Having a reliable and efficient computer is essential for staying productive. In this in-depth review, we will explore the T8 Plus Mini PC, which offers an impressive combination of performance, affordability, and compact design. Despite its diminutive size, comparable to that of an Apple, this PC promises to deliver impressive performance for office work and even some casual gaming. With its Intel Celeron N100 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, this mini PC offers a compelling combination of performance and storage capabilities. Additionally, the integration of Windows 11 Pro ensures a seamless and up-to-date operating system experience.
This review will delve into various aspects of the T8 Plus Mini PC, including design, specifications, performance, connectivity options, gaming capabilities, heat dissipation, power consumption, and overall user experience. By the end, you will understand whether this mini PC is the right choice to enhance your day-to-day business tasks. So, without further ado, let’s explore every aspect of this device!
T8 Plus Mini PC Features
- Intel Celeron N100
- Intel UHD Graphics
- 8/16GB PDDR5
- 256/512GB M.2 2242 SSD PCI-E/NVMe
- 4K 60HZ Resolution & Triple Screen Display
- Efficient Cooling System and dual WIFI
- 10 Port Design & VESA Bracket
- Windows 11 Pro
Unboxing and Design:
The first impression of any device is often formed during the unboxing experience. Upon receiving the package, I was immediately struck by the compactness of the box. It was evident that the manufacturer had prioritized efficiency and simplicity in the design. Inside the box, I discovered the PC itself, neatly packed alongside a user manual, a 30W power adapter, an HDMI cable, and a VESA bracket for easy installation on a monitor. The inclusion of these essential accessories was a pleasant surprise, as it demonstrated a thoughtful approach to user convenience.
The PC’s design is clean and minimalist and boasts an elegant and business-like silver-white color, reminiscent of Apple’s Mac Mini range, making it a suitable addition to any office setup. However, its appeal extends beyond the workplace, as it can seamlessly serve as a capable gaming machine or a TV box. The front panel features a power button adorned with a discreet LED indicator.
The right side houses three USB ports (type A, version 3.1) allowing for convenient connectivity of peripheral devices such as keyboards, mice, and external storage.
On the left side, you’ll find three HDMI ports (version 2.0), which are particularly useful for users who require multiple 4K monitor options. This flexibility provides enhanced multitasking capabilities and boosts productivity.
Moving to the back, we have a power port, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, providing a maximum connection speed of up to 1000 megabits per second. Additionally, you’ll find a 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones and a microphone, a power supply port, and cooling openings to ensure efficient heat dissipation.
The bottom of the device includes a circular grid for ventilation, two threaded holes for Vesa support, and four screws for opening the device.
The overall design is sleek and unobtrusive, blending seamlessly into any environment. While the chassis is entirely composed of plastic, the build quality may not be exceptionally premium, the small dimensions, rounded lines, and metallic paintwork with the embossed logo give it a pleasant aesthetic that blends well in any home or office environment.
One of the standout features of the T8 Plus Mini PC is its versatility when it comes to operating systems. Users have the freedom to choose between Windows 11 and a lightweight Linux distribution, depending on their preferences and requirements. Windows 11 offers a familiar and user-friendly interface, while Linux distributions provide a lightweight and customizable experience. The device’s hardware performs admirably with both operating systems. However, if you prefer a snappier and more responsive performance, opting for a lightweight Linux distribution can further enhance the Mini PC T8 Plus’s capabilities.
Specifications and Performance:
Now, let’s delve into the heart of this compact PC and examine its specifications. Equipped with an Intel Celeron N100 processor and Intel Graphics, which features four cores and Intel-integrated graphics. While not a powerhouse in terms of processing power, this CPU is optimized for efficiency, making it ideal for day-to-day computing tasks. This along with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM operating at 2400MHz, this device packs quite a punch. One surprising aspect is the default memory speed setting of the T8 Plus, which is 3200MHz, despite utilizing LPDDR5 chips. To maximize performance, users have the option to adjust the memory speed to 4800MHz in the BIOS, resulting in slight improvements in graphics performance and video encoding.
Additionally, it offers 256GB of storage, which provides ample space for storing files and applications related to office work. However, it is important to note that the SSD operates at SATA speeds, which may result in slightly slower performance compared to faster SSD options. Nevertheless, even under prolonged workloads, the device exhibits no noticeable performance hiccups, delivering a responsive and efficient user experience.
