Gigabyte Brix PC/Projector Review - HotHardware

Gigabyte Brix PC/Projector Review

3 thumbs up
These are the days of form factors. The PC market is changing rapidly as tablets supplant some laptops, new players such as the Chromebook disrupt the old WIntel model, and innovations in processors and graphics allow for ever-smaller PCs such as Intel’s NUC. Here’s a new one for you: a tiny NUC-style PC that doubles as a video projector.

It's an interesting combination and that’s we have for you today with the Gigabyte Brix Projector. The little PC ships as a barebones unit without storage or memory, but it actually has some solid specs under that diminutive hood and capabilities not found in virtually any PC product on the market to date.

Gigabyte Brix Projector
Specifications & Features
Dimension:
Motherboard:
CPU:
Memory:


LAN:
Audio:
Graphics:
HDMI Resolution (Max.):
Mini DP Resolution (Max.):
Expansion Slots:

Front I/O:

Rear I/O:





Power Supply:


Projector type:
Projector Resolution:
Projector Aspect ratio:
Projector Image size:
Projector Brightness:
Projector Contrast Ratio:
Projector Lifecycle:
Projector Input:
Projector Speaker:

Price:
48.9 mm x 107.6 mm x 114.4 mm (1.93" x 4.24" x 4.5")
100 x 105 mm
4th generation Intel Core i3-4010U 1.7GHz
2 x SO-DIMM DDR3L slots (DDR3 1.35V)
1333 / 1600 MHz
Max. 16GB"
Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8111G)
Realtek ALC269
Intel HD 4400 graphics
4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
3840 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
1 x mSATA slot
1 x Half-size mini-PCIe slot occupied by the WiFi+BT card"
2 x USB 3.0
1 x head phone jack with SPDIF"
1 x HDMI
1 x Mini DisplayPort
2 x USB 3.0
1 x RJ45
1 x DC-In
1 x Kensington lock slot"
Input: AC 100-240V
Output: DC 19V
3.42A"
DLP (LED backlight)
WVGA (864 x 480)
16:09
7"-85"
75 ANSI lumen
≥900
3LED (RGB) technology
PC / mini HDMI in
PC: Dolby technology (1.5W)
HDMI IN: SRS technology (1.5W)"
Between $535 - $675 bare-bones



The Brix Projector measures 4.24 x 4.5 x 1.93 inches (WxLxD) but manages to fit in an Intel Core i3-4010U (1.7GHz) processor with built-in Intel HD 4400 graphics and support for up to 16GB of 1600MHz RAM (in two SO-DIMM slots). Finally, an mSATA slot inside the chassis also supports up to a 256GB SSD.


There’s also a Gigabit LAN port, Realtek ALC269 audio, and WiFi with BT provided by an included half-size mini-PCIe card. As mentioned above, the Brix Projector doesn’t ship with storage or RAM, so our friends at Kingston hooked us up with some just for this review. Kingston sent a pair of SO-DIMMS (HyperX DDR3-1866MHz, 16GB total, $175.74) as well as a 120GB mSATA SSD (Kingston SSDNow mS200 mSATA [6Gbps], $94.61). Take these items into consideration when evaluating benchmark scores. To get the same numbers, you’d need to purchase the same memory kit and mSATA SSD Kingston sent us.

Gigabyte also fit a surprising number of ports into such a small device, and they include a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack with S/PDIF on the front of the unit, next to the projector lens, as well as HDMI out, HDMI in, mini DisplayPort, another two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet LAN jack, DC in, and a Kensington lock around back. The power supply is a smallish brick--more or less what you’d expect to see with a standard notebook.


The system's DLP (LED backlight) projector itself offers a resolution of 864x480 with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a purported image size of 7-85 inches. It promises 75 ANSI lumen brightness, a contrast ratio of around 900, and 3LED (RGB) technology.

You can plug in a number of other devices to the projector with the mini HDMI in port, and there are 1.5W built-in speakers, to boot.

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c wer tch z takin us

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Get that projector resolution up to 1080p and you'll have a seriously interesting product for home theater use.

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It could be a nice home theater device if it weren't for the brightness; it outputs 75 lumens whereas a "good" home theater projector outputs something in the 1,500 - 2,000 lumen range. The halogen bulb idea might not be a bad one but I suspect heat dissipation would be a major problem in a 4.5-inch cube.

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Wonder if you can stick a halogen bulb (and a 200W heat sink/fan) in that thing so it can be useful for presentations... as it stands that projector is just a gimmick, and not a good one at that.

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Perhaps you might want to test the Brix with Linux. I bet if you used a lightweight GUI the performance of this cute little bitty box would be even better. VLC is a great "Swiss Army Knife" for playing video. This is interesting and I'm hoping that future iterations of the Brix will have better projector performance.

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