Minix Z83-4 Fanless Mini Windows 10 PC

On first impressions, you would be forgiven if you thought this was going to be another android TV media player from Minix. However you would be wrong. 

The latest helping from Minix, the Z83-4, is so much more. Running Windows 10, as well as being used as a media/entertainment box, the versatility of this box means it can be be used a home desktop PC. 

Design

The box has stayed with its tried and tested design with its high quality plastic enclosure. The nice addition to this model is the aluminium base adding that extra quality.

 

 

Looking directly down : 

Left hand side – there is the screw attachment for the Wifi antenna and also room for a Kensington lock to secure the Mini PC. 

The wifi in the Z83-4 is dual band so can connect to both 2G and 5G signals. 

Right hand side – there are three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a SD card input and the power button. 

Rear  – there is a 3.5mm audio jack, mini display port & HDMI port, and finally an ethernet and power jack point. The inclusion of Mini DP and HDMI means dual output is now possible! Two screens from one mini-PC this small is something I haven’t seen before so props to Minix for the inclusion of this.

Specifications 

The mini computer has an Intel Cherry Trail quad-core chip (X5-Z8300), 4GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB eMMC flash storage and runs Windows 10 (fully licensed Home edition). In addition to the earlier mentioned connectivity, the Z83-4 also has bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. 

The Z83-4 is also “fanless” which means that quite amazingly, the mini computer runs without making a noise. After around 6 hours of continuous use I haven’t noticed a noise nor it has it become overly hot. 

From the specs, the only disappointment is the limited 32GB memory – however I have learnt that this is a restriction required to meet specs for windows licensing. It is probably what has kept of the price of box down which in the grand scheme of things is good. This is because this can be remedied by using an external hard drive via the USB ports or even expandable memory of up to 64GB using the micro SD input. I have currently hooked up my 1TB portable hard drive with no issues.

 

 

Set-up and usability

Set up of the Z83-4 is really simple. In order to use and navigate you will need either an air mouse controller (i.e. the MINIX A2 Lite) or conventional mouse and keyboard. If you plan to use this as a desktop computer, I think the conventional format of mouse and keyboard will be more suited. The air mouse is more suited for using it is an entertainment PC so it really depends on what you want to use it for.

The mini PC connected simply to my LG 22inch IPS screen via HDMI with no issues at all. It also connected with no problems with my 42inch LG television. 

I always test video playback first when testing the processor capability of any devices and for the Z83-4 which advertises 4K playback, I tested a 4K file. The Z83-4 was able to playback the 4K file with no lagging at all. The same can be said for 1080p playback on youtube and also lower quality files ranging from MKV, MP3 and AVI – all tested with no issues. KODI for windows also runs smoothly. 

The mini PC allowed me to multitask just as well as I can with my office desktop PC. I was able to listen to music, use Chrome as a browser and photoshop with Adobe with no signs of struggle.

 

 

Summary

The size of this thing is amazing considering what it can be used for. This will no doubt replace my larger desktop PC saving space, looking great whilst most importantly, not losing any power/productivity for the tasks I require. I have identified no issues with usability or its hardware. 

My only criticism is with the limited 32GB storage as this may put some people off. For me, I had no problems as I have two portable hard drives I can use and also use cloud storage for documents/photos which is more than accessible in Windows 10.

All things considered including its very affordable price – this is a fantastic product and if you are in the market for a mini PC – or even a desktop PC, you should definitely consider the MINIX Z83-4.

VERDICT : 5/5 1476572686_keditbookmarks1476572686_keditbookmarks1476572686_keditbookmarks1476572686_keditbookmarks1476572686_keditbookmarks

You can purchase the Z83-4 from :
MINIX Direct store @ AMAZON UK : 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/MINIX-NEO-Z83-4-Dual-Band-Technology/dp/B01M24W77N/

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