The integration of Intel UHD Graphics further enhances the visual performance of the mini PC. With 16 Execution Units, the graphics processor contributes to smooth and seamless visuals, allowing for fluid video playback and rendering. While the T8 Plus Mini PC is not specifically designed for gaming, it can handle browser-based and casual games with ease, thanks to its capable graphics capabilities. However, users should keep in mind that demanding 3D calculations may strain the device, and it would be unrealistic to expect it to deliver optimal performance in such scenarios.
This configuration is well-suited for handling everyday tasks, such as word processing, spreadsheet management, internet browsing, and media consumption. The mini PC can handle multiple applications and browser tabs simultaneously without significant slowdowns. The inclusion of Windows 11 Pro as the operating system ensures a smooth user experience and compatibility with a wide range of software.
Moreover, the PC’s power efficiency is truly remarkable, delivering optimal performance while consuming minimal energy. Considering its size, it’s truly impressive how this compact PC manages to excel in both power efficiency and performance.
During my testing, the PC exhibited impressive responsiveness and efficiency. Basic tasks, including streaming 4K videos on YouTube, using office software, and browsing the internet, were handled with ease. So, it provided a satisfactory browsing experience, although it may not be the snappiest device on the market. Considering its affordable price point, it performs commendably well, allowing you to navigate web pages and interact with online content without significant delays. Streaming 4K videos on platforms like YouTube proved to be a pleasant experience once the video loaded. The Mini PC handled the high-resolution content smoothly, delivering an enjoyable viewing experience. However, it is worth noting that interacting with menus during 4K streaming may cause slight choppiness, which can be attributed to the hardware limitations of the device.
To thoroughly evaluate the performance of the T8 Plus, we conducted a series of tests. Firstly, we assessed the single-core CPU score, which resulted in an impressive score of 929. This showcases the T8 Plus’s capability to handle single-threaded tasks efficiently. Moving on to multi-core performance, the T8 Plus achieved a score of 2920, demonstrating its ability to handle demanding tasks that require efficient multi-threaded processing. These scores highlight the Mini PC’s prowess in both single-threaded and multi-threaded applications, making it a versatile choice for a range of tasks.
Also, It can handle graphic design and photo editing tasks satisfactorily, and it supports up to 1080p video editing, although exporting times may be longer compared to more powerful systems.
Although primarily designed for office work, I couldn’t resist testing the gaming capabilities of this compact PC. Running games on a 1080p monitor, the results were a mix of successes and limitations. To test its gaming prowess, I ventured into the world of League of Legends, a popular multiplayer online battle arena game. At 1080p resolution and medium settings, the Mini PC surprised me with its performance. It consistently delivered close to 60 frames per second (FPS), providing a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. By disabling shadows, I gained an additional 10 FPS, further improving the gameplay fluidity. Lowering the settings to low maintained stable FPS above 50, ensuring a playable gaming experience.
In CS: GO, with low settings at 1080p, the frame rate hovered around 25 to 30 FPS, accompanied by occasional frame time inconsistencies. Lowering the resolution to 900p did improve the frame rate, with most instances averaging above 40 FPS. However, the frame time remained suboptimal, leading to occasional stutters during intense gameplay.
Moving on to Rocket League, the performance settings yielded less than 30 FPS, resulting in a less-than-optimal gaming experience. However, it’s worth noting that the game remained playable, albeit with some compromises in visual fidelity. Similarly, in Hollow Knight with low graphics settings, the frame rate fluctuated between 20 to 30 FPS, occasionally dropping to 20 FPS during particularly demanding scenes. As a result, I would not recommend playing this game on the PC unless you’re willing to sacrifice smoothness for portability.
It’s important to manage expectations, as this Mini PC is not designed for running graphically demanding games, but for casual gamers or those interested in older or less demanding titles, it provides a budget-friendly option that can deliver satisfactory performance.
The compact design of the Mini PC T8 Plus does limit its upgradability to some extent. To access the internals, you’ll need a bit of dexterity. The cover can be removed with the help of a plastic card, revealing four additional screws that allow the motherboard to be detached. Upgrades are primarily limited to the module reality on the market and the M.2 SATA SSD disk, which comes in the 2242 format (4.2 cm long). However, it’s worth noting that upgrading the RAM and processor is not possible as they are soldered onto the motherboard. Despite these limitations, you can still change the BIOS battery and replace the thermal paste on the processor by removing the heatsink. These minor upgrades can help optimize the device’s performance.
Versatility and Usage Scenarios:
One of the key strengths of the T8 Plus is its versatility. It can effortlessly transform into a retro gaming machine by installing compatible software, offering users the opportunity to indulge in nostalgic gaming experiences. Additionally, if you’re in search of a capable TV box, the T8 Plus performs exceptionally well, providing smooth and uninterrupted streaming of your favorite content. Of course, its compact design and portability make it an ideal choice for office use, allowing you to work efficiently from anywhere. Whether you’re a professional, a gamer, or an entertainment enthusiast, the T8 Plus has something to offer.
