I've looked at many mini PCs based on a SoC, but each and every one I reviewed thus far did not include an OS. So while the cost of these units is low, there is either a need to spend more or install Linux, which isn't exactly the sort of experience normal people look for when adding some PC functionality into their living room. Most people will want something they can connect the cables to and fire up right away. The answer to that is the ECS LIVA X2.
Having covered two other ECS LIVA units in the past, both of which I liked a lot, those little PCs were put to use in my home after I finished those reviews, used by my young children for school work or to browse the Internet. Both did those tasks fairly well, but were a bit underpowered compared to a full desktop. With the launch of Intel's Braswell-based SoC silicon, the provided power has increased, and so we have a new LIVA box based on those Braswell parts, the LIVA X2.
These aren't powerful units, which makes benchmarks a bit useless in my eyes. The LIVA X2 is a very basic system with very basic specifications, but what makes it special is that you can get it with Windows 8.1 pre-installed, ready for you to fire up and use as soon as you apply power. And with two different models available, you've got options.
*Specifications vary by model.
|ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC*|
|CPU:||Intel Braswell SoC|
|MEMORY:||2/4 GB DDR3L|
|Audio:||Realtek ALC283 (HD Audio)|
|NETWORKING:||Gigabit LAN & 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0|
|STORAGE:||32GB/64GB + 1 x M.2 slot|
|PORTS:||D-Sub, HDMI, 3x USB 3.0 port, Audio, 1x LAN|
|GRAPHIC OUTPUT:||1 x HDMI & 1 x D-SUB|
|DIMENSIONS:||6.14" x 3.27" x 2.01"|