ECS has updated its Liva line of mini desktop computers. The new ECS LivaX is now available from Newegg for $210 and up.
The little computer measures 5.3″ x 3.3″ x 1.6″ and houses a low-power Intel Celeron Bay Trail processor and support for Windows, Ubuntu, or other operating systems.
ECS offers the Liva X in two different configurations. The entry-level model has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There’s also a $250 model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Both feature Intel Celeron N2808 Bay Trail processors, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA ports, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
Unlike earlier ECS Liva models, the storage is also upgradeable. There’s an mSATA slot that lets you add a solid state disk. LegitReviews opened up the case of a review unit and noted that the RAM is not user upgradeable, but the wireless card is.
LegitReviews also confirmed that the system is energy efficient: it uses less than 10 watts while streaming YouTube videos, under 7 watts while surfing the web, and less than 4 watts when idle.
Unfortunately the CPU can get pretty hot during use. The Liva X is a fanless system that uses passive cooling… but it doesn’t seem to do a very good job of dissipating heat and under some extreme circumstances LegitReviews says the CPU can run so hot that speeds are throttled down to cool things off a bit.
Overall the new model seems to be a step up from the original ECS Liva though. It has a slightly faster processor, some support for user upgrades, and better support for Linux.
First-gen ECS Liva min iPC kits are also still available for about $155 and up.