ACEPC Intel Z8350 TV Box with Windows

I recently received a long-awaited Windows TV box in the post from Banggood. Initial impressions? Well, I’m still having fun with it some days later.ACEPC

The ACEPC T9 comes with Intel Atom x5-8350, 4GB DDR RAM and 32GB 5MMC along with 2.4G/5G WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0, USB3.0 and Windows 10.

ACEPC

I’m not 100% sure why they call it a TV box as it is basically just a tiny, inexpensive Windows 10 PC with 4K HD output. First things first, I checked out the peripherals –one USB 3, one USB 2 on the left side along with a microSD socket, a microUSB on the back along with power connector (the unit came complete with European plug-based power supply), HDMI, RJ45 network socket, 3.5mm headphone socket and a large, detachable antenna for 2.4g/5G WIFI. There are no holes or connectors on the front or right of this unit. Power switch is on the left.

After powering it up and putting in some credentials to start the ball rolling… I noted that the computer came up fairly rapidly. That initial Euphoria wore off when it took AGES to do a Windows Defender scan and update. However, it worked without issue and my next job was to install Chrome and go on the hunt for 4K YouTube demos and movie trailers which the 4K box handled no problems. I have no doubt it would do the same thing for Netflix and Amazon Prime TV.

ACEPC set upMaybe that’s where the title TV box comes from. It did occur to me that as this box is Windows and not Android, ShowBox might be more of a challenge (though I’ve never actually checked to see if a version of ShowBox is available for Windows).

After adding Chrome it occurred to me that the next essential would be my OpenVPN setup. For that I needed a file from DropBox so rather than do it the easy way by copying a file from my big PC, I started syncing DropBox, forgetting that I have several Gig in my DropBox account. I grabbed the desktop program (not the App – I try to avoid the Windows App store as much as possible). That went well but I then left the unit to download my entire DropBox estate.

Some time later I checked the ACEPC and it was sitting with a blue screen – the mouse worked but the pointer was all I could get up – so I pulled the plug and re-applied power. Now I had all my DropBox files and all was well. I set up my VPN to Spain – and in no time at all I was talking to my kit over there.

Now that I’ve had a play with this it is obvious that to do much, you need a “drive D” – that is a large SD or external USB Drive – with USB 3 that should not be a problem but as this is a tiny, portable box it’s as best to get something equally tiny but with decent capacity as I guess I had only 5GB left having filled the unit up with all my DropBox files. 32GB really is cutting it a bit fine. I guess the next job is to move all those files onto an external drive.

Update: I bought a cheap external USB 3.0 hard drive for around £15 and a USSB2 hub for under a tenner and these have greatly expanded the uses for this little computer. Both are drawing their power from the USB leads, no extra power needed, apparently..

Of course you DO need a keyboard, mouse and screen.

I’ve completed a successful Windows update to the box , put the swap file on drive D: (the USB disk) as well as various user directories and the contents of my DropBox and OneNote estates.  Simples.

Links:
ACEPC T9 Intel Z8350 USB3.0 TV Box — https://goo.gl/8Zz4f4 
More TV Boxes — https://goo.gl/cKuuA7

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

33 thoughts on “ACEPC Intel Z8350 TV Box with Windows

    1. i use a similar model, a Z83, with ubuntu 18.04.2 and docker on top of it to use hass.io and all its addons… a “helluva” lot faster than the previous raspberry… i used this iso to setup it, as it had all the needed addon drivers to have it working fully: Z83_linuxium-lubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso (just google it)

      i still use a (old) NUC for my main uses, as it’s always attached to my tv and always on, and being windows (but on linux would have been the same) i can have VLC with proper GAMMA increased to 1.2 to see details in dark scenes of movies and tv series… i did’t find a single ANDROID tvbox (and software, tested vlc and mx player, and others) which allows modifying the GAMMA, which for me is a MUST…

      1. Yep, me too. I run hass.io on top of Debian on an Acer Chromebox. Having it running off of a proper SSD is a huge improvement in reliability and I don’t have to worry as much about wearing out an SD card.

      2. The Hystou p12 (on Gearbest) currently looks like a good deal at $137, especially if you’re looking for a firewall machine (2 x GbE), but it’s unclear whether the “standard system” comes with 2GB or 4GB of main memory (a reviewer has posted that there is -no- SSD included).

        I wonder whether Barbudor managed to get that great deal on the AP34 from cdiscount.com? That page now reads “This item was a victim of it’s own success”, so I guess quite a few people read his comment. 🙂

        1. Hi @PuceBaboon. Just saw your comment. Finally I didn’t purchase. I had emergency for a laptop. Ordered a Teclast F5 (N4100, 8GB, 128GB ssd) but had to canceled today because there are no more stock. Was a good price at 284€ including DHL.
          For now I’m in esp8266 with uPy and will look back for a mini PC later this year.

