CES 2018 | ECS presents new mini PC models with Gemini Lake processors
ECS launched last year the Liva lineup of mini PCs, called ultra-compact form-factor PCs (UCFF) because of their diminutive sizes that fit in the palm of your hand. These models will be getting refreshed specs in 2018 (Liva Q2 / Liva Z2), as announced at CES, and ECS also intends to introduce a SoC model called Liva One that has extended storage and connectivity options.
All of the Liva mini PC models are going to be powered by Intel’s Gemini Lake SoCs that integrate the UHD 600 iGPU. The Gemini Lake family includes Celeron and Pentium SoCs with 10 W TDP and offer increased all-round performance due to the improved media processing engine that supports 10-bit HEVC / 10-bit VP9 native decoding. Additionally, the video outputs are compatible with the HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.0 specifications. Thanks to the SoC upgrade, the Liva Z2 and Liva One SoC support regular DDR4-2400 memory instead of LPDDR. The power supply is external for all these new models.
The Liva Q2 is not much different than the original Q, as far as size is concerned. It only has a slightly higher case to accommodate the new SoCs and the LPDDR4 RAM that can come in 2 GB or 4 GB options. Storage is still limited to 32 GB or 64 GB eMMC, with the possibility of extension to 128 GB through SD cards. Network connections include Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1 and a Gigabit Ethernet port, while the connectivity side has an HDMI 2.0 port, one USB 2.0 Type-A and one USB 3.0 Type-C.
The most obvious change for the Z2 model is the addition of a 2.5” bay, which increased the thickness of the case. ECS also offers only 32 GB and 64 GB eMMC storage options now, and the Gigabit Ethernet port was removed.
As for the Liva One Soc, it only comes with one DDR4 memory slot, but it also features an M.2 slot for an SSD, plus two 2.5-inch drive bays for SSDs/HDDs. The connection side of this model is also extensive: HDMI 2.0 + D-Sub ports, two audio jacks, two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, plus S/PDIF and COM connectors.
The upgraded Liva models are expected to hit the market in March this year. The Liva Q2 will be available starting at US$180 with Windows 10 pre-installed, while the Liva Z2 will cost ~US$240 with Windows 10 included. ECS did not provided any pricing info for the Liva One SoC.