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Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC review

 Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini.
Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini.

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: Intel Core i5-1340P
Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Rear Ports: 3 x HDMI, 2 x Ethernet (RJ45), 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack 
Front Ports: None
Side Ports: 2x USB 3.1, 2x 2.0, USB Type-C, MicroSD
Connectivity: wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 
Audio: Integrated high-definition audio, HDMI audio support, headphone jack
Camera: N/A
Size: 167 x 114 x 36mm
OS installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: Power adapter, VESA mount

The Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC should be seen as something other than an everyday PC that you have on your desktop to open files and browse the internet. It's definitely not a machine that should be considered for creatives to edit videos and images. When it comes to gaming, you'll need more than patience if you want to play anything with any significant graphics processing.

However, looking at the hardware contained within the i5 version that we have in for review, coupled with three HDMI ports and one of the most powerful Wi-Fi connections of any of the best mini PCs we've tried, you'll start to see what this is designed for. The manufacturer, Azulle, highlights that this machine is designed for interactive kiosks, digital signage, and any device where a screen is either required to show a display or used as a simple interactive kiosk.

When it comes to hardware, the machine is available as a barebones system, enabling you to configure it to your intended use, which is why our review system has arrived with the bare minimum of 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. While the processor is a powerful i5, the lack of RAM makes running even standard Windows tasks a slow process. However, for running back a simple 4K slideshow on a large monitor, this is more than you need. With the backing of a full version of Windows Pro 11 to support the system, you can be sure that it will keep on running with reliability, which is hard to match with less sophisticated systems.

In this review, I've put the machine through its paces as a standard PC, utilising Office applications, creative programs, and games to see how it would perform under the usual use-cases of the best business computers. However, the machine's intended use extends well beyond this. As such, I've also left it playing back a slideshow for a week and interacted with the machine remotely through the Wi-Fi connection. From the beginning of the test, it was obvious that without additional RAM, doing anything other than playing back slideshows and videos was going to be difficult, so I popped in 16GB of RAM to enable a little more flexibility with the use for the benchmark tests the machine is run on 4GB of RAM as it arrived.

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC: Price & availability

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini
Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini

When you switch from consumer goods to industrial, the pricing quickly escalates, and here, with the Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC, the price premium for its intended audience is instantly apparent. However, this machine is designed with a specific purpose, and its features and design have been tailored to that use. This means that while it may not pack the power of other machines when it comes to reliability and resilience, it stands alone and warrants the relatively high cost. The Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC is available from Adorama, B&H Photo, as well as many other professional outlets.

  • Score: 3.5/5

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC: Design & build

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini
Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini

Ordinarily, units designed for industrial use are encased in tough, no-fuss metal, prioritising strength over design. With the Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC, however, there's a mix of materials. It features a tough plastic case and metal base that includes VESA mount holes ready for the optional VESA mount, which can be purchased separately.

Visually, at first glance, this mini PC looks more like some approximation of the best small business routers rather than a computer, with two large antennas that stick out from the back of the machine. Next to these are a line of three HDMI sockets, and then no other ports aside from a 3.5mm audio jack. If you need USB, these are all clustered on the side of the machine, which makes sense if you consider that for much of the time, this computer is only going to be connected to a monitor or monitors and power.

A notable addition to the usual ports and sockets is the MicroSD card slot. This enables you to quickly load up files, slideshows, videos, or presentations. You can also run applications for touchscreens and run updates if and when needed.

When it comes to design, there is some product design going on here, but really, this mini PC is designed to be functional and easily mounted. On this front, along with the VESA option, the small rubber feet are easily adjusted to ensure that the machine sits flat and level. These feet, if fully removed, also double as four of the six securing screws to access the machine's inner workings.

Once those screws are removed, the base can be lifted aside, and that's when you start to see the big difference between this and many other Mini PCs. There's a large fan over the RAM and SSD for a start, then the huge copper heat sink and dual-channel RAM slots with plenty of space. Our review unit may be minimal, but there's plenty of scope for expansion, and the all-important cooling system is in place and ready to see this machine work non-stop for days or weeks without downtime.

  • Design: 3/5

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC: Features

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini
Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini

The Azulle Byte4 Elite is a powerful barebones mini PC featuring an Intel Core i5 13th Gen Raptor Lake processor, with i3 and i7 versions also available. This versatility in customisation depending on use means our review system came with Windows 11 Pro installed, but you can opt for IoT, Linux, or nothing at all. Essentially, the operating system, RAM, and storage can all be adjusted to meet specific needs, making it an ideal choice for a wide array of industrial applications, from IoT to edge computing.

