MINIX NEO Z83-4, Fanless Mini PC Review

One of the many benefits of Intel’s strong focus on power efficiency in recent years is that relatively high performance processors are now able to fit into tiny form factors. A case in point is the MINIX NEO Z83-4, a Mini PC that packs a low-power Intel Cherry Trail X5 z8300 Quad core processor clocked at 1.84GHz. It can get to handle your gaming, work as well as use it as a media center PC. The Mini PC comes preinstalled with Windows 10, 64 bit Operating system and its able to strike a balance between power, temperature and speed while remaining completely silent thanks to its passive cooling concept.

There is 4GB of DDR3L on board and a 32 GB eMMC internal storage. This is an energy efficient device that consumes less than 80 percent than what the desktop PCs get to consume. It is also a good choice for those who adore working with desktop PCs and wish that they were portable, the NEO Z83-4 is portable as opposed to carrying a laptop PC to your workplace every day. Its ultra-compact design and premium performance is ideal for entertainment, work and play.

Design and Features

The NEO Z83-4 comes with a sturdy black plastic casing with rounded edges, a metal bottom and the company logo etched on top. The Mini PC measures 4.8 x 4.8 x 1.2 inches and weighs in at 1.4 pounds thus making it easy to hold and carry around without feeling it presence in the bag. Basically the device looks similar to other MINIX android TV boxes and Mini PCs in the market. For connectivity purposes the device features a micro SD slot-TF Card reader, three USB 2.0 ports for connecting other compatible devices and peripherals. Additionally, on the same side there is a power button and a USB 3.0 port which can as well charge your phone or tablet even in power off mode.  The side features a Kensington lock opening and a Wi-Fi antenna connector.

On the rear side, you will find media and networking ports. There is an HDMI 1.4 output port for connecting your device to a monitor or any other display, a mini display port connector, a 3.5mm audio jack for microphone and headphones. The mini-PC supports up to 4K at 30fps thus capable of producing visually striking cinematic experience. There is also a gigabit Ethernet RJ 45 port for cabled internet connection and the power jack. Important to note is that the installation of Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 is optional since not everyone could want it attached. Unfortunately, the device does not come with any means of control, so you will have to purchase it separately. You won’t have any problem working with the device if you get yourself a mouse and a keyboard such as the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard.

Performance

The NEO Z83-4 is powered by an Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Tail processor clocked at 1.84GHz with 4GB RAM capable of handling day to day tasks. It comes with a 32GB eMMC flash storage that offers an average performance, a common scenario in such storage devices when compared to their larger counterparts such as 64 GB and 128 GB storage devices. We cannot however expect much considering the price of the device, hence the slow storage cannot be much of a deal breaker. Setting up the device is also easy and fast as all you need to do is connect the device to a power source, switch it on, connect your USB mouse and keyboard, connect the TV using an HDMI cable and you are set to go.

Multitasking is also possible with the Mini PC as you can open more than one program at the same time. For instance you should be able to access your adobe Photoshop, Libre office and Firefox with ease without the machine slowing down. You can stream your 1080p YouTube videos without experiencing any lag and play your favorite games such as Candy crash saga online and Asphalt 8.

The highlight feature of this MINI PC is on its excellent Thermal design that ensures the system runs in absolute silence. The passive cooling deign strikes a balance on the speed, temperature and performance of the PC as it does not come with any moving parts/fan-less. As such, the system is capable of accomplishing strenuous tasks while keeping the temperatures low. Another big win with the MINI PC is its ability to sip little power thus making it an energy efficient machine compared to the traditional PC which uses 80 more energy in running tasks such as media playback and web surfing. So you will not only save in terms of space but also you won’t be worried of your power bills.

Other Features

An important feature worth noting is the wake on LAN that allows you to power on the computer using a different PC on the same network. You can also schedule power on which is a great feature for automation and has auto-power recovery after power loss that comes in handy if you do not have a UPS.

Conclusion

The Minix Neo Z83-4 is a great choice that strikes a balance between great build quality, performance and the price. The fact that the system comes pre-installed with the latest version of genuine Windows 10 Home, 64 bit operating system, allows you to start using the Mini PC out of the box. The device comes with a powerful hardware featuring a low-power Intel Cherry Trail X5 z8300 Quad core processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB eMMC storage. It also offer a number of connectivity options including four USB ports, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI output and a removable Wi-Fi antenna. With a fan-less design and energy-efficient, the NEO Z83-4 suffices as a perfect Multi-Purpose PC for both home and office use.

check out the Minix Neo Z83-4 at Amazon