First Impression & Design:
ECS has gone to some length to highlight the fact that their latest offering has a motherboad whose size is no bigger than the Logitech Performance Mouse. Even with the cabinet, it\’s hardly bigger than most packages for smartphones, having a capacity of merely 0.4l. It\’s so small, in fact, that with a VESA mount, it can be attached to a monitor or an AIO and still be inconspicuous. This, naturally means, that the product can be used for various scenarios where bulky PC\’s are a strict nono. But, even with its budget offering, should you still consider it? We explored.
Setting up the Liva X is as simple as it gets. We got the Windows pre-loaded variant, so all we had to do was plug in the power and hook the HDMI up to a monitor. And voila, we had our fully functioning PC! For fun, we also hooked it to a TV monitor, and it worked perfectly well. But, let\’s first understand a few things about the Liva X. All the connectivity ports are at the back, whereas the USB ports at the front. Surprisingly, even the audio jack is at the back, which meant simply plugging in your favourite headphones is quite a reach. It almost seems like the Liva X is targetted more to the B2B segment, which will perhaps end up using this more as a thin-client solution or a cheap computer which can be used with just about any kind of screen. In that sense, the brand has succeeded
in creating a hassle-free solution that offers maximum value. In every benchmark that we tested the Liva X on, it was clear that the Intel Bay Trail-M SoC isn\’t the best piece of hardware on a small form factor, but it\’s great for a dual-core offering. Installing your basic workload software (namely Chrome browser, MS Office and some
extra tools) really didn\’t stress the machine out at all and I was so surprised with the fanless mechanism not heating up at all during the entire time of testing that we had it for. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, which means besides the power & Monitor cables, nothing else needs to be connected to it. Disappointingly, though, it has the older 802.11n standards implementation and not the newer ac. The presence of a Gigabit Fast Ethernet port did somehow makeup for this omission, but not if you want to use the product only on WiFi. Benchmarking the drive, it was clear that it is no match for a quality SSD, but thankfully there is a slot for mSATA available. Testing various multimedia files and running them even when attached to external storage proved to be a hassle-free experience and we had no complains regarding the Liva X Mini in this regard.
The Liva X Mini PC is trying to be a modern solution in a small compact body, with a few weird choices- namely the audio jack on the back panel and the lack of a modern ˜ac\’ standard WiFi card. If you can overlook these, or plan to use the device for other purposes, then there is no better choice in the market right now. For the price, you get the goodness of Windows 8.1 in a fairly powerful machine which can easily do net-based workloads and basic MS Office workflows too.
¢ Intel Bay Trail-M SoC
¢ 2.25 GHz Intel Celeron N2808 (dual-core)
¢ 2 GB DDR3 RAM
¢ 32GB eMMC storage
¢ Windows 8.1 OS
¢ 1x mSATA expansion slot for SSD
¢ HD Audio Subsystem by Realtek ALC283
Price 14,990 (With Windows 8.1)
11,990 (Without Windows OS)
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