Azulle Byte3 Fanless ($239) is a mini PC that lets you set up your desk in places you may not have thought of setting a PC there, like your home theater system. A Windows-based computer with a fanless and quiet design is perfect for streaming and browsing online videos on the TV as a monitor.
Intel Apollo Lake Celeron’s internal processor provides a reasonable amount of processing power and the system is small but has room to grow with the available user updates. If you want to use a small desktop computer as a multimedia center computer, Byte3 is a useful and affordable option.
- Great for 4k streaming
- Fanless design is quiet
- Upgradable design
- A wide range of ports
- Better than expected performance
- IR remote appended
- Poor multitasking
- No RAM upgrades available
- Included remote has fewer features
Azulle Byte3 fanless is a compact desktop computer such as the Intel NUC, a desktop computer housed in a small square box. The mini PC weighs only 14 ounces and measures 5.6 inches x 4 inches x 1.5 inches. There is a small Wi-Fi antenna behind. In some ways, it’s similar to the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny, which uses a compact square enclosure and an external Wi-Fi antenna for better wireless performance. But inside it is more than the Zotac Zbox Pico PI225, which has an Intel Celeron processor and fanless design that uses passive cooling to keep things quiet.
The front of the case has a power button that glows blue when the device is turned on and a bright blue stripe that gives the black (or almost black) case a stylish look. If you look closely, there is also a small infrared sensor in the lower-left corner. Azulle includes a Byte3 remote control that lets you easily use your small system as a home entertainment PC without having to get up from the couch or use the bulky wireless keyboard and mouse.
The included remote control is similar to the Smart TV remote control and offers convenient power and volume control with separate buttons to open and navigate menus. It’s not enough for all your computer interactions, but it does give you enough information to search Netflix without a keyboard and mouse.
Unlike most mini-computers we experiment with, Azulle Byte3 fanless offers some users access to internal components and even more space with the available M.2 slot and available SATA port that you can use to increase storage after purchase. Easily connect a 2.5-inch SATA drive, along with screw holes and a removable base mount. What you can’t change are the processor and the memory. Choose your system carefully.
The narrow casing limits of the Celeron processor and fan-free cooling ensure that the system runs a little hot. After some comparisons, Byte3’s upper panel averaged over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with the hottest point reaching 107 degrees. The bottom of the box-like mini-PC was significantly cooler at just 92 degrees.
One of the most attractive aspects of Azulle Byte3 fanless is the choice of ports that offer many entertainment and commercial connections. On the right side, there are some USB ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0 port as well as an SD card slot.
Byte3 has two USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port as well as a 3.5 mm audio jack, an HDMI output for video and audio devices and a VGA output for connecting older monitors and projectors. The Ethernet port provides a wired network connection and the connected Wi-Fi antenna provides wireless AC power. The Kensington Lock Slot allows you to protect your small computer from anyone trying to take it with you.
For Azulle, the Byte3 includes a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core processor that is part of the Intel Apollo Lake processor line. Our review unit comes with 4GB of RAM and was preinstalled on a 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro. According to Azulle, Byte3 can stream 4K videos at 60 frames per second. When I was using my device, I noticed just that, and easily handled Netflix and Google Play Movies at 4K.
Video streaming and article browsing have also proven to work as long as you keep the number of concurrent tabs to a minimum. I noticed that the video was uploaded without problems when you ran two or three tabs. However, when you press five or six tabs, the video quality deteriorates and buffering is interrupted more often.
In many ways, hardware selection is closer to smaller computers, such as the Zotac Zbox Pico PI225 (Intel Celeron N3350, 4GB RAM) or Azulle Access Plus (Intel Atom x5-Z8350, 4GB RAM). ), and the Apollo Lake Celeron processor fell far behind the Intel Core processors found on more robust mini-desktops, such as the Apple Mac mini 2018 (Intel Core i3-8100B, 8GB RAM) or the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Small (Intel Core i5- 7500T, 8GB RAM)) can be used.
Byte3 comes with a 32GB eMMC drive, mainly an SD card installed as a system drive to store data. In our file transfer test, a 4.97 GB test folder containing mixed media action files was copied in 41 seconds, equivalent to 122.43 Mbit/s. This is a breakthrough on smaller computers such as Azulle Access Plus (41.04 Mbit/s) and Zotac Zbox Pico PI225 (45,04 Mbit/s), and even exceeds the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (169 Mbit/s), but it is not a comparison with a more powerful system like the Apple Mac mini (2018) (2,544 Mbit/s).
