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.
You can find more performance notes at LegitReviews and AnandTech.
First-gen ECS Liva min iPC kits are also still available for about $155 and up.
Struggles with cooling, more expensive than the Zotac and lacks the 802.11ac that the Zotac has.
Get the Zotac ZBOX CI320 Nano! Avoid this like the plague.
Don’t charge desktop prices for mobile tech.
True, This processor is only marginally better than their older ECS model and it features a 2013 Atom processor. It costs about $100 on NewEgg.
The ZBOX would seem to be cheaper and better spec’d.
Systems like this are much less appealing now that it’s possible to get full systems with Windows for under $200. That instantly adds another $100 or so to the cost, and if all you can upgrade is the wireless card, it hardly seems worth it. The CPU isn’t *that* big a step up from the Atoms in the aforementioned itty-bitty systems, and Win8 runs just fine with 2GB of RAM. Heck, I tried out Steam’s in-home streaming feature on my Asus X205 netbook yesterday and laughed my butt off as I played Metro 2033 Redux (an upgrade of a notoriously graphics-intensive FPS game) at *completely* maxed out settings on a machine with an Atom processor. It was a hoot.
ECS shot themselves in the foot with this price. A windows 8 tablet can be had for $99. I own the first ECS Liva, it’s all plastic and the wifi reception was extremely poor. I’d go for Zotac Pico or the Intel compute stick.
Its a shame about the cooling system not being adequate.
Comments are closed.