Geekom Mini Air 11 Review (and Giveaway!)

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The Geekom Mini Air 11 is a tiny, cheap, and versatile Windows PC that can be used for a wide range of computing needs, for both business and personal use. While the price and form factor hits the sweet spot, its performance can be lacklustre with more intensive tasks.

Specifications

  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • CPU Speed: 2.90 GHz
  • Hardware Interface: USB-C, USB-A 3.2, HDMI, Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, SD Card Reader
  • Brand: Geekom
  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel® Celeron® Processor N5095
Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • SSD can be upgraded and memory can be expanded
  • Lots of mounting options
Cons

  • Limited graphics performance
  • Limited storage out of the box
Buy This Product

  

The PC market is massive today, and for the average person, it can be hard to decipher what’s truly necessary for their use-case scenario. How much money do I need to spend? Do I need the latest and greatest? Will I have to build it myself? Not to mention all the deceptive marketing designed to trick people into spending their hard-earned cash on sensationalized garbage. But what if I told you there was a PC that was capable, cheap, simple to use, and could fit in the palm of your hand? A true PC for all. That is what I’ve found with the Geekom Mini Air 11.

Interested in winning a free Special Edition Geekom Mini Air 11? Enter using the giveaway widget at the end of this review and you’ll have the chance to win one of these special edition packages!

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What’s in the Box?

Opening the Mini Air 11 box you’re greeted with the PC and the power cable, along with a plethora of additional accessories to help get you started, or just to make your life that much easier when using the product. These include an HDMI cable, Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, a VESA mounting bracket (with bolts), and a travel storage bag.

I must say, I was happy to see these accessories included in the box, when many other manufacturers would put this burden on the consumer to find and purchase. You can tell Geekom was thinking about the user when they chose to include these components, which I am grateful for especially at this price point.

Taking the PC out of the box you begin to realize just how small this thing is—much more than I anticipated—measuring in at only 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm. But that small form factor does not come with a sacrifice to ports. Looking around the chassis you’ll be able to find just about every port you’d want on a computer, with no dongles necessary.

On the front this includes a USB-C port (data only), USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, a headphone/mic combo jack, four microphones, and a power button.

Moving over to the rear you’ll find even more ports, including an additional USB-C port (data only), an HDMI port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an Ethernet port, a Mini DisplayPort, and a DC power port—all located underneath the fan outlet.

On each side of the machine, you may be surprised to find even more complementary I/O. The left side features an SD card slot, while the right side has a Kensington security lock slot. The Mini Air 11 also comes equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas.

As with the accessories, including all this I/O on a PC of this price and size is a nice touch, and demonstrates that this is one area where Geekom only made minimal sacrifices despite the low price. With this kind of form factor I wouldn’t have expected an SD card reader, or even an additional monitor port (with included Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter), but it’s clear Geekom wanted to give its users everything they’d need to get started.

It’s also immensely useful to include a suitable VESA mounting bracket and fasteners, which can be used to directly mount the PC discreetly to the back of a monitor, entertainment system, or even bolted underneath a desk. It would have been nice to have display-out capabilities through USB-C, or a faster SD card reader, but at this price point, those are sacrifices I am willing to make.

Geekom Mini Air 11 Design

The design is also pretty nice. It’s small, discreet, and the ports are conveniently located in logical areas of the device. It sits as a square with only a small amount of height and easily fits into any home desk or office setup. The chassis is made of plastic, but it feels solid enough and keeps the weight light at 1.1lbs, and the cost low.

Located on the bottom of the device is some information along with some solid rubber feet. Inside each four of these rubber feet is a standard Phillips head screw, which conveniently unlocks the bottom of the chassis to the internals of the computer. Inside you’ll find the removable SSD (with thermal tape) and the 8GB RAM stick, with an additional slot for upgrading to dual channel memory, a welcome addition!

Setup

Setting up the PC really could not have been easier. All that was necessary was to plug in the Mini Air 11, and connect the included HDMI cable to a monitor. Once that was finished I could boot up the computer into the preinstalled Windows 11 operating system, and connect my Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. The account setup was simple, smooth, and without any ugly bloatware. From here, I was all set to go for pretty much all of my computing needs! Boot up was quick, I was able to connect seamlessly to Wi-Fi (or plug directly into Ethernet), and install all my favorite apps and sync any important files.

How Does It Run?

Performance is incredibly important when considering a new product, as it can make or break the user experience. But here is where you can really start to see the compromises made to keep the price low.

