard or how to access to the 64go EMMC.
    I was thinking of installing Linux on it just to see.

    Like

  3. As raspi said price looks to be OK so I decided to take a punt as I can’t see any reason why I couldn’t install Ubuntu. I think it is a low end NUC basically. However, I could not register an address in the UK for an account. An account is needed to get delivery pricing. It looks like they only ship to a few countries in mainland Europe. That’s a shame. for the benefit of others I bought 5 off Dell Wyse thin clients for £90.00. Each one had 4Gb ram and I fitted 120Gb SSd’s for £18.00 each. I have installed Ubuntu 18.04 and I run dockerized Home asisstant, node-RED etc. They run well for £36.00 each and they are fanless.

    Like

    • Update of update (sorry)
      the delivery will cost you 4.99€ for a delivery to France.
      I am very interested by the work you will do with it, I hope you will post your experimentations.
      Thanks again for your post

      Like

    • PuceBaboon said:

      I could not register an address in the UK for an account. An account is needed to get delivery pricing.

      if you want PM me your location and contact infos.

      Like

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