The ECS LIVA is a tiny PC kit that features an Intel Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB to 64GB of eMMC storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a fanless case.
Measuring just 4.6″ x 2.8″ x 2.2″ the ECS LIVA is tiny. But it’s capable of running Windows, Ubuntu, or other full-fledged desktop operating systems.
Up until recently ECS has only sold the system as a barebones PC kit: you had to put it together and install the operating system yourself. But soon you’ll be able to buy an ECS LIVA with Windows 8.1 pre-installed.
Update: You can pick up an ECS Liva X mini PC with Windows 8.1 from Newegg.
The new model will come with Windows 8.1 with Bing software. That’s basically the full version of Windows 8.1, but Microsoft offers a discount to PC makers in exchange for a promise that they won’t change the default search engine in Internet Explorer before shipping systems. You can change it yourself though.
ECS hasn’t unveiled the pricing for the new model yet, but barebones models selling for as little as $165, don’t be surprised if the new Windows 8.1 model is priced around $200 or lower.
Other specs for the new model are expected to remain the same: the tiny computer features an Intel Celeron N2807 processor, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI and VGA ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
There’s also a micro USB port which is used to connect a power cable.
The system will run Windows 8.1 64-bit software and features a fanless heat sink to keep the computer cool without generating any noise.
I haven’t tested an ECS LIVA myself, but I did recently review the Zotac ZBOX PI320 pico. That’s another tiny desktop PC with an Intel Bay Trail processor. I was quite impressed with the performance given the computer’s miniscule size and affordable price tag. But the ZBOX pico has a lower-power Intel Atom chip, runs 32-bit software, and lacks VGA output or a USB 3.0 port.
That could make the ECS LIVA with Windows 8.1 a much more attractive option… especially if it carries a similar $200ish price tag.