When I found out I’d be reviewing this laptop from PC Specialist I decided to check out their site and do some homework to see what I was getting. Having no hands on experiences with Intel’s new Broadwell chips previous to this meant I finally get a chance to see what all of the Broadwell fuss was out, or perhaps to discover it was just marketing hype. After a while of making the cheapest and most expensive builds possible to curb my curiosity my very own review unit had arrived. Reading the spec list I was given ahead of the arrival, features like “5th Gen i5 Broadwell CPU”, “1080p 13.3″ screen”, “250GB SSD” were all ticking the right boxes to me, but when I seen how remarkably thin the chassis was on the website photos it was then my interest peaked.
The question is though, is it as good as it looks or is it all style and no substance? Let’s get this unboxed and find out!
Name: PC Specialist Lafité
Case: PC Specialist Lafité Silver Aluminium Chassis
Today we are taking a look at Gigabyte’s Intel i5 5200U powered BRIX. Gigabyte has an impressive array of BRIX models that come in at all different performance levels with many CPU options and even options with discrete GPUs. The small form factor computer business has been exploding the last few years due in part with parts shrinking and their abilities skyrocketing. Many people have been buying small form factor units deciding to use them as business or daily workstations due to the low power consumption, helping to lower costs. Others love these small boxes for use as home theater PCs (HTPCs) since they can be tucked out of the way and will generally not be heard over ambient sound in the home theater. The specs for this BRIX look promising for use in both situations so let’s take a closer look and see just how well it would perform in these tasks.
RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v
SSD:User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
GPU: Integrated – Intel® HD Graphics 5500
LAN: Realtek RTL8111G10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini isplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, RJ-45/GbE LAN
OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
Warranty: 1 Year
Printed materials and hardware that the BRIX comes with. You will get a power adapter and power cord to hook up the BRIX as well as all the screws that you will need to mount your SSD or HDD and use the VESA mount if you wish. The DVD and printed materials are toss away materials in my opinion since the most up to date drivers and materials can be downloaded from the support website.
EUROCOM builds some incredible and portable systems that usually are built with one thing in mind, the best efficiency and most power possible.
The new 14″ Armadillo 2 ultrabook is slightly different as it was designed to be a perfect everyday companion. It should be compact and lightweight enough to carry everywhere while still giving you the power you need to perform your tasks.
The Armadillo 2 is built around the Intel Core i5-5200U Broadwell CPU and supports up to 2TB storage, Intel HD Graphics 5500 and up to 32GB RAM, all packed in a beautiful brushed aluminium chassis that only is 2.1 cm thick and weighs 1.8kg.
Armadillo 2 supports Intel’s Platform Trust Technology (Intel PTT), which is a new platform functionality for credential storage and key management. It has a 4 cells Smart Lithium-Ion 44WH battery pack for up to 7 hours of battery life.
Security: Kensington Lock, Intel PTT (Platform Trust Technology)
You can configure your system directly on EUROCOM’s website where the fun begins at £588 and a fully equipped model easily costs you £2386. However, for that price you will get a 1TB HDD and 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, pre-installed Windows with retail disk and ac/a/b/g/n and Bluetooth Wireless abilities.