The exciting thing about small form factor PCs (SFF PCs) is the limitless possibilities in terms of price, performance, and even size. Today, I have a little machine on the test bed; ASRock's Intel Cherry Trail based Beebox delivers a fan-less design with some really nice options. Compared to other SFF PCs such as the Intel NUC, the Beebox is remarkably small and light. It's perhaps the smallest SFF PC I have tested; only the Intel Compute Stick is smaller.
Not only is it small, but it's also stylish. The sample I received came in champagne gold (like an iPhone), and looking at ASRock's website, there are also white and black models available. Today I take you through the world of the ASRock Beebox, an exciting little SFF PC.
The CPU is a Celeron N3000, otherwise known as Braswell, which is part of the Cherry Trail line. It has a stock frequency of 1.08GHz and a burst up to 2.08GHz, its Intel HD graphics has 12 execution units and supports three display outputs as well as 4K displays. As far as memory goes, ASRock is pushing their dual-channel design, while others are using single-channel memory as per Intel specifications.
ASRock claim that the dual-channel memory offers real 4K display playback, while the single-channel designs lack the ability to seamlessly stream 4K. The sample I have here is the prebuilt version of the Beebox with a 128GB mSATA drive and 4GB of DDR3 (2x2GB). It also features 1T1R wireless AC/BT 4.0, Realtek audio, 1GBit wired NIC, and a bunch of USB 3.0. ASRock has implemented a C-Type reversible USB 3.0 receptacle, the same style used for USB 3.1.
ASRock has told me that the estimated retail price of the prebuilt fan-less Beebox (the one I am testing) in white and black will be $220. Looking at mini PCs on Newegg, there isn't anything resembling the Beebox for its price. While the version I have doesn't have an OS, there is a version that comes with Windows 10 and it's actually $200 (but it only has 2GB of memory and a 32GB SSD).
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