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ECS Liva Q1D Mini-PC Review: The Most Eco-Friendly Tiny PC Ever

ECS Liva Q1D Mini-PC Review: The Most Eco-Friendly Tiny PC Ever

The Q1D is an excellent computer with a fair pricing. It’s also a capable thin client, able to handle basic computing tasks. In this article we will review the ECS Liva Q1D Mini-PC.

ECS Liva Q1D

8.00 / 10 Read reviews

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If your computer needs are moderate, the two-year guarantee on such a low-cost device makes it a suitable choice.


  • 4K streaming (60Hz)
  • 72 x 72 x 31mm in size
  • Bluetooth 4.1,
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • 181g weight


  • Brand: ECS
  • Storage: 64GB
  • CPU: Intel Celeron N4200
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR4
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Ports: DP, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Micro-SD


  • The tiniest mini-PC on the market
  • Simple to disassembleideal
  • ideal for streaming.
  •  Versatile
  • Affordable


  • Not for gamers
  • Processor slow
  • Upgrades aren’t viable
  • Can’t manage the fan
  • No USB-C port, and HDR

Smallest and eco sound PC. It really can stream 4Digital counterparts at 60fps. It’s excellent for use as a Netflix streaming device, a digital-signage system, or a smart device. This does, nevertheless, have some limitations in terms of performance. So, Is indeed the Liva $188 (Maintenance and rehabilitation $226.88) price tag justified?

Analysis of Hardware

Based at the specs alone, the Liva Q1D has a low-tier processor and a teeny-tiny compact factor. Its soldered-on components and low-wattage circuitry ought to make it an ecofriendly monster in relation to lowering energy consumption. However, its processor, which is nearly 5 years old, and single-channel RAM, that may limition its video capabilities, are capacity stumbling blocks.

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home (optional)
  • Processor: Goldmont Cores, Intel Celeron N4200,  14nm Lithography
  • RAM: Single-channel 2400 MHz LPDDR4
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505
  • Storage: 64GB or 32GB eMMC NAND memory
  • Wireless: Qualcomm QCA6174 Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.1
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, 2 USB 3.0, USB 2.0
  • Price: MSRP $226.88 (No OS) and $239.99 – Windows 10

Intel Celeron N4200

The Intel Celeron N4200 “Apollo Lake” processor is a quad-core processor designed for fanless mobile devices. While it performs less well than Intel’s mainstream desktop processors, it consumes 2 to 4 times fewer power, depending on the mode of operation.

Because the reduced electricity intake is followed with the aid of using decrease warmness production, it is ideal for smaller, passively cooled gadgets like tablets. A Celeron N4200, on the alternative hand, can run at better clock speeds with a cooling fan spinning, presenting higher overall performance than a tab or stick Computer.

Stick tablets or PCs may also most effective be capable of ramp up one middle to complete burst costs for short durations of time. The Q1D is one of the most performant smaller-than-a-NUC mini-PCs (what is a NUC?). Even with a tiny, whispering fan blowing, it is among the most performant smaller than  a NUC mini-PCs. Unfortunately, Apollo Lake became available in 2016, putting it behind Intel’s planned Jasper Lake design.

Intel HD Graphics 505

The Liva Q1D’s incorporated photos may not do some thing spectacular, however it’ll electricity 4K TVs at 60Hz the use of HDMI and decode H.265/HEVC films. That’s pretty wonderful achievement, thinking about that even the current Intel UHD 630 can not assist a 4K show at 60Hz over HDMI.

However, don’t plan to play games or execute other video-rendering chores that require a lot of resources. It’s first of all and especially a graphics device able to gambling 4K video at most. This also lacks HDR compatibility, which means that while it’s wonderful for 4K movies, it won’t alter brightness or contrast ratios  automatically.

Unfortunately, despite having a dual-channel memory controller, the Liva only appears to use a single stick of RAM. Single-channel mode degrades pix overall performance in view that included pix depend in large part on rapid RAM.

Aside from that, there is no BIOS choice to supply the included graphics processor extra system reminiscence. VESA-Mounting and Ports inside a Super duper small Size.

Ports and VESA-Mounting in an Ultra-Small Size

The ECS Q1D is 2.83 x 2.83 x 1.22 inches (72 x 72 x 31mm) in size and weighs about 6.4 ounces (181 grams). A NUC form factor, on the other hand, is 4.61 x 4.41 x 1.54 inches (117 x 112 x 39mm). A Pico-ITX board, the smallest motherboard available, is approximately the similar size as the Liva’s enclosure.

A can of Coke, for example, looms over the Liva. Aside than stick PCs, there aren’t really any mini-PCs that are smaller or lighter. You can even attach this onto the back of a monitor if you use the VESA-mounting bracket that comes with the Liva Q1D.

Streaming and Playback: 4K Videos at 60Hz and 30Hz

The playback of downloaded content ran smoothly. Up to 60Hz, 4K videos play flawlessly. In Firefox, there are a few glitches with streaming, but not reported in Chrome.

Streaming 4K content at 24 FPS works perfectly with Firefox. Higher refresh rates, however, resulted in graphics difficulties as well as significant frame-rate decreases. However, same issues do not occur in Chrome, therefore I can just conclude the issue is due to Firefox’s use of the Intel HD 505 graphics processor.

The Liva functions admirably as a Netflix and Amazon Prime Video streaming device, albeit this is dependent on your internet connection. On a non-fiber connection, streaming 4K 60Hz media will cause serious performance concerns. Aside from that, the Liva does not overheat and its fan does not exceed 42 decibels. Similarly, video quality is smooth and free of choppiness.

