Mini PCs have a huge potential in the world as there are so many situations where you want access to a full PC experience while avoiding the footprint that usually comes with adding a PC to a TV or monitor. They are compact solutions that deliver everything from a simple low-powered system to a powerful system that is capable of minor editing and games (depending on the model you go with). Today we get to discuss a mid-range model that provides a great opportunity for office and commercial applications (as well as simple to mid-case scenarios at home). It is the GEEKOM MiniAir 11.
This system is slightly smaller in height than many mini PC options out there, while maintaining a cooling system inside (fan), which is important when it comes to putting a load on it with anything. GEEKOM says the fan has been improved upon for quieter performance and it is neatly tucked away into the small bit of space afforded to it.
It is well-balanced with inputs/outputs that will provide the needs of most situations where a mini PC within its range would be needed. You have two USB ports across the front, including a USB-C port (this supports data only) and a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 for accessories, drives, or anything else. There is a 3.5mm TRRS/TRS headset connection that supports headphones, microphones, or headsets. This is also where the power button is located.
The sides contain a mesh grill that helps with air flow while also providing some minimal connectivity of their own. One side features a Kensington security lock connection. This allows you to use a normal laptop lock to secure it to a surface so that no one can walk away with it.
The other side contains an SD slot for memory cards. This allows you to easily transfer data between it and other devices (ie, camera).
That back of the PC is where most of the real action happens. You have another USB-C port (this is also for data-only connections) and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Allowing for additional connections for accessories or external drives.
There is an HDMI 1.4 connection and a mini DP (DisplayPort). The PC comes with an adapter to adapt the mini DP to a second HDMI port as well, which is a nice addition in the box to have as not everyone has a monitor that supports DP.
Since the HDMI port is 1.4, this does mean it hits a limit at 4K@30. So although the PC does support 4K, this is as highest resolution you will be able to achieve. So it might be better to stick to 1080p depending on what you are looking to use it for. That was you can get it to 60p and reduce certain motion trail effects you’d find with a lower refresh rate.
Finally, there is a gigabit Ethernet port on the back that is fed by an Intel chipset embedded inside (and your power input for the included power adapter/brick).
Along with the DP to HDMI adapter, it does also come with a normal HDMI cable as well. This way you don’t need to provide your own cable to your monitor. There is also a felt-lined drawstring bag that you can protect it with if it travels between locations (ie, digital signage for events).
As mentioned, this is a mid-range system that offers plenty of power for what a mini PC within this category would be needed for. Great for workstations around the office, or digital signage or demos during commercial events. It would also work well at home for simple family PCs or as a streaming back for your favorite websites/apps.
It isn’t meant for gaming or any intense creative work (ie, AutoCad, video editing, etc). When it comes to these things it is always best to stick to full-size desktop systems with a nice video card installed. Mini PCs are meant for simpler environments and consuming much less space.
It comes with Windows 11 Pro installed, which is a great place to be for most users. However, just like most PCs, you can always opt for an alternative OS like Linux or Chrome OS. Allowing you to turn it into a server or a simple learning station for kids (we find it difficult to recommend Chrome OS for anything other than kids still). If you do choose to go with another OS, you’ll have to install it yourself.
If you are comfortable with Linux, it would allow you to turn this into a pretty powerful server solution for tools like Pi-hole, Home Assistant, Octoprint, Node-RED, or anything else that isn’t too intensive. You may want to avoid solutions like Plex though, since you’d want a system powerful enough for transcoding higher resolutions.
The processor is an 11th-gen Intel Celeron N5095 processor (quad-core 2.9Ghz). There is 8GB of DDR4 RAM installed within one of the two available RAM slots. It can be upgraded to a max of 32GB (2x16GB), providing plenty of flexibility for multi-tasking. For a system like this 32GB might be a bit extreme, so you may find yourself sticking to 16GB unless you plan on turning it into a web server.
As for capacity, it has a 256GB M.2 SATA SSD inside. Perfect for simple use where you won’t find yourself installing a alot of applications or consuming a lot of space with files (images, videos, music, etc). This can be upgraded using a SATA or PCIe alternative. The company rates it to up to 1TB, although you can likely expand it further than that. There are no additional slots of adapters for any other drives. So if you need more capacity, you will have to rely on external USB solutions.
It features dual band Wi-Fi (5.0) and Bluetooth 4.2, which is also more than enough for a mini PC. Wi-Fi 6 isn’t really in demand until you get into gaming or higher resolutions. Which this system isn’t designed for. So there is no reason for anything more than it has. The same applies for BT 4.2 as this is more than enough for accessories (keyboards, mice, controllers, etc).
We have come across quieter system than this, but it still rates pretty well against certain others. So it isn’t too noisy either. The fan only kicks into its max when putting the PC under stress. When it is idling or working on simple tasks, its pretty quiet.
Finally, it also comes with a VESA mounting plate that allows you to easily install it to the back of a TV (assuming that TV isn’t already using its VESA connectivity to hang it on a wall). So if the TV is mounted somewhere, you’ll have to resort to using velcro to attach this somewhere to the back.
Either way, it can easily hide behind the TV and out of sight. Allowing you to cleanly use it as a PC experience on any TV.
It’s a pretty reliable system for mid-range scenarios. We could easily see using this for digital signage or demos during conventions/expos or something attached to the back of a TV to provide it with all the streaming solutions you could shake a stick at.
You get plenty of upgradability between RAM and the SSD inside, as well as USB access since you can also go Bluetooth for the simpler accessories.
It is on sale ($239) at the time of writing this on GEEKOM’s website. Plus, you can get an extra $20 off with the code “summerair11” during checkout. Putting it at a pretty decent price point. This, of course, is valid for as long as the sale is good for.
|117 x 112 x 34.2 mm
|11th Gen Intel Celeron Processor N5095 (4M Cache, up to 2.90 GHz)
|Intel UHD Graphics 605
|Dual-channel DDR4 SODIMM (8GB onboard; supports up to 32GB)
|1 x SSD (2280 M.2 PCIE/SATA); (256GB onboard; supports up to1TB)
|2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port
2 x USB-C ports (data only)
1 x SD card reader (USB2.0)
1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack
1 x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port
1 x HDMI 1.4 port
1 x Mini DisplayPort
1 x DC jack
1 x Power button
1 x CIR
|Windows 11 Pro
|Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
|Intel 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
|Automatic Voltage adjustment between 100 and 240V AC,50/60Hz, 65Watts(19V/3.42A), 3Pin,1.5 meters in length
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