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GIGABYTE BRIX BKi5A-7200 (Kaby Lake) Mini PC Review

By: Steven Bassiri | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Dec 19, 2016 10:29 pm
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TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Here are key points about the BKi5A-7200.

 

What's Hot

 

Excellent 4K Support: If you haven't heard, Netflix 4K streaming requires a Kaby Lake CPU, Windows 10, and the Edge browser. The BRIX BKi5A-7200 has all the right hardware regarding the Kaby Lake CPU and Windows 10 support, but it also has HDMI 2.0 which might also be a requirement to stream 4K content.

 

Content creators wanted to lock down their content from the hardware side, along with all connections and pathways, and HDCP 2.2 is what they use. HDMI 2.0 fully supports HDCP 2.2 as does the Kaby Lake CPU, and the BRIX fully supports it. The BKi5A-7200 might be the first PC on the market with the ability to stream 4K Netflix, and the new HEVC 10b decoder in the iGPU doesn't hurt things.

 

 

Solid Performance: Intel's 7200U might seem like a low-powered CPU, and it is, but that doesn't mean it can't still be fast. With a fast storage solution like the 950 Pro matched with the 7200U, performance in most tasks is very similar to that of a desktop PC. Another editor had asked about a small NUC device for his father, and I recommended a Skylake-based BRIX I had just reviewed. He had his doubts about the performance of such small devices until he actually got it in his hands. Needless to say, most people won't notice the difference between a device like the BKi5A-7200 and a desktop PC.

 

USB 3.1: The BKi5A-7200 is fully loaded with USB 3.1 type-A and type-C. The latest in USB storage technology is double the speed of its predecessor, and the type-C port is very convenient.

 

Small and Sleek: I am a big fan of GIGABYTE's new BRIX casing. While it is plastic, it looks like brushed aluminum and feels like it too. The best part is that it doesn't easily pick up fingerprints, something a lot of glossy mini PCs do.

 

What's Not

 

Low on USB: The device has a total of three USB type-A ports. For most people, the two in the rear will go to a keyboard and mouse, and that just leaves the front USB type-A port for other devices, like a wireless headphone transmitter. While the device also has a type-C port, support is still not as widespread as most had thought.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

At just under $400 without storage or RAM, the BKi5A-7200 is not cheap, but you do get a nice desktop replacement. For almost all business usage, the BRIX BKi5A-7200 will get the job done quickly and quietly. It will also take care of almost all home usage except for gaming. While content creation, like editing a video, might be much faster on a full-blown desktop with a fast CPU, the BRIX BKi5A-7200 can handle it but slower.

 

gigabyte-brix-bki5a-7200-kaby-lake-mini-pc-review_59

 

With the Kaby Lake CPU and HDMI 2.0, you will be able to use the BRIX BKi5A-7200 well into the future as a streaming device. If you are looking for a desktop replacement and you don't game or produce content, and are looking for a mini PC to replace an aging desktop, the BRIX BKi5A-7200 is an excellent choice.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance92%
Quality including Design and Build93%
General Features90%
Bundle and Packaging89%
Value for Money93%
Overall TweakTown Rating91%

The Bottom Line: With a fast Intel Kaby Lake CPU, HDMI 2.0, and USB 3.1, the BRIX BKi5A-7200 is a fast and capable little machine that can replace most desktops.

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