The iKoolCore R1 Pro is a palm-sized computer that packs a lot of functionality into a compact package. It sports four 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports, HDMI and UBS-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, and an M.2 2242 slot for PCIe NVMe storage.
As the name suggests, the R1 Pro is an upgraded version of the iKoolCore R1 that began shipping earlier this year. But the new model has an improved cooling system and a higher starting price for $289… but that’s because it drops some of the entry-level configuration specs. All new models ship with an Intel Pentium Silver N6005 processor and 16GB of RAM. Goodbye Celeron N5105 and 8GB options.
Now the only configuration option is how much storage you want pre-installed. For $289 you get none, but you can pay a little more to equip the mini PC with a 128GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD.
But the biggest change is that the iKoolCore R1 Pro has an improved cooling system with a fully copper heat sink with thinner fins than the aluminum heat sink on the original, and a metal lid that comes in contact with the SSD and helps spread heat more evenly than the plastic top on the original R1, which didn’t offer much help when it came to heat dissipation.
Why does this matter? Because this little computer can run hot… and that can affect performance. When Ian Morrison reviewed the original iKoolCore R1 for CNX Software, he noted that computer had a habit of crashing under heavy load due to an overheating CPU despite having a fairly noisy fan that runs at full speed most of the time the computer is turned on.
The new model should be more stable thanks to the improved cooling. And if you already have the original iKoolCore R1 and don’t want to buy a whole new computer with similar specs just to get the new cooling system, the company does offer another option.
Aside from the new cooling system, this new model should be a lot like its predecessor. It’s still a 75 x 75 x 48mm (3″ x 3″ x 1.9″) computer with LPDDR4-4233 memory, and an Intel i226-V Ethernet controller for the four 2.5 GbE RJ45 ports.
There’s a new iKoolCore R1 Pro Upgrade kit that sells for $70. It basically allows you to transplant the mainboard and Ethernet board from the original into a new, upgraded case with improved cooling. The kit includes a new middle frame, motherboard mounting plate, bottom cover, top cover, and copper heat sink, as well as a new “side product nameplate.”