ECS LIVA Z2 Mini PC Review

A Closer Look

 

The front of ECS’s Liva Z2 has four USB 3.1 gen 1 5gbps ports, one of which is a Type-C. The power button with white power indicator light and headset (combo mic and headphone) audio port round out the front.

The back of the Z2 has twin HDMI ports, one version 1.4 and one 2.0 port that supports 4K 60Hz. Thankfully, ECS labels the 2.0 port so you know which one is which. A pair of USB 2.0 ports and a gigabit Ethernet port accompany the power jack.

One side of the Z2 has a Kensington security port while both sides are well ventilated.

The bottom has four rubber feet. Beyond the obvious purpose, the screws in the middle of the feet can be loosened to remove the upper casing to access the internals. The only other thing on the bottom to note are two screw holes, top, and bottom in the picture for mounting to the included VESA mount.

The screws are captive so don’t worry about losing them.

Once all four are loose, flip the case over and slide the top off.

The first thing you see is an empty 2.5” drive tray ready for you to install any drive you want.

The drive tray itself slides towards the rear of the case then up and out. Be gentle with the small ribbon cable that connects it to the motherboard.

A 2.5” drive slides right into the tray and is held pretty securely by itself, but can be secured with two screws if needed for mobile applications like automotive or industrial where it may be subjected to bumps and bangs.

Under the drive tray are two DDR4 SODIMM slots and the Wi-Fi module.

One slot is populated with a single 4GB stick of DDR4 2400MHz memory from Goldkey.

The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module is Intel’s Wireless-AC 3165 module providing 802.11AC 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.2.

The Wi-Fi 2×2 is connected to two small panel antennas inside the top of the case.

A couple of plastic clips hold the motherboard in place inside the case.

Almost the entire bottom of the board is covered in a large heatsink.

Under the heatsink are the CMOS battery, the Intel Pentium N5000 SOC and the eMMC module.

The 32GB of built-in storage is provided by Kingston’s EMMC32G-TA28 module.

When booting up the first time, we are greeted with a custom wallpaper and shortcuts to a couple of ECS utilities. There is not really any bloatware installed thankfully.

Right out of the box you have about ten and a half gigabytes of free space to use.

CPU-Z shows us four cores and four threads with a 6W TDP running at 1.1GHz base but often hovering closer to the 2GHz range at the desktop.

GPU-Z shows us… not much really.

 

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