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This review is from: Black ECS LIVA 64GB 2GB DDR3L RAM installed 64GB eMMC Storage
Pros: See my earlier review - among many pluses, it can run windows 10 preview without much trouble. It can display a 1080p desktop and full-screen video without any trouble, which is simply astounding for a completely silent, passively-cooled unit without dedicated video (it's integrated into the CPU).
Cons: USB problems!! How do you provide input to a computer when it's only input options don't work?? Yes, bluetooth works, but I'm sorry - my external SSD, TV tuner, and WIFI device (to augment the built-in wifi, which is absolute junk) are all USB-based.
Other Thoughts: I've had problems with the 2 USB ports since day 1 but was able to get the computer to a point where it works most of the time. But when 75% of the time the USB ports will not work no matter what I do, I have to eventually give up. Everything else is great, really great.
I don't know if my malfunctioning USB ports are a design flaw or a problem with my particular unit, but I WANT MY MONEY BACK!! I'm taking the stupid thing out of my living room and it will either get thrown away, sold, or sent back to manufacturer - bleh.
I invite the manufacturer to take this unit back and see if they can get the USB ports to work 99% of the time. Heck, I'd settle for 75% up-time.
This review is from: Black ECS LIVA 2GB DDR3L RAM installed 32GB eMMC Storage
Pros: 1. Ultra-low-power device
2. It's not a barebones system but a complete PC
3. Tiny attractive design
4. Fully capable of running modern OSes
5. For a very small price you get the latest hardware and the ability to try out the latest software
6. Can run Windows 10
7. About the same size as my roku and just as easy to hide near the TV
8. Can be powered through the USB port if plugged into a powered USB hub (just found that out by accident today - I unplugged it and it continued to run, haha)
Cons: 1. Wifi device is very weak - its range is very limited, though at short ranges (e.g. within the same room as the router) it can connect at full speed.
2. Wfif device is nearly/completely impossible to get working in any version of Linux, despite great instruction on Samiux's blog. Tried Lubuntu, Ubuntu and Mint - all latest versions.
3. Random USB problems. I've experienced the USB port completely inoperable at boot after installing various versions of Linux, and after Windows 10 was fully installed and working fine. Power cycling the PC 1, 2, sometimes many times is necessary to get it working again. See comments.
4. Very low specs - the 2GB ram and 32GB storage are the absolute bare minimum for running any OS post-Windows-XP. That being said, it IS enough, and that's all that matters.
5. Newegg's random sales - I purchased it at full price, not knowing it had been on sale. But I don't regret my purchase, only that I didn't get it for less like some of the people here.
Other Thoughts: 1. Worst problem is the wifi. It was difficult to understand the drawings that tell you how to install the antennas and terribly hard to attach the antennas to the wifi device - I had to use very bright light and a magnifying glass just to see what I was doing (and I've fixed many cell phones - this was very tough). I had to use a small flathead screwdriver in order to put enough pressure on each antenna end to get it to snap into place - my finger tips were unable to apply enough pressure in such a small spot to do the job. Holding the antenna, magnifying glass, and screwdriver was not easy!! Then once I had figured it out and got it all in there, I discovered after the fact I might as well not have bothered. The wifi device is way too weak to matter, even when it's working! Right next to the router it ran at full speed but in the next room it ran at roughly half speed and had a hard time maintaining a connection (it showed 1 bar in the Windows 10 task bar).
2. It can run Linux like a champ, once you read the instructions that is. You gotta use Rufus to format the USB drive as GPT and copy over whatever OS you're trying to install. If you do use Linux there are all sorts of tricks and commands and downloads and instructions you have to follow to get everything in place. I finally got so sick of it after working on the dumb thing for 2 weeks I gave up and went with Windows 10.
3. WILL NOT WORK WITH ANY WINDOWS OS < Windows 8.1. I don't know why, but Windows 8 will not install. When I tried, the USB port shut off as soon as the installer came up on the screen. This is not a problem in 8.1 and 10 (and 10 is free so that's a no-brainer).
4. The driver CD that comes with the device does not work properly in Windows 10. The windows drivers installation program errors out with an "invalid windows version" error. So you have to go through each driver folder and install each driver manually one at a time. But at least the drivers all work - whew!
5. Steam streams via wifi just fine, once I plugged in my USB wifi device. Setting it to limit resolution to 720p under settings - in-home streaming - advanced client options helped quite a bit with stuttering and I could not see much of a visual difference.
6. I'm planning on running a FreeNAS file server in Virtualbox with an attached drive of some sort for the most power-efficient file server anywhere - and it only requires 32MB of ram :)
7. If you like to tinker or you want to learn Linux, this is a fantastic purchase. If you just want to install an OS and "it just works" then Windows 8.1/10 is for you.
Pros: They do what they're supposed to do if you take it easy on them.
Cons: They don't seem very durable to me.
Lasted for about 15 months before dying.
Other Thoughts: Purchased in March 2012 and were working fine until I ran my PC mining litecoins for 2 days straight while traveling. When I returned, my PC (win 8) was continuously crashing with all sorts of different error messages. After ruling out the video card and restoring my PC to normal clocks (not overclocked), I finally swapped out this RAM for my old Corsair 8GB set and it's been smooth sailing since.READ FULL REVIEW
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