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Inside the battery-powered Ainol Mini PC + Windows 10 upgrade tips.

I’ve upgraded the Ainol Mini PC to Windows 10 and apart from it completely resetting itself to Chinese language everything went smoothly. After doing some battery tests I got a bit curious and opened it up. There was a surprise waiting for me inside.


I’ve started some testing which includes Kodi (summary: Great apart from some 1.5 Mbps Hi10p files.) but first let me give you a few images that will help you reset the language.

It helps if you have another Windows 10 PC in your own language next to you when you do that as the UI positioning is the same and that’s how I managed to sort out the problem.


There’s one other thing I needed to do to make sure that the login screen was in English…

Go to control panel and click on "Change date, time or number formats."

Go to control panel and click on “Change date, time or number formats.”

Use the Administrative tab, select Copy Settings and select the two options at the bottom of the following window.

Use the Administrative tab, select Copy Settings and select the two options at the bottom of the following window.

Reboot, possibly twice, and you should see a pure chosen-language experience which includes login screen.

Inside the Ainol Mini PC.

The Ainol Mini PC reports a 13 Wh battery in Windows and when I tested video playback battery drain I was shocked at how efficient it was. Could it really play back video at 1.5 W battery drain? A second, longer test resulted in 1.68 W drain. For a 13 Wh battery that would be 7 hours and 45 minutes of playback but incredibly efficient.

I’ve tested hundreds of Intel Atom based PCs and full-HD video playback rarely uses less than 5W of battery power. Assuming the screen backlight takes 1-1.5W (which it does on smaller tablets) the maths didn’t add-up. Time to take a look inside to see exactly what was going on.

The inside of the Ainol Mini PC is primarily Li-Po battery and it’s big. 25.9 Wh is double what’s reported in Windows 10. That explains the exceptionally good power drain figures then!

You’ll still get 7 hours and 45 minutes of full HD playback from the Ainol Mini PC but the power drain is 3.36, not 1.68 W. It’s still very competitive but directly in-line with an Atom-based Windows tablets if you remove the screen drain from the equation.

It’s a tiny mainboard but the interesting bit for me was the sticky-back heat-spreader. You’ll need to make sure it’s replaced carefully to avoid overheating if you remove it.

As you can see, nothing is upgradeable.

I’ll be doing more testing on the Ainol Mini PC but as it stands I’m primarily interested in it as a home theatre PC. That battery means you don’t need mains power for an evening’s entertainment.

Thanks to Gearbest for sending the Ainol Mini PC over for testing. It costs just $99 to buy but I had to pay about 40 Euros in import costs here in Germany. You might be lucky on your import and get it for free but you might not. You can buy the Ainol Mini PC here.


Intel Compute Stick and Ainol Mini PC compared

I’m testing the Intel Compute Stick and the Ainol Mini PC. These two ultramobile PCs have exactly the same processing platform but completely different use cases. My analysis and video follows.

Intel Compute Stick and Ainol Mini PC. Same CPU, different markets.

Intel Compute Stick and Ainol Mini PC. Same CPU, different markets.

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Ainol Mini PC (with internal battery) First Look.

I’m just about to start reviewing the Ainol Mini PC, an Atom-based PC with an interesting feature. It has a battery included in the unit and because it supports Miracast it can run completely without wires.


The Ainol Mini PC has triggered a few switches in my head as a solution for portable, secure computing or as an HTPC or presentation device. It’s silent, it’s compact and it can even charge a smartphone.. The embedded 13 Wh battery makes all the difference here and at $97 it’s looking like a bargain.

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Ainol Mini PC has everything + battery for $129

I use my Intel NUC with Atom N2820 processor daily. It’s quiet, neat and runs Openelec like a dream. It was cheap too but now I’m wondering if I should have waited. The Ainol Mini PC comes with RAM, storage, a Windows OS and a 26 Wh battery for just $129. It’s silent too!

Ainol Mini PC

Ainol Mini PC

It doesn’t have a Gigabit Ethernet port but it does have USB3.0 so adding an adaptor is no problem. Retro-fitting an infra-red reciever might be a problem though and of course this Baytrail-T ‘tablet without screen’ is not going to allow for any expansion. The storage won’t be as fast as what’s possible with the SATA interface on an Intel NUC. The biggest problem I see though is that you might have problems installing your favorite Linux distro on this due to the 32-bit UEFI bug.  Some tablets come with a 64-bit Windows not but you can clearly see that this 64-bit CPU is running a 32-bit Windows version on the Geekbuying sales page.

Along with the Baytrail-T-based dongles these are interesting IoT-style products (and with a 3G dongle could be the perfect malicious hotspot) but until they allow you to boot your chosen 64-bit OS they’re not flexible enough. If anyone finds a similar one with 64-bit UEFI bootloader, let us know.

Ainol Mini PCAinol Mini PC

Update: Voyo has a similar product with a smaller battery.

Voyo mini pc with battery.

Voyo mini pc with battery.

Hat-tip: Liliputing.

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