Azulle has done it again, releasing another tiny Windows 10 PC into the world, in the form of an HDMI stick design. It is the new Azulle Access4, a fanless HDMI 2.0 mini PC stick, designed to bring PC capabilities to any TV or monitor you slide it into. All while disappearing behind the display as though it was never there.
The overall build is somewhat of a familiar design if you are familiar with Azulle’s products and the HDMI sticks that came before it. Similar to the size of an external NVMe drive enclosure solution, only with a small antenna and an HDMI connector sticking out the end.
The HDMI connector is HDMI 2.0, allowing for resolutions of up to 4K@60p. This is a major feature for this model, allowing you to make use of it with the latest 4K displays. It is designed to work best with TV’s that have HDMI ports on the back that shoot off to the side, that allow this PC to slide into place and live parallel to the screen, thus not sticking out the back and getting in the way. Of course, not all TVs feature this setup, so they do include a small HDMI extension cable that allows you to break out of any port and simply secure the stick to the back of the TV using velcro or something similar.
It brings with it the most common connections you’d find on any modern PC, allowing it to perform as any system would while maintaining a small profile. Making it perfect for minimalists, situations where you are limited on space, and of course, commercial applications.
On one side, you have a standard USB 3.0 port for your typical devices, like external storage, thumb drives, keyboard/mice options, and anything else that supports USB. There is also a MicroSD slot for bringing media too and from it with, allowing you to transfer files from other devices easily (ie, images from your smartphone or camera).
There is a small power button for turning it on and off with, but most notably, a new power connection that makes use of a barrel connector instead of the micro USB connection they’ve used in the past. This makes for a sturdier connection point for power that doesn’t give like mico USB can.
Spinning it around to the other side reveals the latest USB-C port, which like the USB 3.0 port, can connect all sorts of devices and accessories (assuming they support USB-C or you have an adapter to break back out into normal USB-A. This is also another notable point of enhancement compared to previous models, as this USB-C port offers DisplayPort support, allowing you to connect an external monitor to it. This gives you the ability of a second screen. A rare feature for an HDMI stick-style PC and it is also support resolutions of up to 4K@60p.
The backside of the stick features a gigabit Ethernet port for wired connectivity (in case you have a connection nearby), else it does fully support WiFi, which is likely to be the preferred choice for connectivity. Hence the antenna hanging off the side.
There is also a 3.5mm TRRS connection for headsets, headphones, or microphones. One port to rule them all. Finally, there is a Kensington lock connection, in case you need to lock it up for security purposes. This area of the stick was reinforced so that it could take a lot more abuse than previous models, adding to your peace of mind.
If the USB connectivity isn’t enough for accessories, it also features Bluetooth 4.2 support for adding wireless devices with, including headphones, mice, keyboards, speakers, and more.
The operating system is Windows 10 Pro, which opens up additional features than your normal home edition of Windows, strengthening networking features and encryption security. This makes this a great networked terminal/station, especially if you want to operate it remotely from another system. Of course, if Windows isn’t your thing, you could always opt for Linux as an alternative.
So already, this model has a lot going for it. Of course, with connectivity comes the ability to drive it all. Inside, there is an Intel Gemini lake 4125 processor (quad-core with burst speeds of up to 2.7GHz) and 4GB of DDR4 (PLDDR4) RAM. The processor is an excellent choice for allowing this small PC solution to provide the ability to actually make use of everything it can do. The memory is a bit low still at 4GB, but we are trying to get over that part. Thankfully, it does run pretty smoothly for how small it is, and it is quite noticeably better than the model before it. Also, if you did decide to go with Linux, you’d get a little additional boost in performance with that as well since it is a less resource-hungry OS (if you can handle managing/operating it).
It handles up to 4K just fine, although we found dual 4K displays to be a bit taxing. Dual 1080p will work just fine for you in most applications. However, if you do need a dual display, it would be best to keep it to two 1080p monitors. After all, it doesn’t have a major/dedicated graphics chipset to help out with that. It only offers what the processor can do for graphics, so it’s important to keep this in mind.
Which leads us to gaming. If you are looking for something to game with, don’t expect much out of this. In fact, don’t expect anything, especially if you are running a 4K screen. This is because it isn’t meant for gaming. Unless you stick to simple app-based games, which it can conquer all day long. But, major titles will be a skip for this one. This doesn’t affect the score any though, since as we said, it wasn’t designed for gaming.
This PC solution was designed for everything from basic tasks to media playback options. Absolutely wonderful to use as a media device, feeding your display with just about anything you want. From streaming media sources like Netflix to your own personal library from the network or an external drive, this stick is perfect for bringing it all to a display. Playback of 4K content seems to work out just fine as long as it isn’t something incredibly huge in file size.
It also works well in commercial scenarios, which we have mentioned in the past regarding the previous models. This model excels heavily for this, allowing you to use it for digital signage on a convention floor, or within an office building without ever having to worry about it being able to keep up with the media you are feeding it. Let it be slideshows or looping videos, it is more than capable of running all day long without having to worry about it.
Finally, it features 64GB of capacity inside. This isn’t much for a normal PC, but this is really meant to be a PC station experience more than a replacement for a full PC. So if you need extra space, you can always make use of ane external USB drive (advised over an SD card for the purposes of speed) or network-attached storage.
It won’t replace a powerful PC, but it will conquer everything from simple to intermediate with ease. It can even do it with dual monitors depending on how you approach it. It would have been nice to see 8GB of RAM as a default feature. This would allow Windows to be able to spread its wings a little better, and the ability to enhanced multitasking. It may even help loosen the strains on any limitations to the dual monitor capabilities. However, it is an incredibly small PC, so space is also something that needs to be taken into consideration. It does pack a lot of power into a tiny bit of space, still making it wonderful in so many situations.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Gemini Lake N4020/N4120/J4025/J4125
- Gemini Lake N4020/N4120/J4025/J4125
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro/ IOT 2019/ Ubuntu Linux
- BIOS: Wake On LAN | PXE | Auto Power ON
- RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
- Storage: 64 GB
- WI-FI: Intel AC3165 Dual Band
- GPU: Intel HD Graphic 600
- Ethernet: 1x Gigabit
- Bluetooth: 4.2
- HD Output: 2.0 4K @60FPS
- USB Ports: x1 3.0 | x1 USB-C
- Micro SD Card Slot: Up to 512 GB
- Audio Output: 3.5 mm Jack
- Power in: 5V/3A
- Power out: 5V/1.5A
- Dimensions: 5.1x2x0.8 in
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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