I have long wanted to test the smallest mini PC in the mobile device market and the other day I managed to do it. My today’s hero is the smallest mini PC, which is called the GMK NucBox.
You might think that if the device is very compact and small, then it will not be very powerful. But this is actually a deceptive assumption.
Therefore, the price tag for the small dimensions and weight of a mini PC will pay a little more when compared with the usual size of devices. For example, at the time of testing the GMK NucBox, a mini PC cost $ 240. Agree the price is quite high, but let’s first look at the technical specification.
In the new NucBox model, the manufacturer has installed an Intel Celeron J4125 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal SSD format. In addition, the mini PC was installed with many external interfaces, including Type-C and USB 3.0.
An important feature is the metal case for more efficient cooling and the presence of cooling. So let’s take a closer look at the device to find out the main features and performance of the smallest PC.
GMK NucBox: Specifications
|CPU:||Intel Celeron J4125|
|GPU:||Intel HD Graphics 600|
|Maximum External Hard Drives:||2TB|
|OS:||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Interface:||3.5mm Audio, Type-C, 2xHDMI, slot ,microSD, 2xUSB3.0|
|Size:||62 x 62 x 42 mm|
Unboxing and packaging
The mini PC is delivered in a very small and compact square box, made of black. On the front of the box, you can find the company name and the Intel brand logo. Meanwhile, on the side faces, there is the name of the model, and on the back, there is the main information about the product and the company.
Inside the package, I found the mini PC itself, which was packed in protective foam. When I first took this mini PC model, I was pleasantly surprised by its size. It fits easily in my hand and I think it will even fit into my jacket pocket without any problems.
Also included is a 24W charging power adapter and instructions for use. Even if we compare the dimensions of the power adapter, they are almost the same as the dimensions of the mini PC itself.
In general, I liked the package with a minimum number of elements and everything lay harmoniously and correctly. But the lack of an HDMI cable disappointed me a little, although for me it was a small problem.
Design, build quality, and materials used
The first thing that distinguishes the new GMK NucBox device is, of course, its dimensions and weight, and let’s talk about them. The dimensions of the mini PC from GMK are only 62 x 62 x 42 mm, and the device weighs only 125 grams. This is a very compact mini PC that I have ever been able to test.
Even if we compare the mini PC from Chuwi, the Larkbox model has almost the same dimensions and weight as the NucBox. But the appearance is different and I like the design from the GMK brand more. But I note that GMK most likely stole the idea from the Chuwi brand since all external user interfaces were located identically.
If I’ve already started talking about user interfaces, let’s go through the main ones. On the front of the smallest mini PC, there is one mechanical power button and one LED indicator for operation. But on the left side of the device, there is a slot for a microSD memory card and a headphone jack for a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The main connections were located on the back of the mini PC. Here you get connections such as a Type-C port, one HDMI port, and two USB 3.0 ports. Meanwhile, there is nothing on the right side.
A cooler for the cooling system was installed on the top of the GMK NucBox case. It does not work very loudly and is almost inaudible if you do not use the device at maximum loads. If cold air enters through the top end, hot air exits through the vents on the back of the case, just above all user connections. I will talk about the cooling system a little later.
The lower part of the device received four anti-slip feet. Therefore, the mini PC will stand firmly and securely on the desktop near your monitor.
Now I want to pay some attention to the build quality. The smallest mini PC uses a combination of two materials – an alloy of metals and a matte plastic. Basically, almost the entire body is made of metal, but the upper part of the device received matte plastic, just like the lower part of the NucBox model.
At the same time, I did not have strong comments on the build quality. The smallest in size and weight mini PC GMK NucBox was assembled perfectly well and without any questions. For example, I did not find any extraneous sounds and squeaks during its operation.
Well, we figured out the appearance and I think you appreciated the main differences between the two mini PC models GMK NucBox and Chuwi Larkbox. Now I think I should talk about performance and main features.
