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MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus review
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What is good in MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review? MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus is designed to meet the diverse needs of industrial commercial applications; an ideal Digital Signage, POS and Thin Client Solution. NEO Z83-4 Plus is a fully configured, complete system pre-installed with 4GB DDR3L memory, 64GB eMMC 5.1 (MLC) internal storage and Windows 10 Pro OS. No setup or installation required.

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It delivers a desktop experience in a fraction of the size and weight, allowing for easy integration into any places with limited space. The super compact NEO Z83-4 Plus comes packed with connectivity options including Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.2, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and more. Discover more on MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review.

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review

If you’re looking for a well performing, Windows 10 Mini PC with excellent build quality and, by association, high reliability, the Minix Z83-4 Plus makes for a fine choice. It is sturdy and features excellent connectivity including USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4. Minix’s decisions to choose the best components also pays dividends with snappy read/write performance, super networking speeds over a wired connection and the generally slick running of programmes and apps. Get everything you want to know in MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review.

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus specs

GeneralBrand: MINIX
Model: NEO Z83-4 Plus
Type: Mini PC
System: Windows 10 Pro
Processor: Intel Atom X5-Z8350
CPU: Intel Atom Z8350
Core: Quad Core
GPU: Intel HD Graphic
RAM Type: DDR3L
Max. Extended Capacity: 128G
Maximum External Hard Drives Capacity: 2TB
Color: Black
Media SupportedDecoder Format: H.263,H.264,H.265,HD AVC/VC-1,HD MPEG4,RealVideo8/9/10,Xvid/DivX3/4/5/6
Video format: AVC,H.263,H.264,H.265,MPEG1,MPEG2,MPEG4,RM,RMVB
Audio format: AAC,AC3,DDP,DTS,FLAC,HD,MP3,OGG,TrueHD,WAV,WMA
Photo Format: BMP,GIF,JPEG,PNG,TIFF
Support 5.1 Surround Sound Output: Yes
Product Details5G WiFi: Yes
WIFI: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz , Dual wireless antenna
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2
Power Supply: Charge Adapter
Interface: 3.5mm Audio,DC 12V,HDMI,Mini DP,RJ45,TF card,USB2.0,USB3.0
Language: Multilanguage
DVD Support: No
HDMI Version: 1.4
Other Functions: DLNA,Others
HDMI Function: HDCP
Power Consumption.: 36W
RJ45 Port Speed: 1000M
Firmware InformationSystem Bit: 64Bit
WiFi Chip: AP6255
System Activation: Yes
Power RequirementPower Type: External Power Adapter Mode
Power Input Vol: 12V
Suggest Input: 12V 3A
Power Adapter Input: 100-240V / 50-60Hz
Dimensions and WeightProduct weight: 0.3480 kg
Package weight: 1.0100 kg
Product size (L x W x H): 12.20 x 12.20 x 2.50 cm / 4.8 x 4.8 x 0.98 inches
Package size (L x W x H): 22.00 x 18.00 x 7.50 cm / 8.66 x 7.09 x 2.95 inches
Package ContentsPackage Contents: 1 x Mini PC, 1 x EU Power Adapter, 1 x HDMI Cable, 1 x VESA Mount, 1 x English User Manual, 1 x US Plug, 1 x UK Plug, 1 x Set of Installation Accessories

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus comparison

MINIX NEO C MiniMINIX NEO C-XMINIX NEO Z83-4U
CompatibilityApple MacBook, MacBook Pro 13 & 15Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro 13 & 15Ubuntu 18.04.1 (64-bit)
Size88.0mm x 39.50mm x 10.50mm90.5mm x 56.5mm x 15.0mm122mm x 122mm x 30mm
Micro SD card reader
USB2 x USB 3.0 ports2 x USB 3.0 ports3x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review

Excellent Thermal Design

The innovative passive cooling design of NEO Z83-4 HOME realizes the perfect balance of speed, temperature, performance and absolute silence. Containing no moving parts, it seamlessly operates without even a whisper of noise, while simultaneously maintaining an incredibly low operation temperature even when accomplishing the most strenuous tasks. Plus, NEO Z83-4 HOME is unbelievably energy-efficient requiring 80% less energy than traditional desktop PCs.  

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review

Multi-Purpose PC

NEO Z83-4 HOME truly excels as Thin Client Solution, being equipped with dual output display ports (Mini DP and HDMI) and combining awesomely fast start-up, seamless web browsing, multi-tasking and compatibility with a vast array of office productivity software. While also being the perfect Home Theater PC, designed to create a stunning cinematic visual experience in your living room (support up to 4K @ 30fps). 

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review


Desktop Performance 

Thanks to its 64GB of Samsung eMMC (MLC) NEO Z83-4 HOME effortless achieves a lightning-fast and highly responsive user experience, delivering the high-end performance that users have come to expect from MINIX. NEO Z83-4 HOME also comes packed with 802.11ac Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, providing substantially improved connectivity capabilities compared to its predecessor, NEO Z64-W.  

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB review

Minix Z83-4 Plus as a day to day computer

You might think that you’ll need more processing power for day to day usage, but I found that for browsing, text editing, online video and light games Minix Z83-4 Plus is just enough. In fact, most of this review is written using the Z83-4 Pro, while performing the benchmarks.

The system boots in less than 20 seconds, and Chrome, Firefox, Notepad ++ and other simple apps start instantly. Keeping several tabs open at the same time is not an issue, and after a few days, when I ditched Chrome to test out Firefox 57, things got even better – the new and improved Firefox really shines!

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus Intel Z5-Z8350/4GB/64GB performance review

It may technically be a quad-core PC, but the MINIX Neo Z83-4 isn’t meant for high-performance computing applications. This machine designed for media consumption and basic computing needs and is outfitted with the kind of hardware you’d normally find in tablet-type mobile form factors. As such, we’re not going to run an extensive array of benchmarks, but rather test the MINIX Neo Z83-4 in a few of the scenarios it was meant for.

In the four SiSoft SANDRA modules we ran (Processor Arithmetic, Multi-Media, Memory, File System), the MINIX Neo Z83-4 performed in-line with expectations. The Cherry Trail-based Atom processor powering the device performed about on par with similar Atom-derived products. In the Multi-Media benchmark, performance was similar to some low-power Celerons and other Atom-class processors. Memory bandwidth from the single-channel of DDR3 RAM peaked at just over 6.2GB/s, which is fairly low. And the internal 32GB eMMC 5.0 drive offered up some decent numbers, averaging around 116MB/s, but peaking just shy of 145MB/s, which puts it about in-line with a 7200RPM Hard Drive in terms of bandwidth.

We also ran SunSpider to get an idea as to how the MINIX Neo Z83-4 performs while browsing / executing JavaScript, using the Microsoft Edge browser built-into Windows 10, and recorded a score just over 456ms. That puts the MINIX Neo Z83-4 well ahead of the last Atom-based Intel Compute Stick and in-line with some smartphones, but well behind more powerful desktop computing platforms.

GeekBench isn’t a particularly flattering benchmark for Intel architectures. Single-core performance was better than expected, however.

We also ran some quick numbers in a simple audio-encoding tool to show you how the MINIX Neo Z83-4’s Atom x5-Z8300 fares in comparison to some other x86-based low-power processors. In this test, the MINIX Neo Z83-4 outpaces the Compute Stick once again and almost catches the older AMD A4 APU, but finishes near the rear of the pack.

In the types of scenarios the MINIX Neo Z83-4 is designed for, however, it does its job well. We also played back a myriad of HD video clips — streaming from the web, from an on-premises network attached storage device (NAS), and local to the device — as well as accessing other systems remotely. We even streamed games using Steam’s in-home streaming capabilities from a high-end gaming PC.

Streaming SD and HD videos from YouTube worked very well. The image above is from a 4K UHD version of the Wonder Woman trailer, scaled to full screen on a 4K display and connected to the MINIX Neo Z83-4 via HDMI. It played lag-free using only the built-in WiFi to connect to the web. Regardless of the resolution, this clip played back smoothly, and as you can see in the image, CPU utilization remained relatively low throughout (Task Manager window not to scale).

In addition to streaming from the web, we also played an assortment of UHD, 1080p MKV, MP4, and AVI files, grabbed from a NAS attached to the local network or copied to the MINIX Neo Z83-4 itself. All of them played back perfectly, except for one, with one particular configuration.

All of the 1080p content we threw at the MINIX Neo Z83-4 worked fine, in a variety of players, including Windows Media Player, Windows 10’s Video app, and Kodi, using either the wired or wireless network connection. When we tried to stream a 4K MKV file from our NAS with the MINIX Neo Z83-4 connected wirelessly over an 802.11ac 5GHz connection, however, CPU and wireless network utilization were both so high, that we got some dropped frames and laggy audio (middle image above).  Streaming the same exact file, however, when hard-wired to the network, worked fine. The low-power SoC and Wi-Fi network connection were too heavily taxed with the 4K stream. So, if 4K is your goal with this device, be sure to play it back locally or over a wired connection for the best experience.

Can you do MINIX NEO Z83-4 Windows 10 update?

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro Edition.

Is it possible to increase the internal memory of MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus?

No, it is not possible to increase the internal memory of MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus. MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus comes pre-installed with 4GB DDR3L RAM. Both the RAM and eMMC storage are fixed, neither can be changed or upgraded.

Can you do MINIX NEO Z83-4 upgrade hard drive?

No, it is not possible to increase the internal storage of MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus. MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus comes pre-installed with 64GB eMMC. We recommend using an external HDD or micro SD card to increase the total storage capacity.

Does MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus support micro SD?

MINIX NEO Z83-4 Plus supports micro SD cards up to 256GB capacity. We tested using a Samsung EVO 256GB micro SD card.

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