The lack of HDR compatibility means you won’t be able to employ screen-enhancing features such as, Dolby Vision or HDR10. Also, while the Liva offers the most prevalent HEVC/H.265 codecs, some codecs may not be supported at 4K60Hz.

File-Transfer Speeds

The eMMC storage drive was not created with great performance in mind. Even so, it’s sufficient for the majority of applications. While 64GB of storage isn’t a lot, it’s plenty to hold Windows 10 and leave roughly 40GB of free space.

For an eMMC drive, it actually performs admirably. However, performance isn’t amazing when compared to a DRAM-less SSD.

Browser Benchmarks

In terms of web browsing, the Liva provides adequate, if slow, performance. Stuttering and molasses-like page loads will occur when loading websites in tabs and some other resource-intensive operations. Basically, it’s not a gadget that can manage a lot of web traffic. It’s suitable for infrequent online browsing, and its major use is media playback.

PassMark Benchmarks

Synthetic benchmarking isn’t very useful, especially for a low-power PC. I’ve have included outcomes of the PassMark bench test for comparison’s purposes. Unfortunately, the stats do not tell the whole picture of a machine optimized for 4K playback with low power consumption.

Power Efficiency

The Liva Q1D’s outstanding power efficiency translates to cheap operating expenses and a small energy impact.

The power-off energy usage goes below the minimal utilization that my power meter identifies when EUP/ErP is activated in its BIOS. The energy consumption in suspend mode remains constant at 0.3 watts. Idle power usage is in the range of 4.8 to 5 watts. The Liva utilizes up to 13 watts during peak loads. A desktop-class processor, typically uses 3 to 4 times the power while providing the very same video experience.

Basically, the Liva is a very energy-efficient device. Its power efficiency is due to a variety of factors. Lower voltages are used by some parts, such as the RAM. There are fewer components that demand electricity because it employs a sub-Pico-ITX, custom-designed motherboard.

In conclusion, ECS’ engineering has produced one of the most environmentally friendly, green laptops I’ve ever examined.

Temperatures and Fan Performance

Under maximum loads, the cooling system of  Q1D  is running at whisper-quiet speeds. On the negative, in response to its frequently too-high CPU temperatures, it aggressively cuts CPU frequency. Throttling down to roughly 1.8GHz was noted.
30-minute Prime95 stress test was conducted on the CPU to measure fan sound and thermal performance. The CPU temperature soared to its thermal limit of 105C, despite the fact that it never reached the thermal shutdown limit. The fan’s sound never exceeded 38 decibels, which is detectable but quite low for a little fan.

The temperature maintained at or near 105C even after the Liva’s CPU was forcefully throttled down to 1.8GHz. ECS appears to have placed a premium on low fan output over cooling performance. Unfortunately, ECS also set each core to be powerful enough to run at maximum Burst-Speed mode of 2.4GHz at the same time.
In conclusion, streaming 4K content doesn’t really necessitate a large amount of resources. There’s no need to be afraid unless you intend on running some extremely resource-intensive applications. The fan never topped 42 decibels in volume while streaming 4K video at 60Hz, and its temperatures stayed well within its operational range.`

Repairability and Modularity

This is free of modular features.

The mainboard is soldered with all of its parts, including the wireless adapter. However, if any single piece fails, the entire system must be replaced. However, ECS’ Liva line comes with an above-average 2-year guarantee, which is double that of most PC manufacturers.

Linux Compatibility

The Liva Q1D was compatible with Ubuntu 20.04 as well as its variants. Mint and a few more distributions were also installed. Even Wi-Fi worked well and without any issues. Ubuntu 18.04 and any ChromeOS-based OS, notably Neverware’s CloudReady, are unsuitable with the Liva.

Furthermore, Intel’s VT-d/VT-x technology is enabled by default in the BIOS/UEFI, allowing for trouble-free virtualized Linux deployments.

Q1D Problems

The Q1D isn’t flawless, and it won’t meet the needs of high-performance computer users.

Not for Gaming

The Celeron N4200 struggles with 3D graphics. Even the simplest 2D platformers will be slow to load.

Micro-SD Card Isn’t Bootable

The Micro-SD card slot will not be able to boot your machine. You’ll required to use one of the 3 USB ports if you wish to utilize a bootable image.

Not Upgradeable

The Liva Q1D’s mainboard has all the Liva Q1D’s parts soldered to it.  If any part fails, the motherboard as a whole will need to be replaced. 2 year warranty.

Apollo Lake Is Old

In 2016, the Liva’s CPU and graphics were launched. While Intel didn’t make much progress in low-power processors during 2016 and 2020, it will deliver Jasper Lake in 2021, a cutting-edge architecture based on the company’s much newer 10nm manufacturing technology. Superior video-streaming abilities, HDR, and more are all included with Jasper Lake.

No USB Type-C (USB-C)

The Liva’s physical presence is increased by the lack of USB-C connections, but its flexibility is reduced. While USB-C isn’t for everyone, the ports could handle every gadget with the correct converter. Furthermore, USB-C can be used as a power supply as well as a video output source via HDMI’s Alt Mode.

Should You Buy the ECS Q1D?

The Q1D is a great enterprise-class computer at a reasonable price. It’s also a capable thin client, capable of doing basic home computing chores to a degree. If your computer needs are moderate, the two-year guarantee on such a low-cost device makes it a suitable choice. It’s best suited to individuals who only require a 4K head unit nothing more than that.
While ECS’ engineering team has gotten the most performance out of an earlier Apollo Lake Celeron N4200 processor, Intel’s next Jasper Lake design will render all earlier mobile processors outdated for Windows 10. Consider purchasing a Liva Q1D if you can cope with its flaws.

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