REVIEW: Alfawise T1 a fanless mini PC with Intel Gemini Lake processor

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Alfawise T1 is the new model that we present today in a review, a product of the brand Alfawise that has a compact design quite common and that integrates in this occasion an Intel Gemini Lake processor. Inside this mini PC we find a bay for SATA 2.5″ disks and M.2 slot up to 6GBps, it also has two HDMI 2.0 video outputs that allows 4K@60fps video. An interesting device for desktop use with office suites, multimedia or light gaming. As always we will see it in detail in all its aspects comparing it with its direct competence in the sector.

  • Alfawise T1 can be purchased at Gearbest.com only for $169,99 (147,39€) with shipping cost included.

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelAlfawise T1 
Basic SpecsProcessor:  Intel Celeron N4100 Quad Core / GPU Intel HD Graphics 600 / 6W TPD / 14 nm
OS: Windows 10 Home 64bit
RAM: 4GB DDR4 integrada
Storage: 64GB eMMC integrada / Disk 2,5″ + M.2 SATA 3
Network: Wifi ac + BT / Ethernet Gigabit
Ports: USB 3.0 Type-C  / 3x USB 3.0  / 2x HDMI 2.0 / microSD / Jack audio in-out
Extra: Two HDMI cables / VESA support / Manual
Check full specifications

Description

The Alfawise T1 mini PC is a fanless computer with a shiny plastic case and the brand’s logo. On the front and back we can see all the connectors, a digital microphone, status LED and power button. In the lower part we have a hatch to access to the SATA bay for a 2.5″ disk, if we disassembling the box by the screws under the rubber feet, we have an extra M.2 slot in the base plate.

  • Materials: Plastic.
  • Interfaces: 1x USB 3.0 Type-C / 2x USB 3.0 / 2x HDMI 2.0 / microSD / microphone / Ethernet Gigabit / Jack in-out / SATA 2.5″/ M.2 2242 or 2280 / Kensington Lock / Reset bios / VESA
  • Accessories: Short and long HDMI cables / VESA mount / DC adapter 12V 1.5A 5mm / English manual

START UP

System and user experience

We launch the Alfawise T1 by pressing the power button on the box, as indicated by the specifications we have Windows 10 Home 64bit properly activated, we check the list of devices and note that all have their drivers installed correctly. The user environment moves correctly and we can run the basic applications without problems, of course with 4GB of RAM and the power of the processor is not a suitable computer but for heavy tasks but to navigate, office or multimedia is sufficient.

Support, BIOS and other OS

The Alfawise brand has its own web and contact email, although we do not know what kind of response they give, they do not have a download area on the web. We can access the BIOS by pressing ESC, it has a classic AMI BIOS with very few options and nothing to overclock.

  • BIOS: No remote power on options, only Secure boot, No LEGACY mode
  • Other OSLibreELEC for PC compatible / Ubuntu compatible

HARDWARE TEST

Storage, RAM and Ports

We perform speed tests of the installed storage by default, also of the RAM that comes standard and check the speed and functionality of all its connection ports.

  • USB ports: We have USB Type-C but it is only 3.0, does not output video
  • Video and audio ouputs:  2x HDMI 2.0 up to 4K@60fps without HDR

The SATA 3 disk speed installed by default gives us normal performance figures within that category, if we want to improve speeds we can install an additional disk M.2 or 2,5″ SATA3.

We have installed 4 GB of RAM works in Single Channel, we only have installed a single SODIMM DDR4 at a speed of 2133 MHz, we could get more performance from the hardware if it worked in Dual Channel.

Electric consumption, temperature and noise

Checking the consumption on the Alfawise T1 we can see performance of the Intel Celeron N4100 processor with 6W TPD it has low figures as usual in these models and we maintain a contained level even in the maximum performance scenarios.

We perform our thermal and acoustic tests on the passive Alfawise T1 Mini PC, as we can see the dissipation system behaves quite well and we do not have high temperatures. This model is totally passive and does not emit noise.

  • Measuring temperature 25ºC
  • Noise: 0 db

In our review we make several types of tests to check the performance in each use scenario, with this data we can make an idea of the overall real performance that the system will have during its working life.

  • Continuous extreme performance: 67ºC Max. / CPU 1.31 GHz / No thermal throlling but limited CPU
  • Performance in games: LOL 60ºC / CPU 1.5 GHz average
  • External temperature: 40ºC on a side

Wifi, Ethernet and Bluetooth

Inside the mini PC Alfawise T1 has installed a Wi-Fi ac Dual Band wireless adapter with which we connect to an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid-range device. We perform tests on the use of streaming using the iPerf measurement tool to see the maximum performance of each network adapter.

  • Wifi speed results: Correct speeds for this network adapters.
  • Scope Wifi: At a distance of 5 meters with a wall we have a signal of 42 dBm, a very poor result.
  • Bluetooth: Works correctly and connects without problems
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC

PERFORMANCE TEST

Processor

The Alfawise T1 mini PC integrates an Intel Celeron N4100 processor with four cores and four threads running between 1.1 and 2.4 GHz and an Intel HD Graphics 600 GPU up to 700 MHz with 12 EU, this processor has a maximum of 6 W TPD. We can see in the performance tests that the results are correct for this type of hardware. As usual, 3D performance is somewhat limited, it is a hardware for desktop, multimedia, navigation and office suites where games or demanding applications do not fit.

