The Byte3 from Azulle is a complete 64-bit Windows 10 pro desktop in a 6”x4”x”1.5” package. The Byte3 comes in a variety of different configurations. The model they sent me is equipped with 4GB of DDR3-1600 SDRAM, a Quad Core Apollo Lake N3450 @ 1.1Ghz, Intel HD 500 Graphics, and 32GB of eMMC storage. If 32GB of internal storage is not enough for your needs, you have the option to install a M.2 SSD or 2.5” drive into this little media box. Package contents include a 12V power supply, IR remote, and a quick start guide.
Considering its size, this tiny computer has plenty of IO. On the back of the Byte 3 you will find a headphone jack, 2x USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI out, VGA out, power jack, and a USB-C port. On the right side there is an additional USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, and a SD card reader. There are 4x rubber feet on the bottom of the Byte3 along with some screw holes to allow the case to be mounted to the back of a VESA compatible monitor.
Setting up the Byte3 is dead simple. Just plug the computer in, dig up a VGA or HDMI cable (it does not come with video cables), and walk through the Windows 10 setup process. For the best user experience, I suggest using a keyboard / trackpad combo such as the Logitech K400. The included remote works with the Byte3 without any additional setup, however I found its functionality to be limited as it can really only be used to open some applications, change volume levels, and stop and start videos. In order to take full advantage of the Byte3’s power, I highly recommend some sort of keyboard / mouse combo.
Speaking of power, the Byte3 is responsive enough to be used as a daily driver by the average consumer. Its boot time is under 30 seconds, applications such as MS word and Google Chrome open almost instantly, and this mini desktop is even capable of some light gaming. Don’t expect it to run brand new AAA titles such as Battlefield 1 or FarCry 4, however older / less resource intensive games such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Risk of Rain run smoothly at medium settings. 4K video playback is possible with this PC, though there is a clear performance hit when using a 4K monitor VS. a 1080p monitor.
Benchmarks indicate that this is clearly not a drop-in replacement for a modern gaming PC. The Byte3 struggled with the 3D mark Fire Strike test, scoring a measly 272 points. The PassMark results echoed the same story with the Byte3 scoring a total rating of 825.6 placing it in the 13th percentile. During the benchmarks thermals were acceptable, the CPU hovered around 60C during the AIDA64 system stability test.
The Byte3 is a powerful media box that could make a great daily driver for essential office tasks. However, it fails to stand out from all the other dime-a-dozen Cherry Trail and Apollo Lake mini PC’s currently on the market. Additionally, I do wish that Azulle included a video cable (preferably HDMI) with the Byte3.
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