MINIX NEO Z64 Review: An Excellent Quadcore Windows Mini PC

The MINIX NEO Z64 is a quadcore Intel mini PC by famed mini PC manufacturer MINIX. Whilst MINIX have traditionally played in the Android Mini PC space with popular devices such as the X8-H Plus, the MINIX NEO Z64 breaks the mold by coming in both Android and Windows variants. I was fortunate enough to review the Windows Edition, also known as the MINIX NEO Z64W.

Thanks to GeekBuying for providing me a sample to review. You can purchase the MINIX NEO Z64 from them.

Click here to view the Windows edition or, alternatively, click here for the Android edition.


What Is It?

A compact Windows mini PC powered by a quadcore Intel processor. Its low power requirements and fanless design make it an ideal HTPC or desktop.

MINIX NEO Z64 Technical Specifications

  • Chipset: Intel Baytrail quad core processor with Intel HD graphics (Z3735F)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC + microSD slot up to 128GB
  • Video & Audio Output: HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm Audio
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB: 2x USB 2.0 port
  • OS: Windows 8.1 with Bing (32-bit)

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


I’m glad to see that MINIX have included a HDMI cable inside the box, as both Windows boxes that I have tested so far – the PiPO X7 and VOYO Mini PC – haven’t included one.

MINIX NEO Z64 Unboxing

MINIX NEO Z64 Design

As I mentioned in my impressions article, the MINIX Z64 looks identical to other MINIX NEO devices such as the MINIX NEO X8-H Plus. There’s no greater evidence of this than the large Android logo engraved underneath the case, despite running Windows. It’s a little odd but doesn’t have any meaningful impact on the device.


The device feels solid and has real weight to it which I haven’t noticed in other devices, even the excellent PiPO X7. This makes the Z64 feel like a “premium” device.


The front of the device houses the power LED and IR sensor, although without an included remote, I’m not sure what it is compatible with. Moving around to the right of the device, we have the power button, microSD card slot and 2 USB 2.0 ports.


Finally, the bulk of the ports are located at the rear. Moving from left to right, we have 3.5mm audio, HDMI out, Ethernet and DC In. A WiFi antenna also makes an appearance on the left side.



The biggest issue here is that MINIX have only included 2 USB 2.0 ports, which means you’ll only have a single USB port spare after connecting a mouse/keyboard. I’d definitely invest in a good USB hub to bridge the gap.

MINIX NEO Z64 Initial Impressions

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 seconds 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.

Though the device comes with 32GB of eMMC storage, this isn’t all usable as it’s split into 3 partitions:  a 100MB system partition, a 4.1GB recovery partition and a 24.7GB main partition that the OS resides on. This means that out of the box, you have 20.1GB free to use. Thankfully, you can install an SD card to increase the available storage.

MINIX NEO Z64 User Interface and Included Apps


It’s Windows 8.1 with Bing! There’s really not much to elaborate on, as Windows 8.1 is consistent across all devices. The Intel Z3735F is sufficiently powerful to handle Windows 8.1, with menu navigation and opening apps feeling fast and smooth. Windows 8.1 with Bing comes activated – although I’d expect no less from MINIX, given their reputation in the mini PC market.

MINIX NEO Z64 Media Playback

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Video CodecKodi 14.2 RC1

1080p 3D SBS H.264 OK
1080p 3D ABL H.264 OK
1080p30 H.264 OK
1080p High Bitrate H.264 OK
1080p60 H.264 OK
720p50 H.264 OK
1080i50 H.264 OK
4K H.264 OK
1080p HEVC Unwatchable (Too many skipped frames)
1080p VP8 OK
720p Hi10p Watchable (Some Dropped Frames)
1080p Hi10p Watchable (Some Dropped Frames)
1080p MPEG2 OK
1080p VC1 OK
1080p VP8 OK

I was really impressed at how well the MINIX Z64 handled the media files I tested on it. I had no issues with the more demanding codecs such as 4K H.264, 1080p60 H.264 and, surprisingly, even Hi10p was watchable. Automatic framerate switching worked as expected.

