ECS have announced the latest model in their LIVA line of mini PC’s; The LIVA Z. The new LIVA model comes equipped with the new Intel Apollo Lake SoC and an updated feature set making the LIVA Z a significant upgrade compared to prior Braswell equipped models.
As mentioned, the LIVA Z features the new Apollo Lake SoC, codenamed Goldmont. Intel claims the new SoC improves CPU performance by 30% and graphics performance by 45%, within a 10w TDP. This should go a long way to addressing the somewhat lackluster performance of prior Braswell equipped models.
Given the LIVA Z is likely to find its home as a media center PC, the new video decoding capabilities are critically important. The LIVA Z now features full hardware acceleration support for HEVC Main Profile (8-bit, but not 10bit) and VP9 video decoding. This means the LIVA Z will be able to decode most of the latest content and streaming media services without taxing the general purpose cores, meaning very low CPU utilization and power use during video playback.
We also see support for dual channel DDR3L SO-DIMMs with up to 2x8Gb supported. So, with 16Gb of RAM, a quad core CPU with improved IPC and graphics, we are looking at a mini PC that should be able to handle day to day PC tasks with ease.
On the features side, the LIVA Z brings a host of upgrades including M.2 support (2242 form factor), dual 2.5+ SATA drive bays, USB 3.0 x 3 plus a Type-C port, dual Gigabit LAN, AC Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs.
We hope to bring you a full review soon, though pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed.