The MINIX NEO Z64 is a quadcore Intel mini PC running Windows 8.1 with Bing by famed mini PC manufacturer MINIX. I’ve had a chance to connect mine up and take it for a quick hands-on.
Update: Read the full review here
MINIX NEO Z64 Unboxing
What’s in the box?
MINIX have given the basics to get started inside the box:
- 1x MINIX NEO Z64 Mini PC
- 1x HDMI Cable
- 1x Power Adapter
- 1x English Instruction Manual
- 1x Warranty Card
MINIX NEO Z64 Technical Specifications
MINIX NEO Z64 Impressions
The first thing I noticed about the MINIX Z64 was that it looked identical to other devices in the NEO family such as the MINIX NEO X8-H Plus. It’s clear that MINIX have decided to “borrow” the case as the underside of the MINIX NEO Z64 even contains an Android engraved into the bottom, despite this being the Windows 8.1 variant.
The device has an impressive weight about it which I haven’t noticed in other devices, even the excellent PiPO X7. This makes the Z64 feel like a “premium” device.
In order to boot the device, you need to first press the power button. The Z64 boots quickly, with a cold boot taking just 13 second to reach a usable state. Resuming from standby is essentially instantaneous. Windows performance has been excellent so far, with everything feeling smooth and no hint of lag. During my brief bit of testing, I didn’t notice any heat-related throttling at all, which some people have complained about on some other Windows PCs.
WiFi performance seems good and I had no issue streaming 1080p videos from an NFS share.
Kodi ran very well on the MINIX Z64, much like the PiPO X7. I had no problems with 4K H.264 decoding and automatic framerate switching worked as expected. Hi10p samples in both 720p and 1080p played and were watchable, although it’s clear that some frames were being skipped/dropped as the videos were being decoded by the CPU.
Although I haven’t recorded a Kodi demo yet, I’ve embedded the PiPO X7 Kodi demo as both devices run on the similar Intel processors (Z3735F vs Z3736F).
MINIX NEO Z64 Gaming Performance
To test out the gaming capabilities of the device, I installed Asphalt 8 and Beach Buggy Racing. Whilst not packing the most powerful GPU, I was still able to play Asphalt 8 at 20-25fps at 1080p. Beach Buggy Racing was far better, with a framerate of 25-30fps at maximum settings and far higher after turning everything down to minimum.
MINIX NEO Z64 Benchmarks
MINIX NEO Z64 Temperatures
Temperatures were measured after a barrage of benchmarks using an IR thermometer. With an ambient temperature of 23.3C, the top and bottom case temperatures were 43°C and 51.4°C respectively.
MINIX NEO Z64 Power Consumption
Verdict So Far
I’m impressed with the MINIX NEO Z64 so far in my brief testing. Performance is excellent and matches what I have seen with other devices. However, the solid build quality of the device makes it feel far more expensive than it really is.
Keep posted for my comprehensive MINIX NEO Z64 review in the coming days.