Byte3 can be designed to be used with an entertainment system or as part of electronic signage, but it still offers some computing power for wider use. In our processing report, Geeketch 4, Byte3 achieved 4,011 points and again surpassed Azulle Access Plus (2,401) and Zotac Zbox Pico PI225 (1,475). With the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (8,010), this value almost doubled, while the Apple Mac mini (2018) (13,666) more than tripled.
Byte3 has completed a recent Excel test in 14 seconds, leaving behind the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (1:21).
However, in the previous OpenOffice version of the same test, the system hit 20,000 names and addresses in 10 minutes and 1 second. Byte3 is once again above low power (16:47) and Zotac Zbox Pico PI225 (21:55) at the Azulle Access Plus. Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (3:52) was much faster.
The online performance is also maintained, Byte3 reached 59.29 in the Jetstream browser reference test. This is better than what we saw in the Azulle Access Plus (45.81) but behind Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (154.58) and Apple Mac mini (2018) (281.84).
The internal graphics hardware, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 500 graphics solution, is not very impressive. Overall graphics performance is limited, but with a solid 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited score of 25,138 points, it outperformed the Zotac Zbox Pico PI225 (13,462) and the Azulle Access Plus (18,805). Compared to the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny (69.398), which has basic features, it is still a bit disappointing. However, it is safe to say that the system supports video streaming and similar media-centric applications, but games are not an option.
There are four commercial configurations available for Byte3, which vary in installed RAM and storage size. Our review unit has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of integrated memory. It costs $239 (our review unit) or more when included with some accessories. Byte3’s basic model ($219) is similar in most respects but halves RAM.
The top two models offer more RAM or more (but not both). One more RAM costs $359 and comes with 8GB of storage, but the same 32GB of storage as other cheaper models.
The other one, which was not yet available at the time of writing, has 4GB of RAM, but it adds up to 64GB. If it is in stock, it costs $289.
Byte3 can be purchased without peripherals but is also available in some packages. Depending on the package, you can get Byte3 with a Bluetooth-connected multifunction remote control, a wireless keyboard, a webcam, or a combination of the three devices.
The first option is the Lynk multifunction remote control. The remote control offers a large number of functions on a small handheld computer that not only offers a larger headset than the included IR remote control, but also an air mouse (which allows you to control the cursor by pointing and moving the control remote control) and a lighted QWERTY keyboard that is compatible with the thumb. The remote also has a rotating scroll wheel and a built-in microphone for voice search. It even works with other devices, such as Android game consoles and decoders, so it’s a great complement to configuring your home theater system. The remote costs $29.99 if purchased alone, or $25 if included in bytes3.
Another option is the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard with a built-in touch panel, which can be wirelessly connected via a 2.4 GHz USB dongle. The keyboard usually only costs $39.99 but adding it to the byte3 increases the price by just $30. For a solid keyboard/mouse combination that’s ideal for a sofa, that’s a good deal.
Other accessories include the Logitech HD Pro C920 with Full HD (1080p at 30 frames per second), a 78-degree field of view and two built-in microphones for audio recording. The webcam is connected via USB 2.0 and has a swivel bracket that allows you to attach it to the top of your screen or TV without the need for clips or glue, or to balance them. The webcam costs only $65 or $70 for multiple resellers, but only raises the price of a Byte3 package by $60.
Software and Warranty
Byte3 can be purchased as a basic Azulle system. However, most options come with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. We were no exception. Installation is possible without any problems and any additional software or custom applications. However, you will receive regular offers from Microsoft: Cortana, Skype, and a trial version of Microsoft Office.
Azulle will provide Byte3 with a standard one-year warranty, which covers most of the competition.
For Azulle, Byte3 adopts the concept of a mini PC, a simple PC hardware in a small housing, and places it in your home theater system so that you get a PC that can transfer media. You even get a remote control that allows you to stay on the couch. Byte3 works easily on smaller hard drives with similar components and offers surprisingly high value at a reasonable price.
If you want more performance in a similar format, Apple Mac mini (2018) would be a great option, but it costs a lot more. Even with a smaller PC option, a hard drive like Azulle Access Plus is sufficient but offers less power and fewer connections without saving a lot of money.