The integrated GPU of the T8 Plus can handle some eSports titles and older games, as well as emulate systems up to the PlayStation 2 and Wii era at 720p. The CPU supports native AV1 decoding, allowing effortless playback of 4K 60 videos. However, it’s important to note that not all n100 mini PCs offer the same level of performance, and the T8 Plus stands out as one of the top performers in its price range.
Heat Dissipation and Power Consumption:
Efficient heat dissipation is vital for maintaining optimal performance and prolonging the lifespan of any computer. The T8 Plus Mini PC addresses the critical issue of heat dissipation with its intelligent cooling design. To prevent excessive heat buildup, a small fan is located above the processor. This fan draws fresh air from the base of the device and expels it through the four grids on the rear panel. Effective heat dissipation is vital for maintaining the longevity and performance of internal components, especially semiconductors. The result is a mini PC that remains responsive and reliable, without the risk of overheating or thermal throttling.
In addition to its impressive heat dissipation capabilities, the T8 Plus Mini PC boasts a significantly low average power consumption of 26.3 watts. This energy-efficient design not only reduces electricity costs but also contributes to a small carbon footprint. The combination of efficient heat dissipation and low power consumption makes the T8 Plus an environmentally conscious choice for business professionals.
One noteworthy aspect of the T8 Plus is its impressively low noise level. Even during gaming sessions, the fan noise remains barely audible, ensuring a quiet computing environment. I conducted a microphone test to measure the disturbance caused by the fan, and the results confirmed the minimal noise emitted by the device. This makes it an excellent choice for those who prefer a peaceful and distraction-free setup, whether it’s for work, entertainment, or both.
Wi-Fi and Connectivity:
While the T8 Plus Mini PC offers a commendable array of connectivity options, one area where it falls slightly short is its Wi-Fi module. The integrated Wi-Fi does not support the latest standards, such as Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E, which offer faster speeds and improved stability. As a result, the Wi-Fi performance may not meet the expectations of users who rely heavily on wireless connectivity. Streaming high-definition content or transferring large files over Wi-Fi may experience occasional hiccups or slower speeds.
However, it is important to note that this limitation can be mitigated by utilizing wired Ethernet connections whenever possible. By connecting the T8 Plus Mini PC directly to a router or network switch via an Ethernet cable, users can ensure a consistent and reliable network experience, free from the potential limitations of the integrated Wi-Fi module. This is particularly beneficial for professionals who require a stable and fast internet connection for tasks such as video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration, or accessing files from network drives.
Furthermore, the device offers Bluetooth connectivity, allowing users to connect wireless peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and speakers without the need for additional dongles or adapters. The Bluetooth functionality adds convenience and flexibility to the overall user experience, eliminating cable clutter and enhancing productivity.
The compact PC offers a remarkable combination of size, performance, and functionality. With an Intel Celeron N100 processor, 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 256GB of storage, it excels in office work handles graphic design and photo editing tasks well, and supports up to 1080p video editing. The PC’s small form factor and efficient power consumption make it an attractive choice for office setups, especially for those with limited desk space. While its gaming performance is limited, it can still handle less demanding games at lower resolutions and settings.
While not specifically designed for gaming, the mini PC can handle casual and browser-based games adequately. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics contribute to a visually pleasing experience, although demanding 3D calculations may pose a challenge.
With its effective heat dissipation system and low power consumption, the T8 Plus Mini PC maintains optimal performance and energy efficiency. However, the Wi-Fi module’s limitation may require users to utilize wired Ethernet connections for a more stable and reliable network experience.
Considering its affordable price and impressive features, this compact PC is a commendable option for those seeking a powerful office workstation that doesn’t compromise on space or performance. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or an everyday user in need of a reliable and efficient PC, this compact device is worth considering. Its responsive performance, solid connectivity options, and sleek design make it a versatile and convenient choice for a wide range of users. So, if you’re in the market for a compact PC that packs a punch, look no further than this impressive offering.
As its affordable price point, the T8 Plus Mini PC offers excellent value for money. Priced at $199 on Amazon and $128 on AliExpress, it provides an accessible entry point into the world of mini PCs. Furthermore, keep an eye out for discount coupons that may bring the cost down even further. Ultimately, whether the T8 Plus is worth the investment depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re seeking a compact, versatile, and budget-friendly PC that excels in day-to-day computing tasks while offering a satisfactory gaming experience.