MINIX NEO Z100-0dB, review: new fanless mini PC with Intel N100

The new MINIX NEO Z100-0dB is the passive mini PC of the MINIX brand that we present today in its analysis or review. A quiet and robust PC with great design.

The mini PC MINIX NEO Z100-0dB integrates as engine the Intel N100 (Alder Lake-N) processor manufactured in 10 nm, a popular low power processor with only 6W TPD. Inside this computer we have a SODIMM with 16 GB of RAM DDR4 3200 MHz, a 512 GB NVMe SSD, we also have Wifi 6 and an Ethernet 2.5G port high speed. The operating system installed is Windows 11 Pro but we can also install Linux, also offers multiple remote or scheduled power system.

Let’s see how this device performs in our review and how it fares against its competition.

  • The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC can be purchased from Amazon from $256 with free shipping.

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Product details

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB (16/512GB)
CPU: Intel N100 4C/4H 3.4GHz / 6 W TDP / 10 nm
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 24EU / 750 MHz
System: Windows 11 Pro 64bit.
RAM: 8/16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz max / 1x SODIMM.
Storage: 256/512 GB 1x NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 2280 / 1x SATA 3 2.5″.
Network: Wifi 6 + BT 5.2 (Intel AX201) / 1x Ethernet 2.5 GB (RTL8125BG-CG)
Ports: 1x USB-C 3.2 (Data) / 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 / 2x USB 2.0 / 2x HDMI 2.1 / 1x Ethernet 2.5G / Audio Jack / Micro SD / Reset.
Contents: Adapter DC 12V 3A (36 W) / HDMI Cable / VESA bracket / Manual.
Materials and dimensions: Metal / Front Led / 123x120x46 mm / 890 gr.

Unboxing MINIX NEO Z100-0dB

The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB fanless computer comes in a cardboard box with the classic design of the brand and foam protections. Inside we find the small computer with its contents, manual, HDMI cable, VESA bracket and charger 12V 3A (36 W).

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Description

The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB computer has a robust aluminum and steel construction. On the front we have a status LED, power button, audio jack in / out, two USB-A 3.2 and a USB-C 3.2 (10Gbps) data and micro SD card reader. In the rear area we find two USB-A 2.0, two HDMI 2.1, Ethernet 2.5 GB and for power supply we have a round DC port. On the sides we have the Wifi antennas and a BIOS reset button.

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Inside this PC we find the M.2 2230 adapter with Wifi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2 (Intel AX201) with two fairly large external antennas. We also have a 512GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 2280 NVMe SSD installed and for RAM we have a single slot for a SODIMM DDR4 3200 MHz.

  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz max / 1x SODIMM.
  • Storage: 512 GB 1x NVMe 2280.
  • Networking: Wifi 6 + BT 5.2 (Intel AX201) / 1x Ethernet 2.5 GB (RTL8125BG-CG)

System and performance

Environment and user experience

We start the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB by pressing the front power button and a blue led is activated (green in standby). In a few seconds we are on the Windows 11 Pro 64bit desktop perfectly activated and without additional software. We have all the drivers installed correctly and we update it without problems with the Windows Update system. We found that the hardware moves smoothly in a basic use of desktop apps, we can load many tabs navigation without slowdowns. A valid computer to use office apps, multimedia and also design with medium or light load without demanding 3D.

We can access the system BIOS by pressing ESC, it has few options, we recommend NOT TOUCH if we do not know what we are doing, some function that can hang the system. If we have problems we can use the BIOS reset button that we have on the front.

  • Support: MINIX has its own website and mail contact to send our queries.
  • BIOS: BIOS AMI text / TPM 2.0 / Secure boot / Wake On LAN / AC Power Loss / RTC Wake Up
  • Other OS: Compatible with Ubuntu / Compatible with LibreELEC for PC.

Networks, Storage, RAM and Ports

In the connectivity section of the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB PC we find a Wifi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2 wireless adapter (Intel AX201) and a 2.5 GB Ethernet port (RTL8125BG-CG). The results in speed are quite good and the range is correct.

  • Network performance: Two external Wifi antennas / Range 42 dBm / Link 5G 1922 Mbps / Bluetooth OK.

minix z100 review s02

 

We tested the storage speed of the M.2 NVMe 3x 2280 disk installed by default and observed that it behaves normally. For the performance tests we have one SODIMM with 16 GB of RAM DDR5 4800 MHz with Single Channel configuration.

Processor, performance and thermal

The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB integrates the Intel N100 (Alder Lake-N) chip manufactured in 10 nm (Intel 7) that has four cores and four threads that moves up to 3.2 GHz. In the graphics section we have an Intel UHD Graphics GPU up to 750 MHz with 24 EU (the N95 has 16EU). This processor has a power consumption of only 6 W TDP and the performance results are a significant improvement over its smaller siblings.

GPU performance is limited for multimedia and light gaming use. This small computer is suitable for browsing, multimedia playback with KODI, office applications, editing applications and very light 3D games.

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB Benchmarks

We perform several tests with the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB, the performance is in line with these Celeron type processors manufactured in 10 nm, although it is a slight improvement over the previous Intel N5095. The installed Intel UHD Graphics GPU, which as we can see is limited for use with basic 3D games.

In this mini PC MINIX NEO Z100-0dB we have a fanless cooling system, so we have a mini PC that does not emit any noise. At the top we have an aluminum block with fins that exchange the temperature with the ambient air.