Under the hood is an 11th Gen Intel Celeron N5095 with Intel UHD Graphics 605. The OS runs on a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, paired with the aforementioned 8GB of DDR4 RAM, that is upgradeable to 32GB of dual-channel memory. So let’s be clear, this is not a gaming PC or a video editing powerhouse. Where this computer thrives is document editing, file management, web browsing, and media consumption. If you’re looking for a PC with intense graphics and CPU performance, look elsewhere. That being said, the Air 11 can hold its own.

I was skeptical upon receiving a tiny, cheap PC. In many cases, companies use this opportunity to package poor components into a product that is then marketed toward inexperienced consumers for big profit. That does not seem to be the case here, it’s clear Geekom is focused on providing true value to their customers.

When performing simple tasks the experience is smooth and executes virtually everything a user would want in a casual use-case scenario. While casual use is indeed the intention, the Mini Air 11 can hold its own in more demanding tasks when pushed. I was able to do some light gaming on Garry’s Mod, and while the motion tended to be choppy, there weren’t any real hangups or serious lag. I was able to play back some highly compressed 4K video files with no problems.

Where I could really see the performance start to buckle was when playing higher bit-depth, and higher frame rate 4K video files. So if you’re looking for smooth video playback I’d stick to nothing more intensive than 8-bit, 30 fps 4K video files. The only other stuttering I noticed in normal usage was the delay in re-scaling windows, or loading some graphics-heavy web pages. This just seems like something the internal graphics isn’t optimized for, nor will ever be. While it can get pretty annoying when trying to do simple tasks quickly, it isn’t something that stands in the way of using the computer properly.

If you’re interested in benchmark performance figures, I used PCMark 10 to benchmark this device. The Mini Air 11 received an overall score of 2033, with 4449 in essentials, 3242 in productivity, and 1583 in digital content creation. This means it’s definitely capable to take care of essentials like app startup and web browsing, but will buckle with photo/video editing and 3D rendering.

I also used 3DMark to test gaming performance, getting a 201 Time Spy score, with a graphics score of 175 and a CPU score of 1548, which makes this a very unappealing choice for gamers.

The final benchmark I ran was Cinebench, getting a 1125-point multi-core score and a 502-point single core score. These scores seem to be pretty standard for small, cheaper computers.

Who Is The Geekom Mini Air 11 For?

Pretty much anyone. It’s small, cheap, easy to use, and capable of completing most tasks the average person would throw at it. This is something I think any consumer could benefit from having, especially when it comes to niche scenarios.

Given the size and portability, I could see this being installed into a home theater setup, tucked away out of sight, connected to an external drive, or a Plex server for an endless movie library. I could see this used in theater productions, scattered in various locations for projectionists and LED display operators. Even a backyard projector movie night could use this PC as the small, portable brain of the operation. This could be super valuable to businesses looking to expand office computers or supply a work-from-home setup for employees. Plus, as primarily a MacOS user, I know I’ll be sure to keep this when I need to run Windows-specific operations, applications, or files. The same goes for anyone operating a non-Windows setup.

So, why not a laptop instead? If you’re looking for something small and portable, a laptop may be the obvious answer. Why have a small desktop when you’ll have to outfit it with big monitors, keyboards, mouse, and desk? Having a purely desktop computer of this size and price helps increase the value of performance. If you’re looking for a cheap laptop, you have to consider the price of adding built-in displays, keyboards, trackpads, speakers, and batteries, all of which at this price point would likely be sub-par. Purchasing a small desktop gives the user the ability to customize and outfit the PC to interact with it how they please, especially in specialty scenarios, while keeping the budget where it matters, on the internals of the computer.

How Does the Geekom Mini Air 11 Sound to You?

I think it’s a solid, reasonable, and valuable addition to most people’s computer arsenal, especially if you have specific use cases or don’t already have a Windows computer.

But, when multitasking and doing more intensive tasks the small stutters and slower pace can add up, taking minutes, or totaling up to hours off your productivity. It’s always important to consider the competition given that there are a lot of mini PC options out there. For example, the Beelink U59-Pro offers a similar form factor with an Intel 11th Gen N5105 Processor, double the RAM, double the storage, and triple 4K monitor support—all for $25 less than what the Geekom Mini Air 11 offers at $279. While I haven’t used the Beelink, that spec sheet is nothing to laugh about. If performance is your highest concern, then the Beelink may be worth your attention.

But if you value simplicity, more I/O, expandability, and useful included accessories, the Geekom Mini Air 11 may be for you when it comes to mild computing.

Competition aside, the Geekom Mini Air 11 has been a delight to use, and I’d be happy to recommend it to anyone on the search for a small cheap computer.



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