AcePC Picobox Lite Review: The Most Accessible Budget Mini PC For Daily Tasks

March 13, 2024
Natalie Thorburn

 

 

There's no denying that mini PCs are in right now. They are portable and take up little space. These mini PCs are used for basic gaming, media editing, and everyday computing tasks. The key point is that they are very competitive in price compared to desktops and laptops. Today, I will review a mini PC from AcePC‘s Picobox Lite, priced at only $159.

The Picobox Lite is equipped with an Intel Celeron N5095 quad-core processor, upgradeable memory and storage devices, and can drive two 4K displays. With a weight of only 277g, it is one of the best budget-friendly mini PCs I have tested.

Pros:

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Neat and compact design, only 277g

Licensed Windows 11 Pro.

Complete systems, including RAM and storage

Dual display support

There are lots of ports for everyday device connectivity

Cons:

CPU chips are becoming obsolete.

Single-channel memory.

No SD card reader.

Main Specs:

Processor: Intel Jasper Lake Celeron N5095

CPU: 4 cores, 4 threads, 2.0-2.9 GHz

GPU: Intel UHD Graphics

OS: Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz (16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD optional ) Storage: 256GB

Network: WiFi5 + BT 4.2 / Ethernet Gigabit

Ports: 2x USB 2.0 / 2x USB 3.0 / 2x HDMI 2.0 / 3.5mm audio jack Accessories: 12V-2.5A DC adapter, 2x HDMI Cable (1m & 0.25m), User Manual Dimension: 122 mm x 122 mm x 22 mm

Weight: 277g

Retail Package

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The packaging of the is nice and simple. Inside the box, you will find a mini PC, a VESA mount bracket, a 12-watt power adapter, a HDMI cable, a bag of screws, and a user manual.

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Design

The front panel sports two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a power button. The rear side plays host to one more USB 2.0 port, a full-size Ethernet, a 3.5mm audio jack with mic support, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a DC-in port. The only absence is a multi-function Type-C port. As a result, the Picobox Lite supports dual 4K displays for multi-tasking, which is good enough.

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Disassemble

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At first, I disassembled the four screws from the bottom panel. However, the structure's design made this task challenging, requiring careful manipulation from bottom to top. Additionally, the top cover's connection to the body via two fragile wires demanded extreme caution during removal. Given these challenges, I recommend avoiding unnecessary machine disassembly.

Upon dismantling the device, I discovered that the LPDDR4 memory stick is soldered onto the motherboard, making it non-upgradable. With only one memory slot available, the potential for a dual-channel memory configuration to boost performance is nonexistent. However, there is an M.2 2280 interface, allowing storage drive upgrades of up to 256GB. Unfortunately, this interface is limited to SATA3 standard SSDs; faster NVMe SSDs are incompatible.

System & Apps

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The Picobox Lite is equipped with Windows 11 Pro, which has several additional features intended for professionals. It is a completely clean installation of Windows 11, which does not contain any bloatware or third-party applications. Additionally, you can install any X86-compatible operating system, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Android, and CentOS. It may even be possible to run MAC OS on it, although I do not recommend this.

Reasons to buy: Great value for daily needs.

From my point of view, Picobox Lite handled mainstream daily computing tasks fairly well. At the same time, I opened a dozen content-heavy web pages, played a 4K video, and edited paperwork.

If you're editing 4K footage from a DSLR or designing complex artwork, the Picobox Lite might not perform as expected, but for tasks like editing photos in Photoshop and making videos for TikTok, it's perfect.

Productivity Tests

Below are the three CPU benchmarks that show a PC's ability to handle processor-intensive things based on its cores and threads.

•PCMark 10 Test: Measures overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, and videoconferencing.

In the test, Picobox Lite got 2,339 points. It performs better than other budget mini PCs I've tested.

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•Geekbench 5 CPU Test: Determines the overall power of your device's processor, which helps you know how it performs most general tasks.

In the test, Picobox Lite scored 645 in CPU single-core, 2017 in multi-core, and 2117 in OpenCL in Geekbench 5.

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•Cinebench R20: Great for evaluating laptop CPU rendering. From a single core to multiple thread configurations, it can be customized to render scenes.

In the test, Picobox Lite got 234 in single-core and 787 in multi-core.

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HTPC or Media Center Test

The DXVA checker indicates the UHD Graphics GPU can decode most video formats up to 4K. Streaming videos online is equally smooth on Picobox Lite. I've played many UHD Blu-ray movies on it. YouTube 4K/60FPS video in Chrome is also smooth on the CPU or GPU. However, I noticed frequent frame skips during playback of 8K/60FPS videos since this mini PC does not support 8K output.

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Gaming Test:

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The Picobox Lite scored 2356 points in Sky Diver, 606 points in Fire Strike, and 206 points in Time Spy in 3DMark. The test results indicate that the Picobox Lite does not perform well when it comes to gaming.

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When I tested League Of Legends at 1080P, the average frame rate was around 39-56 Fps, But I noticed some frame rate drops during intense battle scenes.

In summary, if you only want to play simple, retro games such as Super Mario Bros. Wonder, F-Zero X, or Microsoft Store games, this mini PC is sufficient.

Final Thought

The Picobox Lite 8GB/256GB model retails for $159 on AcePC's official website. Despite its less impressive gaming capabilities, it offers satisfactory overall performance, making it suitable for playing simple, casual games or titles from the Microsoft Store. Additionally, it serves as a commendable option for everyday computing tasks.

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*Take $30 off with code:AQHJ4QRS7GTQ by clicking on the below link

https://www.acepcs.com/products/mini-pc-picobox-lite-acepc? utm_source=miu&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=AK7

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