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As we can see the thermal performance is good, the system keeps the temperatures under control, the upper area gets hot but we have no performance losses even with the CPU at maximum. This processor with its 10 nm is efficient and should not worry us in thermals.

  • Power consumption: Off 0.9W / Sleep 8W / Basic usage 10W / Max. 27W.
  • Thermal: Idle 40ºC / Basic usage 42ºC / Max. 77ºC / CPU 3.0 GHz max. / Performance up to 100%.
  • Gaming performance: LoL 75ºC / CPU 2.5 GHz on average.
  • Noise: 0 dBA / Passive.

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Games

We passed performance test with games on this MINIX NEO Z100-0dB, the results are in line with this type of GPU integrated into low-power Intel. As we see Intel UHD Graphics GPU with 24EU is suitable for games in 1080p or 720p quality depending on the 3D load, it is not suitable for heavy AAA games with many 3D elements. As for emulators at most we are left with some simple Wii, PS2 and similar titles, we will not be able to play very demanding 3D emulators.

  • Setting: High quality / 1080p resolution / No VSync / Play emulators with RetoArch.
  • On models with integrated Intel HD GPU on low and 720p resolution.

With this  PC it is possible to play titles like LoL with a good frame rate, in more demanding games like Fornite with the graphics settings in performance mode is not very playable, as for Diablo immortal we stay at 21/28fps. If we are interested especially in the Gaming section is better to go for a PC with a dedicated GPU and we will have a much smoother experience.

Video and audio tests

Playback test

In the video area the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics GPU that features a VPU with hardware decoding support for HEVC and VP9 codecs, have support for the modern AV1 video codec but don’t work with Edge browser. This processor has support for 10bit color and also has native HDR support. This PC is perfectly valid as a multimedia system to use KODI, IPTV or to use it with PLEX.

Video test

Formats Result
h.264 / 1080i / 8bit OK
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit OK (SW)
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime) OK
h.265 / 1080p / 8bit OK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime) OK
h.265 / 4K / 8bit OK
h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDR OK
VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bit OK
VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDR OK
VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDR Frameskip (SW)
AV1 / 8K@24fps / 10bit OK
Max. Bitrate 100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s
  • * The maximum bit rate depends on the internal storage, usb port, Ethernet or the limitations with our SAMBA Network.
  • SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have some frameskip in very heavy files.
Support Format
Native Dolby 5.1 – Plus / DTS 5.1 – Master Audio
Core Dolby HD – Atmos / DTS HR – X
PCM All
  • Native – Supports the format directly in our AV receiver or similar / More info.
  • Core – Only the 5.1 core of the format is played so we go to the Dolby or DTS base system / More info.
  • PCM – Only stereo downmixing from DD or DTS.

Streaming services

We used the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC to perform several tests with the streaming services we pass some test for Youtube, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and others with their native apps or using the most compatible browser. You can consult our guides where we explain in detail all the best known streaming services, how to configure them and what requirements are necessary to see content in FullHD or 4K quality.

Streaming service Video / Audio
Youtube 4K (2160p) / 5.1
Netflix 4K (2160p) / 5.1 / Netflix guide for PC
HBO Max FullHD (1080p) / Estéreo / HBO Max guide for PC
Disney+ FullHD (1080p) / 5.1 / Disney+ guide for PC
Prime Video FullHD (1080p) / 5.1 / Prime Video guide for PC
Apple TV+ FullHD (1080p) / 5.1 / Apple TV+ Guide
DAZN HD (720p) / Stereo
IPTV FullHD (1080i) / Stereo

netflix pc eng n02 min

Conclusions and purchase links

Score

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB

0.00
7.6

Power

8.0/10

GPU

7.0/10

Conectivity

8.0/10

Thermals

7.5/10

Price

7.5/10

Pros

  • Fanless
  • Good design
  • Wifi 6 + Ethernet 2.5G
  • Remote Power ON
  • Low consumption

Cons

  • DDR4 RAM

Opinion

Once we have analyzed the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB we can say that this is a fanless mini PC interesting for its design and its Intel N100 processor. Thanks to the manufacturing process of its Intel chip at 10 nm gives us a good performance and maintains the thermals even without fan. This machine offers enough power for desktop apps, we also have two video outputs up to 4K@60fps and a 2.5 GB Ethernet port that allows transferring large files without problems.

The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC also has a 512 GB NVMe SSD with good speed and we have a single SODIMM DDR4 slot that allows us to expand up to 32 GB RAM, it is also possible to hang it from its VESA mount behind our monitor. We have installed Windows 11 Pro as OS that allows us to navigate or consume multimedia content perfectly.

As we have found the MINIX NEO Z100-0dB is a quiet and versatile mini PC. With it we can browse, play multimedia or use office apps with zero noise.

Where to buy MINIX NEO Z100-0dB

  • The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC can be purchased from Amazon from $256 with free shipping.

MINIX NEO Z100 review p011

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB

0.00
7.6

Power

8.0/10

GPU

7.0/10

Conectivity

8.0/10

Thermals

7.5/10

Price

7.5/10

Pros

  • Fanless
  • Good design
  • Wifi 6 + Ethernet 2.5G
  • Remote Power ON
  • Low consumption

Cons

  • DDR4 RAM
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