7. Final words
The Minix Neo Z83-4 is a complete mini Windows PC / TV box armed with Windows 10 operating system and with Intel's Atom X5 Z-8300 processor our of the box. This totally silent system and operate 24/7 and consumes not more than 4Watt.
The mini OC is equipped with 4GB of DDR3L RAM and offers 32GB eMMC (5.0) of internal storage soldered on the main board, meaning both cannot be replaced or upgraded. For sure we would like the option to have more storage (64GB) since the Windows 10 installation leaves just 13.8GB free for use. Of course you have the option to add a microSDHC/XC card to further expand the internal storage.
The device also offers the essential 802.11ac Wifi (with External antenna) and the 1GBit LAN connectivity, which will help you playback heavily bitrated files over your local network/Internet. There are also several USB ports (2.0 & 3.0) that should cover most of your needs. In addition, two Video output ports (mini DP and HDMI) can be used to drive two monitors at the same time (perhaps displaying KODI in one screen and Normal windows at the second screen..)
The box includes a licensed version of the Windows 10 Home Edition x64 operating system. Booting with the included 32GB eMMC 5.0 HDD is very quick and most essential installations can be completed in an acceptable time, provided that you are familiar with the features of the Intel Atom ecosystem. Minix also offers a full set of drivers in case you need to install any other Windows version (but of course you will loose original the licence). Minix also plans to port Linux soon for this little system.
Performancewise, this little baby can be used for most everyday tasks (office/internet) without any problems. Gaming with an Atom device is not a good idea.. However, playback of 4K content will not be a problem. With either KLiteCodec or KODI , you will have a good overall experience. HD Audio is present, although down to 5.1 due to limitations of the Intel platform. If you are using 10bit files, this box won't keep up with your expectations as well.
The Neo Z83-4 mini PC is very compact, totally silent and offers the benefits of a Windows-cased system. It's more expensive than Android-based systems but you get convenience and interoperability with the Windows software ecosystem, many hardware features and a great support from Minix.
+ Complete retail package
+ Compact size
+ Totally silent, 24/7 operation
+ 4GB included DDR3 memory
+ Licensed Windows 10 Home Edition x64 included
+ Build quality
+ 802.11ac Wifi with external Antenna
+ Many I/O ports (USB2.0, USB3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, 1GBit Lan)
+ Proper cpu cooling keeps temperature low even under full load (never above 58 degrees Celsius)
+ Intel HD graphics support up to 4K content
+ HD Audio passthrough works great (up to 5.1)
+ Kodi 17.0 works great with this box
+ Frequent firmware updates and support from Minix
- Only DD/DTS 5.1 playback (Intel Atom platform limitation)
- Cannot playback H264/H265 10bit files (Intel HD Graphics limitation)
- Slightly higher retail price than competition
- Memory/HDD cannot be upgraded
- Included HDMI port is v1.4 (4K @ 24Hz) and not 2.0 (4K @ 60Hz + HDR)