MINIX NEO Z64 Gaming Performance

To test gaming performance, I installed 2 games – 1 2D and 2 3D titles:

Gaming performance was respectable given the relatively weak GPU in the device. Jetpack Joyride was silky smooth and even Beach Buggy Blitz maintained an excellent framerate on maximum settings. Even Asphalt 8 played relatively well, maintaining approximately 25-30fps at 1080p throughout several races. I didn’t notice any performance drops to suggest thermal throttling like I saw in the VOYO Mini PC which is excellent.

Gaming Controllers and Bluetooth

I connected my iPega 9025 controller over Bluetooth without any issue. I was also able to connect my Tronsmart Mars G01 which was recognized as a Xbox 360 controller and use it in both Beach Buggy Racing and Asphalt 8.

MINIX NEO Z64 Networking Performance

WiFi Performance

To test out WiFi performance, I used iperf (iperf –t 60 -c SERVER_IP -r) to test networking bandwidth. Wifi performance was good, with upload and download speeds of 13.6 Mbps and 15.1 Mbps respectively. Web browsing and watching YouTube videos over WiFi felt fast and I didn’t experience any buffering when streaming a 1080p video from an NFS share.

Ethernet Performance

Ethernet bandwidth was tested using the same procedure as WiFi, with the device connected to a Gigabit Ethernet port on my router. As expected, Ethernet speeds were good, with upload and download speeds of 90.1 Mbps and 87.4 Mbps respectively. This correlates with what we saw on the similarly specc’ed PiPO X7.

MINIX NEO Z64 Benchmarks

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme


3DMark Cloud Gate


PCMark 8 Home Conventional


PCMark 8 Work Conventional




CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3


Interestingly, the MINIX Z64 achieved signifiicantly higher read and write speeds across the board than the VOYO Mini PC.

MINIX NEO Z64 Temperatures

Temperatures were measured after a barrage of benchmarks using an IR thermometer. With an ambient temperature of 23.3°C, the top and bottom case temperatures were 43°C and 51.4°C respectively. I didn’t experience any thermal throttling, with temperatures maxing out at around 75°C under extreme load. It’s clear that MINIX have done an excellent job on keeping the SoC cool.

MINIX NEO Z64 Power Consumption

Powered Off Standby Idle Load
0 W 2.9 W 4.6 W 8.7 W

MINIX NEO Z64 Additional Photos

Getting One

I recieved my MINIX NEO Z64 from GeekBuying. If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, you can purchase one from them: Windows or Android.

Alternatively, it’s also available from GearBest (Windows or Android) and Amazon (Windows or Android)


Share Your Experience!

Have you bought a MINIX NEO Z64? What do you use yours for? How well do you feel it performs?

The MINIX NEO Z64 is an excellent Windows PC that is well worth the premium over its competitors. With top-notch build quality and excellent performance thanks to a focus on cooling, I'd thoroughly recommend forking out for the MINIX Z64 if you're in the market for a cheap Windows HTPC or desktop. It's just a shame that they didn't include more USB ports


Michael is a technology expert with over 15 years of experience in IT, Home Theatre and Automation. Feel free to send Michael a message here.

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36 thoughts on “MINIX NEO Z64 Review: An Excellent Quadcore Windows Mini PC”

  1. Worth mentioning that you can install Teamviewer and do your admin stuff remotely, even if in the same room.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Jimmy. I use Teamviewer heaps when I can’t be bothered moving from my main PC or the couch.

  2. Hi All,
    I want to buy a minix z64 but i’m confused which one to buy. Between minix z64 window 8.1 and minix z64 android which one is much better

    • Hi Njamba,

      They’ve got identical hardware but the Windows version has the Windows licence with it. It really depends what you want to use it for but I’d argue that the Windows version is probably the most flexible.

    • Just buy windows version of Minix z64 and also install andriod emulator and android OS. Both can be run in other PCs and it is also an operating system which can run both OS.

  3. I purchased the Z64w and two things make it not practical as a HTPC:

    – Tiles are way too small at 1080p, even after modifying smaller tiles to make them bigger.
    – For some reason, the IR interface does not work on the Windows version of this box (but it does on the Android version). A keyboard/touchpad combo is somewhat serviceable, but not optimal for couch viewing.

