Is this mini PC, this tiny little thing, the perfect apartment media PC? As someone who has now been an apartment dweller for two years as of this week, and have always struggled to find a good bedroom media streaming setup – I think it may very well be the one for me.
This video is sponsored by Azulle. They sent this awesome little PC out for review to see what I can do with it – but everything you’re about to hear is my own and no one is seeing this review before it is posted or anything like that.
So this is Azulle’s new Byte3. It’s been updated to the new Intel Apollo Lake N3450 processor – that’s 4 cores, but no hyperthreading, so just 4 threads – and 4GB of RAM, although they do have an 8GB model.
It’s got 32GB of eMMC storage onboard and it comes with Windows 10 pro. So far this isn’t anything special for a bedroom media PC, eh? Well, the cool part comes in its connectivity. So you already have some decent specs for media streaming and such – but inside you have a M.
2 2280 SATA slot for super slim storage, and they even include thermal pads and a nice little heatsink to keep this – oh yeah I forgot to mention – totally fanless and silent PC cool. Now, when you take off the bottom of the chassis here to install a SSD, there are two screws in the middle that look very similar to the outer corner screws – you do not want to unscrew these.
These mount the heatsink, and if you take it off it will be very hard to put back together without attaching it back directly to the plate. Just unscrew the corners and you have easy access to the insides.
EZ PZ. Plus, you can even throw in a 2.5” SATA SSD, as well – allowing you to fill this bad boy with terabytes of storage, if you desire. But it doesn’t stop there – on the outside, you have 3 USB 3.
0 ports, (two on the back one on the side) one USB 2.0 port (I have a Logitech receiver plugged into it), a SD card slot, and a USB 3.1 Type C port for expandability! If you have a USB dock or a faster hard drive to hook into it, you have a lot of options to hook up storage.
So if you don’t have SSDs or M.2 drives, you can use external hard drives for your local media, too, like I have. The Byte 3 is just barely bigger than this WD My Passport Ultra here. We also have dual-band AC wifi, gigabit ethernet, 3.
5mm audio jack, kensington lock, and VGA and HDMI 2.0 output for maximum compatibility, along with a fairly small wall wart power supply. As you can see, this is a pretty adequate little combo already.
Then they include a remote that works with the Bluetooth and IR receiver in the PC to allow you to control many functions – handy for TV setups. For the media center functionality, I’ve gone with Plex – a wonderful free media management service that I’ve talked about plenty on the channel.
Plex organizes your media and keeps a library of any drives you have hooked up to this so you can watch all of your media in one place. I’ve even got tutorials for ripping your media so you don’t have to switch back and forth with discs or anything like that.
Now, this is still a low-power machine, so you won’t be transcoding streams for an entire house of users at a time, or anything like that – but direct play through their Windows 10 app worked for any media I loaded onto my external drive – and will perform even better from internal SSDs.
Running Netflix and Hulu also gave us little trouble. If you already have a Plex server elsewhere, then you can play literally anything on this transcoded from your server. The Intel HD Graphics 500 in here won’t let this be a gaming powerhouse or anything, but you should be able to get some basic emulators running and such on it, for sure.
And the best part about this compared to using a small PC, laptop, or game console is that it stays completely silent due to the fanless design. The housing can heat up a bit, but not enough to burn you or anything.
With realistic expectations, this could actually be the perfect bedroom media PC for a lot of people, and I’m looking forward to the upgrade. Plus, running the HDMI to my LCD TV and VGA to my HD CRT in the bedroom gets me a nice dual-screen setup.
Just for funsies. If you have a grandparent, child, or anyone who has super basic computing needs and a small space – this could be great for them, too. Product links to the Byte3 will be in the description below, along with affiliate links for Plex’s service will be in the description below.
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