REVIEW: Chatreey AC1-Z a compact and attractive fanless mini PC

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Chatreey AC1-Z is a new mini PC of which today we present his review, a product with a very compact and nice design. This small computer has a low-power Intel Celeron J4105 Quad Core Gemini Lake processor, an 4GB DDR4 integrated also eMMC with the OS pre-installed, as  expansion options we have a SATA disk or a 2,5″ drive. This miniPC has a fanless design, this mean we will have zero noise. Let’s see how it is defended in the following detailed review.

  • The Chatreey AC1-Z is available on Aliexpress.com from $153 (139€) with shipping costs included, you must select as a method of delivery «AliExpress Standard Shipping» to avoid customs fees.

PRODUCT DETAILS

 

ModelChatreey AC1-Z 
Basic SpecsProcessors in two versions:
– Intel Celeron J4105 Quad Core – Four threads 2.5GHz / Intel HD Graphics 600 / 10W TDP / 14 nm (in Review)
– Intel Celeron J3455 Quad Core – Four threads 2.3GHz / Intel HD Graphics 500 / 10W TDP / 14 nm
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
RAM: 4GB DDR4 2400MHz Single channel (Integrated) (DDR3 for J3455 version)
Storage: 32/64GB eMMC (Integrated) / 1x M.2 SATA 2242 (mSATA for J3455 version) + 1x SATA 2,5″ (Expansion)
Network: Wifi ac MIMO + BT 4.2 (Intel 3165) / Ethernet Gigabit
Ports: 2x USB 3.0  / 2x USB 2.0  / 2x HDMI 2.0 (1.4 for J3455 version) / Jack audio in-out / microSD
Content: Adaptador DC 12V 2.5A / HDMI 2.0 Cable / VESA Support / Manual
Dimensions: 128x128x55 mm / 1.1 Kg

Description

The Chatreey AC1-Z mini PC has a box design inspired in a Zotac fanless model, the devices comes in a generic cardboard box with the miniPC in one side and the cables in a separated box. Comes with a DC 12V 2.5A power adapter, HDMI 2.0 cable, VESA support and a English manual with the first setup steps and options.

  • Materials: Plastic / 128x128x55 mm / 1.1 Kg.
  • Accessories: Adaptador DC 12V 2.5A / HDMI 2.0 Cable / VESA Support / Manual.

On the front we have a status LED (blue/red), power on button, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 and a microSD reader. In the back we have the other connectors where stands out the double HDMI 2.0 ports with 4K60fps support that allows us to connect two monitors at once, we also have a Gigabit Ethernet connector, audio jack in/out and Kensington lock.

  • Interfaces: 2x USB 3.0  / 2x USB 2.0  / 2x HDMI 2.0 (1.4 for J3455 version) / Jack audio in-out / microSD.

In we open the Chatreey AC1-Z we found the SATA connector bay to mount a 2.5″ disk. At the bottom we find the metal block that works as a fanless heatsink, it is in contact with the CPU with a thermal paste. In this area we see the Wifi ac MIMO + BT 4.2 (Intel 3165) with two internal antennas. This mini PC has the option to hang it in a VESA support included.

  • Expansions: 1x M.2 SATA 2242 (mSATA for J3455 version) + 1x SATA 2,5″

START UP

System and user experience

We turn on the Chatreey AC1-Z by pressing the front button of the box and the frontal led turns on in blue. As indicated by the specifications we have Windows 10 Pro 64bit correctly activated. We check the list of devices and note that all have their drivers installed correctly, the systems work without problem.

  • OS Version installed: Windows 10 Pro 64bit.
  • Software pre-installed: None.

We verify that the Windows 10 Pro system moves fast, thanks to the 4GB of RAM, we can do a lot of loading of navigation tabs without loss of performance. A perfectly valid computer for office automation, multimedia and programs of all kinds up to an average level of processing.

Support, BIOS and other OS

The Newsmay (Chatreey) has its own store and contact email. We can access the BIOS by pressing ESC, it has a classic AMI BIOS with many special options, a product that allows us to set on with the internal clock, we recommend not to touch the BIOS a lot because we can leave the system frozen. This model is fully compatible with Ubuntu, we can check it from a USB boot drive, all the devices are detected and we can use the hardware without problems. LibreELEC is also compatible.

  • BIOS: Classic AMI BIOS in text mode.
  • Power management: Auto power on / Wake on LAN.
  • OSLibreELEC for PC compatible / Ubuntu compatible.

HARDWARE TEST

Storage, RAM and Ports

We passed a disk storage speed tests for the eMMC integrated by default in the motherboard, we also tested the 4GB of DDR4 RAM that are also integrated in the hardware.

The disk behaves correctly within the eMMC speeds, we can improve the speed installing a SATA or SSD 2,5″ disk. The RAM installed is athe DDR4 memory at 2400Mhz and its Single Channel configuration is also noted.

Wifi, Ethernet and Bluetooth

Integrated in the mini PC Chatreey AC1-Z has installed a wireless adapter Wifi ac MIMO + BT 4.2 (Intel 3165) 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 adaptor.

  • Wifi speed results: Correct speeds for this network adaptors.
  • Wifi range: At a distance of 5 meters with a wall we have a signal of 41 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.

