ECS LIVA Z2 review: a mini PC with Intel Gemini Lake that plays 4K without problems


Despite the fact that smart televisions carry more and more functionalities and allow us to reproduce all kinds of content, sometimes it is preferable to have a computer directly connected to have total flexibility. Today we analyze the ECS LIVA Z2, a mini PC with Windows 10 and Intel Gemini Lake 14 nm processor capable of decoding HEVC by hardware, the codec used by 4K videos.

The ECS LIVA Z2 is a very complete mini PC, mainly due to the fact that we do not have to add any SSD or RAM to use it. The company incorporates a 4 GB DDR4 RAM module in it, as well as a 32 or 64 GB eMMC chip (our model was 32 GB ). In the case that we want, we can add a hard disk or a 2.5-inch SSD with the SATA bay that houses inside.

This Intel Pentium N5000 processor is within the Pentium Silver range announced by Intel at the end of 2017, so this chip is the latest in performance improvements. It is capable of playing any video that we throw at it, including movies in Full Blu-ray 4K of 60 or more GB. With the 4K of YouTube does not have any problem either.

Where it floats, like all mini computers, is in the graphic performance, since we will not be able to run games beyond emulators or undemanding things. The built-in card is an Intel UHD Graphics 605.

At the connectivity level we find five USB ports, two HDMI (one of them 2.0), Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi AC. Therefore, we will not have any problem sharing or playing network files, as well as we can set the image signal in 4K at 60 Hz thanks to HDMI 2.0 for maximum image quality and fluidity.