MINIX NGC-1 Intel Braswell-Based Silent, SFF Mini PC Review

MINIX NGC-1 Summary And Conclusion

Performance Summary: Looking through the few benchmarks we’ve posted will prove that the MINIX NGC-1 is no speed demon, but with a low-power, passively-cooled Braswell-based SoC, it wasn’t meant to be. The MINIX NGC-1 is, however, a capable, silent, ultra-small form factor PC, that’s well suited to media consumption and thin-client applications. MINIX’s focus is on entertainment and media though, and in this regard, the NGC-1 is strong. Because it’s running a full, 64-bit edition of Windows, there’s software available to playback virtually any file type, and our tests showed that the system was perfectly capable of local playback and streaming of all types of media, even up to 4K resolutions.

We really like the MINIX NGC-1. The system is well designed and appointed and offers a very good mix of hardware for its intended applications. The 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD should give users plenty of breathing room for HTPC use, especially if most of their media is stored on a network drive or streamed from the web. Throw KODI on this thing, along with some streaming apps from the Windows Store and you’ll have a completely silent HTPC setup with access to a ton of media.

There is pricing to consider, however. Pre-sales for the MINIX NGC-1 just started, so it’s difficult to find at the moment, but when it does hit e-tailers it’s expected to sell for $399. That puts the MINIX NGC-1 into the same pricing territory as some more-powerful mini-PCs featuring Core i3-class processors, and more expensive than similarly performing, albeit somewhat larger and potentially noisier alternatives. But, there is some grey area here because some of those machines are barebones kits (that require the additional purchase of storage, memory, and an OS) or don’t include an operating system. The moral of the story is that the MINIX NGC-1 commands a small premium due to its ultra-small form factor and completely silent, fanless operation.

In the end though, if you’re looking for a sleek, silent, mini-PC for home theater applications, the MINIX NGC-1 is a contender. This is an attractive, little PC that’s well appointed and does what it’s designed to do quite well.

  • Attractive, Metal Chassis
  • Sleek, Small, And Silent
  • 802.11ac, BT 4.1, And Wired Ethernet
  • 4K Support
  • Three USB 3.0 Ports
  • 128GB M.2 SSD
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64-Bit Windows 10
  • Price Puts It In-Line With More Powerful Mini Systems
  • Unsightly External Antennas

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