Electric consumption, temperature and noise

At consumption level the Chatreey AC1-Z model as we have the performance of the Intel Celeron J4205 processor with 10W TDP it has low figures as usual in these models and we can see that we remain at a contained level even in the highest performance scenarios.

  • Measuring temperature: 25ºC.
  • Noise: 0 db fanless.

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: 58ºC Max. / CPU 1.79 GHz / NO thermal throttling and NO limited CPU
  • Overclock: Available but we do not recommend touching the BIOS.
  • Performance in games: LOL 63ºC / CPU 1.2 GHz average and 2.4 GHz máx.
  • External temperature: 44ºC on the surface.

PERFORMANCE TEST

Processor

Inside the Chatreey AC1-Z mini PC we find an Intel Celeron J4105 processor with four cores and four threads that moves between 1.5 and 2.5 GHz and an Intel HD Graphics 600 GPU up to 700 MHz with 12 EU. This chip has a maximum consumption of 10W TDP, the results are correct within an Gemini Lake processors family, as we see it is at the level of more modern models with similar consumption. A correct processor to navigate, multimedia playback with the last codecs with KODI or use of office suites at user level, we can also run design apps at medium level.

Benchmarks

Games

As we check in the benchmark with games on the Chatreey AC1-Z the values are classic in line with this type of product of this type, the Intel HD Graphics 600 GPU is fine 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 Wii titles.

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

With the Chatreey AC1-Z we have performed a performance test with the game League of legends (LOL) which is quite light and we can play at 50 fps, DOTA 2 is more demanding and we usually have 10fps less. We also do a special test with CS:GO and we see that we stay at 26 fps in 1080p a GPU not recommended for this type of games.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TESTS

Video playback test

In the video playback section the Chatreey AC1-Z mini PC has an integrated Intel HD Graphics 600 GPU that has a VPU with hardware support for the HEVC codec and the modern VP9. This mini PC can be valid as a multimedia system to use KODI, IPTV or to use it with PLEX, we have HDMI 2.0 dual connectors, is possible to playback content with 4K@60fps resolutions. In this processor it does NOT have support for 10bit or HDR range by default and reduces the colors to SD level.

Video results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)OK
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitOK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)OK
h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bitOK
VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDRFrameskip in some files
VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDRFrameskip
  • The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of the SAMBA Networks.

Audio playback test

We past test with the Chatreey AC1-Z using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver checking 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

FormatDD / DTS 5.1DD+ / DTS MADD True / DTS HRDD Atmos / DTS X
HDMIOK / OKOK / OKOK / OKOK / Core*
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

In the streaming aspect the Chatreey AC1-Z mini PC we check 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 / AudioResultManual
Youtube4K (2060p) / 5.1OK
NetflixFullHD (1080p) / 5.1OKNetflix for PC
HBOFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK
Amazon Prime VideoHD (720p) / StereoOKAmazon Prime video for PC 

CONCLUSIONS

Score

0.00
7.9

DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY

8.5/10

HARDWARE

7.0/10

SOFTWARE

8.0/10

SUPPORT

8.5/10

PRICE

7.5/10

Pros

  • Compact and VESA support
  • Fanless design
  • Two HDMI 2.0 4K@60fps
  • mSATA + 2,5" HDD
  • Good thermals

Cons

  • Only 4GB RAM option

Opinion

As we have seen the Chatreey AC1-Z is a very complete fanless model, it stands out for its compact size and the possibility of expansion in its internal storage. This small computer that can be valid for a desktop use, browse intensively or run basic design applications. This model has 4GB DDR4 of RAM soldered in the motherboard as a limitation but allow us to install an SATA drive and  another 2.5″ disk unit inside the case, without a doubt very flexible despite its size.

The mini PC Chatreey AC1-Z works very good at termal level and keeps temperatures low at any use, we will thanks is complete silence in media playback. At network usage level, the Wifi aC behaves normally, we have a Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and the BIOS of the system is quite complete, it is also compatible with other OS. This mini PC have several USB ports and dual HDMI 2.0 output to connect two monitors simultaneously with 4K@60fps resolucion.

The fanless model Chatreey AC1-Z as we see a compact and fanless computer, a good model of mini PC for desktop use or multimedia playback that allow us to use it with two monitor in total silence.

WHERE TO BUY

  • The Chatreey AC1-Z is available on Aliexpress.com from $153 (139€) with shipping costs included, you must select as a method of delivery «AliExpress Standard Shipping» to avoid customs fees.

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Vincent BKimPatrick Recent comment authors

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Vincent B
Member

Hi.
For the ssd, is it as stated in the first review:
Cpu J3455 – > msata (2242?) connector + 2,5″ Bay sata
Cpu J4105 – > m.2 (sata or pcie?) 2242 connector + 2,5″ Bay sata
because I’m a little confused the way it’s stated through the article:
“… we have a mSATA disk or a 2,5″ drive. ”
“1x M.2 mSATA 2242 + 1x SATA 2,5″ (Expansion)”
“Expansions: 1x M.2 mSATA 2242 / 1x SATA 2,5″.”

Thanks 🙂

Patrick
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Patrick

is it a good pick for digital signage? because I see it is fanless

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