    I’m going back to my Matricom G Box Q until I find something better.

    • Hi Marc,

      I agree that Windows itself isn’t the most ideal as a HTPC frontend. I’d recommend installing Kodi ( instead as it’s designed for TV from the ground up. There’s plugins to integrate popular services into Kodi to avoid needing to jump to the desktop too.

      MINIX never really released any details about the IR sensor under Windows but I’d have a look at an Airmouse like the Rikomagic MK705 ( for these devices as it’s far more intuitive and nicely bridges the gap between remote and keyboard/mouse.

      Would love to know how you go.

      • I already am familiar with Kodi and use it regularly on my Android box. My beef is more with how Windows presents icons or shortcuts on the desktop on the tiled interface. I am also a Netflix subscriber and use other web services, and while these work fine on Windows, there has to be a better way to present those elements on the desktop.

        I’m exploring replacement shells and other programs (such as PowerDVD) to see if I can make the box work better from my couch. I’ll report back with more info when I can.

        Thanks for your reply!

  4. Hi Michael.
    Could you please confirm the following:
    1. Does it produce any noise (in other words, does it have a cooling fan)?
    2. Can it read HDDs bigger than 2 TB? I bought Samsung 5TB HDD and neither my current media center or my LG smart TV cannot recognize it. So I’m busy researching what I can replace my media center with that has no noise and can read large modern hard drives. Of course it must play movies in Full HD.
    Regards, Sergiy

    • Hi Sergiy,

      I can confirm its completely fanless. Cooling is passive and I didn’t notice any throttling during stress testing so MINIX have done a good job.

      With regards to the 5TB HDD, I can’t see why it wouldn’t support it but if I have a chance, I’ll hook up my 4TB and see. Usually devices like TVs have limited support for HDDs.

      • Hi Michael,
        Could you please try? Also, there should be more than 2TB data on it, as I found that my “mede8er” multimedia center can read HDD if it has up to 2TB of movies.

  5. This Minix Neo Z64 is not entirely plug and play. eg. I cannot get my TV’s full screen filled. Instead a square box in the middle of the 32″ TV screen. Secondly there is no audio from the TV despite the HDMI connection to the TV. I also have an optical cable for audio input from TV to Denon 591 HT receiver; no sound. Yet Lap top works with filled screen and Denon 3.1 DTS

    Appreciate any fixes for these two issues.

    • Hi there,

      I didn’t experience any issues on my setup at all.

      The square box sounds like an overscan issue. Check the overscan settings on your TV or in the Intel Driver on the Minix Z64. For the audio issue, check that HDMI is correctly set as the default audio source on the Minix box.

    • I believe so as Android supports Bluetooth headsets but I don’t have a bluetooth headset to test it out for you unfortunately.

  6. Well without a remote, this is basically useless for anyone wanting a family-friendly media player for their TV. Using a keyboard/mouse is not a comfortable couch experience.

  7. Great review! Great miniPC, really impressed!

    Looking for a way to be able to wake it up from the sleeping state remotely. I mean WakeOnLAN (WoL)

    So far I was not lucky to wake it up via WiFi… thanks for any help on this!

  8. Hi Michael,
    I got one of these based on your review. I am very impressed. A couple of queries

    Firstly, on all three of my TVs the windows desktop seems to extend slightly past the screen border. See attached picture. It’s a bit annoying in desktop mode as the start button and the clock are truncated.

    Secondly, it seems to want to turn itself off. I have set it to never sleep, but come back three times now and it’s off, needs a button press to get restarted.

    Do you have any comment on these?


    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      The cutting off issue seems like its an overscan issue. There are two options – see if you can disable overscan on the TV (I always do this) or there is often a setting in the Intel HD Driver Settings to adjust overscan/mention you are connected to a TV.

      I’ve never had the issue of it going to sleep by itself but it could be a setting issue. The other option would be to look at the Windows 8.1 Admin logs and see if a sleep command is being issued by the system and diagnose from there.

      Hope this helps.


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