Benchmark tests, performance, and OS
Before testing the smallest mini PC from GMK, I first want to talk about its hardware. The NucBox model received a pretty good processor in its performance – this is a chipset called Intel Celeron J4125. Yes, it may not be the newest processor, as it was still introduced at the end of 2019. But I also cannot call it the worst.
The Intel J4125 processor is built on the basis of 14-nanometer technology and has quad cores with a clock speed of 2.0 GHz. But it is also possible to overclock the device up to 2.7 GHz. This is not a bad reading for such a compact and smallest mini PC.
Together with the processor model J4125, the integrated graphics accelerator Intel HD Graphics 600 works. If we talk about gaming capabilities, the new mini PC has shown itself to be quite positive. For example, I was able to run a few not-so-heavy games like Counter-Strike 1.6 at 720p. At the same time, the average FPS value was within 30 frames per second.
Other positive aspects include 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, as well as 128 GB of internal SSD memory. In addition, you have the option to connect an M.2 SATA 2242 solid-state drive.
Below I will leave an album with examples of benchmark tests. But from myself, I can note that the GMK NucBox mini PC has a completely similar Chuwi Larkbox processor, but there is a difference between these models. The Chuwi mini PC uses 6GB of RAM, while the GMK, as I said, uses 8GB.
Thus, the benchmark test GeekBench 5 showed slightly better results on the NucBox model. Although I did not notice a strong big difference in the readings in the Larkbox mini PC.
I also conducted several tests on the performance of the device, as for tasks from everyday life. For example, I ran videos on Youtube with 4K resolution and 60 fps. I was completely satisfied with the result of the work, as the video started without any problems and played smoothly and without delays.
I also tested the mini PC for lighter daily tasks such as surfing the internet on various websites or social networks. I think it’s easy to guess that the GMK NucBox mini PC coped well with the tasks set. The pages in the browser opened quickly and scrolling was smooth. I also managed to open more than 10 different tabs in the browser and the device worked quickly and switched between tabs without any particular remarks.
As for temperature loads, during normal use, for example, when you type text, the temperature was within 48 degrees Celsius. If you watch 4K video content, the temperature rises to 54 degrees, and during games to 70 degrees.
But here is the maximum temperature that I managed to achieve – it was 89 degrees Celsius. This is when conducting various benchmark tests. But in order to reach the maximum temperature of the mini PC in normal daily life, you will need to try hard. Thus, I can conclude that I did not find out the problems with the temperature of the smallest mini PC model from the GMK brand.
The last thing worth talking about is the operation of the operating system. The new model GMK NucBox runs on Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system. This is a multilingual version of the operating system and during the first settings, you can choose the language of the user interface you need.
After 5 minutes of settings and authorization in the Microsoft system, you can fully use the operating system. When testing the smallest mini PC, I did not have strong remarks about the performance of the user interface. All functions worked smoothly and without much notice, as for Windows 10.
Conclusion, reviews, pros, and cons
After testing the smallest mini PC from GMK, I had only positive emotions and impressions. This is a very interesting device that has received not only the smallest dimensions but also good performance.
For example, with this tiny mini PC, you can complete your daily tasks and watch various videos, even in high resolution in 4K. I also liked the simple and not complicated active cooling system, but at the same time, it showed itself on the positive side.
Therefore, even playing games, your device will not gain strong temperature loads, which will have a good effect on the performance of the mini PC.
I also liked the look and build quality with the materials used. The body is made in a minimalistic cube shape.
But there are also plenty of negative points. The first thing I didn’t like was that there weren’t too many front-end user interfaces. Although I understand their limited number due to the small size of the case. Therefore, buying an additional USB-Hub will be a necessary thing. I also think that the price tag for the GMK NucBox is quite overpriced and let’s talk about the price in more detail.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
If you are interested in buying the smallest mini PC, then you will have to shell out not the smallest amount of money.
For example, now at the time of writing, the price tag for the GMK NucBox is $239.99. If we compare the price of its main competitor Chuwi Larkbox, then the price will be much nicer at only $187.49. Thus, if you do not need as much as 8GB of RAM, then the best option would be to choose the model from Chuwi.