Benchmarks

Games

Performing our benchmark test in games on the Alfawise T1 we can see the results, the values are classic in line with this type of product of this type, the Intel HD Graphics GPU 600 is perfectly valid for simple games such as we can find in Android phones by downloading them from the Microsoft Store. Also indie titles in 2D or current games with light 3D load like LOL, the emulators are also feasible but at the most we stayed in some simple Game Cube titles.

  • GTA V / Overwath / Fortnite, low settings, 720p resolution and no VSync.
  • LOL / CS:GO, ow settings, 1080p  resolution and no VSync.
    *On models with powerful discrete GPU settings in medium and 1080p resolution

With the Alfawise T1 we have performed a performance test with the game League of legends (LOL) which is quite light and we can play at 30fps, DOTA 2 is more demanding and we usually have 10fps less, in the following video you can have an idea how it would works in this mini PC. We also do a special test with CS:GO and we see that we stay at 19fps in 1080p, only if we lower the resolution to 720p we can play minimally at 25fps but it is not recommended.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TESTS

Video playback test

Testing the video content in the Alfawise T1 mini PC with the integrated IIntel HD Graphics 600 we use the VPU with hardware support for the HVEC codec and for VP9, in this processor we have support for 10bit color video and also HDR although we can reproduce it in basic color quality since Gemini Lake does not have HDR native support.

Video results

H.264 FormatResult
BBB – H.264 8bit – Simple@L1 – 1080p@25fps – 7 MbpsCorrect
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264  8bit – High@L5.1 – 1080p@30fps – 40 MbpsCorrect
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 4K@24fps – 43 MbpsCorrect
Anime – H.264 10bit – High 10@L5.1 – 1080p@24fps – 10 MbpsCorrect
H.265 Format
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – Main@L6.2@Main – 1080p@24fps – 17 MbpsCorrect
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.2@Main – 4K@24fps – 51 MbpsCorrect
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – 392 MbpsLow Frameskip
Anime – HVEC 10bit –  Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 MbpsCorrect
HDR Format
Life of Pi HDR10 –  HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.1@High – 4K@24fps – 45 MbpsCorrect
LG Demo – Dolby Vision – HVEC 12bit – Main 10@L5@Main – 4K@24fps – 30 MbpsCorrect
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG 10bit  – Main 10@L5@High – 4K@25fps – 31 MbpsLow Frameskip
The world in HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 4K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 MbpsFrameskip


Audio playback test

Testing the Alfawise T1 using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver we check that the miniPC supports DD and DTS 7.1 pass through, is curious because the default hardware only supports stereo and does not have licenses for DD or DTS formats. We recommend, as always, to update all the drivers with Windows Update to the latest before connecting the device to our AV receiver.

Audio test results

FormatsDD 5.1DD+ 7.1DD True 7.1DD Atms 7.1DTS 5.1DTS MA 5.1DTS HR 7.1DTS X 7.1
HDMIOKCoreOKOK*OKOKOKOK*
SPDIF
  • PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
  • Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby / DTS base system
    * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1

Streaming services

We perform performance tests on the Alfawise T1 mini PC in the most popular streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, HBO, 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 HD or 4K quality

Streaming serviceVideo QualityAudio Quality
Youtube4K@60 (2060p)5.1
NetflixFullHD (1080p)5.1
HBOFullHD (1080p)Stereo
Amazon Prime VideoHD (720p)Stereo

CONCLUSIONS

Score

Alfawise T1 _

8

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

9.0/10

HARDWARE

8.0/10

SOFTWARE

8.5/10

SUPPORT

7.0/10

PRICE

7.5/10

Pros

  • Intel Gemini Lake SoC
  • Ethernet Gigabit and Wifi ac
  • Two HDMI 2.0 4K@60fps
  • Compact desing
  • M2 + 2,5" disk bay

Cons

  • No HDR support

Opinion

As we have seen, the Alfawise T1 is an interesting mini PC with Intel Gemini Lake processor that improves performance somewhat compared to the previous Apollo Lake generation and allows us to have a passive system that works well for basic use. In this model we have double HDMI 2.0 output that allows us to connect two monitors at a time up to 4K@60fps, we also have disk expansion options through an M.2 unit or a 2.5 “disk in its internal SATA bay.

The Alfawise T1 mini PC in an interesting model for his storage options and its low consumption which will save us a lot of money in the electric bill. It is possible to use it perfectly as a mini desktop PC to navigate, view multimedia contents without disturbing fan noises, use light editing applications or simple games, although as we ahve seen we can perfectly play LOL with low settings. In summary an interesting product if we want an economical mini PC with an acceptable desktop performance.

WHERE TO BUY

  • Alfawise T1 can be purchased at Gearbest.com only for $169,99 (147,39€) with shipping cost included.

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