My first encounter with ASRock's Beebox was roughly a year ago. The Beebox I tested carried an Intel N3000 and passive cooling, so it didn't make any noise whatsoever, but it wasn't as quick as I had hoped. The N3000 is great for a streaming machine and can be used for simple tasks, but you will notice the sluggish nature of the CPU. ASRock went back to the drawing board, this time, armed with Intel's latest Skylake-U CPUs with TDPs in the 15W range. Compared to the 4W Celeron N3000, the i3-6100U and i5-6200U put out roughly four times more heat, but also provide a significant performance boost. ASRock went ahead and added a fan and the latest in platform technologies to produce the new Beebox-S series.
The Beebox-S is only 0.6L, which is smaller than some other NUCs, and even with the higher TDP CPU, the new Beebox-S is the same size as the original. The units are offered either with an i3-6100U or an i5-6200U, they are targeted at many different market segments. The Beebox-S even has two HDMI ports each capable of 4K output, making it good for digital signage or streaming. Its small form factor, relatively quick CPU, and storage options also make it great for home or business users. Let's take a look at what this little machine can do.
Our version uses the i5-6200U. The unit supports DDR4 SO-DIMMs, and you can install up to 32GB of RAM. It not only has a x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slot for the latest in NVMe storage devices but also a standard SATA6Gb/s port for a 2.5" drive. The unit has a 1Gbit LAN, Wireless AC/BT4, and even USB 3.1 type-C. There are two HDMI ports (one is HDMI 2.0). The normal HDMI port supports up to 4K at 30Hz while the HDMI 2.0 port supports up to 4K at 60Hz. The unit is 110mm in width, 118.5mm in length, and 46mm in height.
The ASRock informed us that the MSRP will be roughly $319 for this version.
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