  1. Having played with these sorts of boxes a bit I’d recommend avoiding 32gb ones if the intention is to run Windows 10, it will very quickly begin failing to update and enter endless update loops due to lack of drive space. I don’t understand why MS allow 32gb devices, it’s madness.

    For not a lot more you can get Gemini Lake based boxes, which have advantages over the Atoms, like 4k @60hz and a fair bit more grunt.

    The Beelink S2 for £180 on Amazon UK is great, cheaper on import obviously. Passive cooled, very capable N4100 quad core, 4GB/64GB with a 2.5″ slot for SSD/HDD. The benchmark performance is not far off a Q6600, which is bonkers considering 10x years ago that was a 105w chip vs the 6w gemini lake today…

    1. you can add an usb dongle and use that as temporary space while doing major windows updates, windows will tell you that itself if it has not enough space… but life is easier with 64gb…

      i’ve bought a z83 (2/32) for 74€ and an ap34 (6/64) for 131€, just monitor amazon offers, got both with Prime… 🙂

    1. Looks good on the surface but I’ve had this with AleExpress before – the ad says “support Windows 20” – then “support Linux” – but I suspect what you get with it is Linux.. also the memory supports 4k but it looks like the actual outputs may only be 1920px – I’ve also come across this with so-called 4K TV boxes elsewhwere. I may be wrong but I’d be wary about that one unless Linux is what you wanted. This review was about a 4K Windows box and I’m testing on a 4k monitor.

      Having said all that I may well scrap Windows on this box and turn it into a Linux box if I can’t increase the internal eMMC to 64GB or more.

      1. On second thoughts – I checked on the web for people converting these CherryTree processor boxes to Linux – and having trouble getting sound to work. Possibly worth findnig a way to back up the entire Windows setup BEFORE trying Linux might be worth the effort.

        1. no need to backup: use Double Driver to backup all your actual drivers (use the default setting which selects all the drivers which are not already part of windows itself): https://double-driver.it.uptodown.com/windows

          then just download latest win10 official iso and just use that to install, and restore drivers (this way you don’t have to update an old system and you’ll get latest windows on 1st boot): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

          or download the updated driver zip file from that site: http://www.minisforum.com/showthread.php?tid=50

          i had a few issues with linux and audio, but then i used that distro and they seemed solved… can’t test them now as then i removed graphical environment and i’m using it as a headless unit with docker

          all you need for the Z83 is on this forum: http://www.minisforum.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=6

        2. anyway, the beauty of the penguin: download that iso, burn on an usb dongle using RUFUS (google it), then put into your z83 and boot it up, pressing F7 on start for the boot menu… select the usb dongle and try linux live, to test everything… if you’re ok, click the desktop icon and install it 🙂

          i suggest LUBUNTU on UBUNTU or others because it’s very lightweight and desktop resembles the windows one, with a “start menu” like in bottom left corner

          1. ehm, why? I can understand the S editions (as they allow ONLY apps from the microsoft shitstore, NOT desktop ones), but home is just fine for home usage… you don’t need disk encryption or active directory integration at home, which are 2 of the major addons of the PRO version…

  2. Oh, Pete, just to be clear: forget your script on these devices, as ubuntu 16.04 is too old for this chipset, and 18.04 is too different and your script does not work 🙂
    BUT, it’s the good time to test docker and home assistant with hass.io and its addons, or just plain nodered container on top of docker itself 🙂
    believe me, it’s a new world… and i’m here to help, of course 🙂

  3. All I can say is thank heavens for “run from CD”… I put that Ubuntu onto an SD which Antonio discussed in here. Sure enough it ran on the little ACEPC.

    Like a DOG. Firefox ran with no sound so I grabbed Chromium – that ran with no sound. Then I tested HD video on Youtube… stuttering. Awful. Why would you? HD cideo in Windows is good. There’s maybe a reason they put Windows 10 Home on here as that runs just fine. Good job I didn’t screw it up. I guess I’ll just have to try an SD-based drive D: for Windows 10 data.. nothing lost but good drinking time.

        1. these boxes are like smartphones and tablets: they die the same shape they’re born… you can’t expand them, all is soldered on mainboard and covered with a giant passive heatsink, no fans usually… you can use an usb3 dongle or a microsd… usually anyway they’re main problem is just with updates, as 32gb are enough for a standard usage scenario as a desktop, if you use them for accessing network or external connected resources

          1. Well, I added a microSD so my Dropbox stuff would go there instead of the internal eMMC – but that’s no good for ~Windows updates – as Windows complains that the SD is removeable storage. I have 3 small USB single-cable-powered hard dries which have been used with little Nano boards in the past and up to now Windows Disk Manager can’t even see one of them never mind use them for Windows updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.