The ECS LIVA is a barebones PC kit that’s small enough to hold in one hand, but powerful enough to run Windows, Ubuntu, or other operating systems.

You can pick up a first-generation ECS LIVA kit with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an Intel Celeron N2807 Bay Trail processor for under $150. But the little guy’s been popular enough  for ECS to start thinking about next-gen models.

AnandTech reports we’ll see several new models in the next few months.

ecs liva

ECS has already announced that a 64GB version is on the way. But here are some of the other things in the works:

  • A LIVA BAT-MINI board with 32GB will be available without the PC case in October.
  • A 2nd-gen ECS LIVA kit with a new metal case and an Intel Bay Trail processor will also launch in October.
  • In December we should see the first model with an AMD processor.
  • In early 2015 ECS will offer a model with an Intel Braswell processor (which is the replacement for this year’s Bay Trail chips).

ecs liva roadmap

It’s an interesting time for fans of small, low-power PCs. For a few years the Raspberry Pi and other cheap ARM-based devices sort of had this market to themselves, but there are a growing number of options for folks who’d prefer x86 processors and support for Windows 8.1 or other operating systems that don’t support ARM.

Sure, even at $150 the ECS Liva is a lot more expensive than a $35 Raspberry Pi. But this small fanless computer is also a lot more versatile.

Meanwhile Zotac, Gigabyte, Giada, Shuttle, and others have been cranking out a series of compact, low power computers with x86 chips… although the ECS LIVA is still one of the smallest and cheapest available.

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7 replies on “ECS has big plans for its next-gen tiny LIVA PC kits”

  1. As long as they don’t drop the 5v, micro-usb power approach, I’m happy with any of it. The AMD approach is interesting. Anyone have speculation as to how that will pan out? Cheaper? More efficient? More power? Or just a nice break from intel dominance?

  2. Are they gonna sell Liva mini PC in Europe? As far as I seen, this product is sold only in Asia and USA.
    Hope to see it being sold in EU also (at least on for a decent price 150$ !=150E 😀

    1. Celeron N2807 has 2 cores, 2 threads and 1MB L2… this is pile of turd. Europe is being spared with this not being released there.

  3. If theyre planning a new design, I would be interested in something slimmer. Something along the lines of the Minix devices.

  4. I really liked the Baytrail “mini lake” form-factor that they showed in January. If LIVA PC is not faster or smaller than a chromebox, then they are moving in the wrong direction. I’m saying that this generation of LIVA PC should be skipped… looks like they have faster versions coming.

    1. Chromeboxes are great, problem is…. You can’t really do much beyond some basic things, which is fine for 90% of PC users who don’t even use the majority of what a computer than do anyway. They consume media mostly, edit sills, edit video (maybe) and browse the WWW. Nice thing about the LIVA is you can run Windows software on it, so they make good STB’s for Media Center. They also make for affordable all-in-one PC’s where space is a problem.

      My focus is in a different place now. $35 Pi is one thing, the other Dual and Quad Core ARM powered tiny tots are between $80-$135. So paying $150 for x86 based system isn’t that big a deal and you can do more with it.

      I am thinking about using one for WHS 2011 which is currently a old P4 Dell box that uses quite a bit of energy. Since USB drives are very reliable (one recently died after seven years of service), instead of spending the money for m-ITX case, new motherboard with poc onboard like the Haswell or AMD, which alone will cost at leas $150 before memory is added, this sounds like a good deal.

      One problem however is that WHS 2011 likes a hard drive more than 120GB for installation. You can shrink the image down to fit on a small SSD like as the software itself is about 30GB. If it’s not that sensitive to MAC changes then I maybe can shrink down my current image.

      The other problem is USB ports. There only two, one USB 2.0 and one 3.0. I heard the Pluggable powered USB 3.0 hubs work great, so that’s an option. It’s just more convenient and easier to buy large USB drives.

      Otherwise I sort of don’t have a use for these things. I do want to get a Gigabyte Brix to replace my HTPC, we’ll see.

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