The Minix Neo Z83-4U comes as a new proposal for users who wish to have a system with Ubuntu operating system and somewhat higher performance than the "standard" Minix Neo Z83-4. Their differences are not high, apart from the increased internal storage space (64gb) that allows to have maybe even two operating systems at the same small box. The box is totally silent system and operate 24/7 with up to 4 Watts of power consumption, making your eletric bills happy.
The Neo Z83-4U also comes also an upgraded Intel Z-8350 processor that can boost up to 1.92GHz to provide higher performance than the Neo Z83-4. The inclusion of eMMC v5.1 internal storage added faster speeds compared to the Minix Neo Z83-4 that ships with eMMC v5.0. All the rest hardware specs and ports are exactly the same - 802.11ac Wifi (with External antenna), 1GBit LAN, USB ports (2.0 & 3.0) and two Video output ports (mini DP and HDMI) that can be used to output two monitors at the same time.
The pre-installed Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS OS works well out of the box, altough we did notice some lagging in specific tasks. We also experienced some issues to load the latest 19.04 Ubuntu, probably due to the Intel chipset.
Even if you are not an experienced Linux user, you should easily get Kodi installed. Our video and audio tests showed that this box is a small media center. However, you should expect no multichannel output, probably due to th lack of appropriate (?) drivers. Installing Windows is not difficult and will offer you up to 5.1 DTS/Dolby Surround sound.
Overall, the Minix Neo Z83-4U is a nice little box that packs power for small office users and for those who wish a silent and versatile box. The increased 64GB internal space is welcomed and since both the Minix Z83-4 (Windows based) and Minix Z83-4U have the same price, we would probably go for the Linux version.
- Complete retail package with VESA monitor mount included
- Ubuntu 18.04.1LT preinstalled
- Compact size
- Totally silent, 24/7 operation
- 4GB DDR3 memory
- 64GB internal eMMC v5.1 storage
- 802.11ac Wifi with external Antenna
- Multiple I/O ports (USB2.0, USB3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, 1GBit Lan)
- Cool operation even at full load (CPU temp erature remained below 52 degrees C throughout testing)
- Intel HD graphics can be used for up to 4K playback content (8bit) with Kodi 18
- Users can install both Windows/Ubuntu
- Memory/HDD cannot be upgraded
- HD Audio on Ubuntu support only PCM 4.0 channels
- System's response (lag)