MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

Such a device is also the MINIX NEO N42C-4 Mini PC which we have tested extensively for you in recent weeks. This is a mini PC, which is not available in the Europe trade but can be imported through the Chinese online retailer Gearbest.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Intel Apollo Lake N4200 Mini PC

Price: $282.99

2.4G + 5G WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC, Intel HD Graphics 505, OS: Windows 10 Pro, Apollo Lake N4200

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Intel Apollo Lake N4200 Mini PC

Price: $282.99

2.4G + 5G WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC, Intel HD Graphics 505, OS: Windows 10 Pro, Apollo Lake N4200

For the price of about $280, you get from China very solid hardware, which is often asked in Europe more like.

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Specifications

Processor: Intel Pentium N4200 Apollo Lake
Internal Memory: 32GB of eMMC, and up to 512GB of SSD
RAM: 4GB of DDR3L
Connections: Ethernet, 3 x USB 3.0, Mini HDMI, USB-C
Weight: 412 grams
Dimensions: 139 x 139 x 30 mm
OS: Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Design and Appearance

The MINIX NEO N42C-4 in our analisis is wrapped in a light and very small metal case, about the size of the palm of a US President, so it is quite compact.

The low weight of only 412 grams makes it look a bit cheap, but the processing is quite high.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

The on/off button emits a loud “metallic” sound when pressed, but still, I would say that the MINIX NEO N42C-4 has a high-quality device on the desk or next to the TV.

The connection options are located on the back, so they at least in everyday life, the quick plugging and unplugging a USB stick something fumbling requires until you have inserted the storage medium correctly.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

A USB port on the front would, therefore, have been handy anyway.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

One of these connections is occupied from the beginning by a very cheap small WLAN stick since the device WLAN (and Bluetooth) has not been installed by default.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

However, if you enjoy a stable and fast Internet connection and want to connect one or the other Bluetooth device, you should consider upgrading to a WLAN/Bluetooth 2-in-1 stick.

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Hardware and Performance

The performance of MINIX NEO N42C-4 in the test is a little better with a small fan than with devices that are usually equipped with an Apollo Lake N4200 processor.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

In any case, the performance is sufficient for everyday life, as long as the tasks are limited to surfing the Internet and simpler apps as well as desktop programs such as Telegram or Skype.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

If it gets more demanding, you quickly reach the limits of the cheap Intel processor. Easier tasks in Photoshop work well, though patience is required.

Older games and simpler titles from the Windows Store run smoothly, including the Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, League of Legends or GTA: San Andreas.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

The device can even be used on a 4K monitor or TV and even 4K YouTube videos can be played on Edge easily.

Thanks to the comparatively fast SSD and the memory of four gigabytes, the load times when transferring files and multitasking are quite short and the operation is quite fast. For everyday use, the performance is very good.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

The Toshiba eMMC memory used in the 32GB model is not a speed demon. As you can see from the results of the benchmark Crystal Disk Mark, the difference between writing and reading is considerable.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

In practice, however, do not feel it. From turning on the computer to displaying the Windows 10 desktop it takes about 22 seconds, which for a class of this equipment should be considered a good result.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

Unfortunately, the same can not be said about the radio system. As you probably noticed from the specifications, there is no tiny Ethernet device in this tiny device (you can connect a USB-Ethernet adapter for a stubborn one), so Wi-Fi is the basic network interface. But what is the interface?

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

The Realtek chip used here with one antenna cannot reach half of the nominal bandwidth of the Intel3168 Wi-Fi standard.

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Energy consumption and Temperature

The work of this MINIX NEO N42C-4 in our review would not overwhelm anyone’s budget. In the sleep mode, it consumes 0.5 W, in the state of inactivity 3-4 W, when playing movies 4K @ 60 FPS 6-7 W, and under the maximum load of CPU and GPU – up to 8.5 W. All this, of course, in total silence, there are no moving elements here.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

Unfortunately, however, it also means that with intensive GPU charging, computers quickly begin to warm up, though only to a certain extent. The housing temperature even after an hour of intense work did not exceed 47 degrees at the hottest point. The efficiency of passive cooling is sufficient to avoid choking, the heated MINIX NEO N42C-4 runs smoothly, does not cut anywhere.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

It seems, however, that if the manufacturer took care of heat dissipation, and less about the aesthetics of the boutique housing, its computers could work much longer in Turbo mode. Here, Turbo quickly stops working, and if we turn off the intelligent temperature control in the BIOS, we will pay for the system’s unstable system performance.

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Multimedia

The basic application of MINIX NEO N42C-4 is, of course, not to play The Witcher 3 or to process Big Data, but to play media, including 4K video. In the end, today all these mini-PCs have to stand out in this area, even though the 4K content is still scarce. How is this Chinese computer dealing with it?

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

To be honest: the Intel hardware video decoder in the 8th generation graphics is great. The Apollo Lake N4200 used here will reproduce (in Kodi, but probably also in other players) 4K movies, both in H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) formats, including up to 60 FPS (from a local source). According to DXVA Checker, using Lake N4200, in theory, even 8K video compressed with the HEVC codec could be played.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

Is it the perfect equipment for the media? Unfortunately not. The problem lies in the HDMI interface used.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

Although on some pages you will read that HDMI 2.0 was used here, which will allow you to display on the 4K @ 60 FPS TV, in fact, we have here the HDMI 1.4b port, which will support a maximum of 4K @ 30 FPS. This is exactly the same situation as in the case of the latest Intel Compute sticks, in which also this HDMI connector is a bottleneck of video playback.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

Let’s leave 4K. In reproducing resolutions lower than FullHD, the MINIX NEO N42C-4 in the analisis works great, the hardware Intel more upscale works very well. With FullHD resolutions there are no problems unless someone wants to try HDR video, with a 10-bit color depth, there are stairs in 2018.

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Conclusions and Reviews

For users who want to replace their old XP computer slowly with new hardware, the MINIX NEO N42C-4 Mini PC is ideal in the reviews, but even as a living room PC, the small device is really perfect.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018

If you also connect an external hard drive, you can use the mini PC as a media server and player, as long as you retrofit in the connectivity.

Is it worth buying a MINIX NEO N42C-4? As always, the answer depends on your needs. This kind of computer works quite well as a lightweight desktop with Windows 10. The performance of the Apollo Lake platform is already large enough that running typical software would not be a chore.

It helps in this 4 GB RAM, it is more than in typical computers of this class. Browsing the WWW, simple office work, media playback (up to 4K), playing older games (including on emulated platforms) and even newer e-sport games – no one should have any complaints in this matter.

This computer also looks great in the living room, it pleases women, it is a pity that there is no matched pilot in terms of design.

MINIX NEO N42C-4: Price and Where to buy cheaper?

Now you can already buy a MINIX NEO N42C-4 Mini PC at the promotional and attractive price for only $282.99. This fully corresponds to its entire price.

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Intel Apollo Lake N4200 Mini PC

Price: $282.99

2.4G + 5G WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC, Intel HD Graphics 505, OS: Windows 10 Pro, Apollo Lake N4200

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Intel Apollo Lake N4200 Mini PC

Price: $282.99

2.4G + 5G WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC, Intel HD Graphics 505, OS: Windows 10 Pro, Apollo Lake N4200

MINIX NEO N42C-4 Review: Exciting Mini PC with Apollo Lake in 2018 was last modified: February 8th, 2018 by Boby Sanburn

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