One of the Byte4 Elite's standout features is its ability to serve as a high-performance replacement for thin clients, significantly reducing the chances of downtime. Its build is robust, and the design of the cooling system should ensure that the machine can run continuously for long durations. This makes the Byte4 Elite an ideal choice to power kiosks such as self-service consoles, although more than the 4GB of RAM in our review sample will be required.

In home office setups or home theatres, the Byte4 Elite's compact form and powerful Wi-Fi connection will really stand out. Again, a RAM boost to 16GB is recommended to leverage what the system has to offer fully.

For IoT applications, the Byte4 Elite can drive smart solutions, allowing businesses to explore new ways to optimise their processes through Windows IoT. This feature underscores the Byte4 Elite's suitability for innovative projects and broader development. Digital signage is another area where the Byte4 Elite excels when paired with any of the best business monitors, thanks to its support for 4K resolution. Again, the powerful Wi-Fi link is a huge benefit.

  • Features: 4/5

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC: Performance

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini
Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini

Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 2140.72MB/s
Crystal Disk Write:
982.77MB/s
GeekBench CPU Single:
2143
GeekBench CPU Multi:
4439
GeekBench Compute:
9163
PC Mark:
4969
CineBench CPU Multi:
8161
CineBench CPU Single:
1687
Fire Strike Overall:
1933
Fire Strike Graphics:
2231
Fire Strike Physics:
18555
Fire Strike Combined:
578
Time Spy Overall:
n/a
Time Spy Graphics:
n/a
Time Spy CPU:
n/a
Wild Life:
n/a
Windows Experience:
5.9

The Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC is far from being a standard Mini PC and shouldn't be considered a machine that can be used in the home or standard office environment. The features and performance are there to be customised by you for your intended use, so the barebones system is just the start.

When it comes to performance, we have to understand how the Byte4 Elite measures up in various computing scenarios, particularly in its designated roles, such as IoT, POS systems, thin client replacements, and digital signage.

The Byte4 Elite's storage performance, as indicated by Crystal Disk Mark scores, shows a solid read speed of 2140.72MB/s and a write speed of 982.77MB/s. These figures suggest that the system is more than capable of handling large data transfers quickly; this is crucial for applications that require quick access to substantial amounts of data, such as digital signage and kiosk systems.

When it comes to processing power, the GeekBench results provide a comprehensive look at the Byte4 Elite's capabilities. A single-core score of 2143 and a multi-core score of 4439 reflect a balanced performance, adept at managing single-threaded tasks as well as more demanding multi-threaded operations. This result would be OK for a mini PC used for running day-to-day office applications, and here, for a machine that would be run in a thin client setup to power complex interactive kiosks, it should be more than enough.

The GeekBench Compute score of 9163, alongside CineBench scores of 8161 for multi-core and 1687 for single-core CPU performance, further underscores the Byte4 Elite's proficiency in handling compute-intensive tasks. Such capabilities are essential for edge computing solutions and IoT applications, where processing data quickly and efficiently is, of course, important.

In terms of graphical performance, the Fire Strike scores paint a picture of a system that, while not designed for high-end gaming, offers ample power for digital signage and other visual applications. An overall score of 1933, with graphics at 2231 and a particularly impressive physics score of 18555, indicates that the Byte4 Elite can handle 4K video playback and graphic-intensive presentations with ease, making it an ideal choice for content-rich digital signage. When it came to the scores for Time Spy and Wild Life, in both instances, this machine didn't have the graphic processing to handle those tests.

It's also worth noting the relatively modest Windows Experience Index of 5.9, which suggests that while the Byte4 Elite is a strong performer in many areas, there may be limitations to its capabilities, particularly anything where graphical performance or ultra-fast data processing is required. This aligns with the expectation for a device that's optimised for specific industrial and commercial applications rather than general high-performance computing.

The performance metrics of the Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC show that this machine is tailored to environments that demand reliability, efficiency, and the ability to handle a diverse range of tasks. Whether it's serving as the backbone of a kiosk, powering digital signage, or facilitating edge computing, the Byte4 Elite's test scores highlight the focus of its intended use.

  • Performance: 4/5

Should you buy the Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC?

The Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini Desktop PC is a remarkably capable machine specifically designed for industrial and commercial applications. Its performance, alongside a suite of features tailored for roles such as digital signage, kiosks, and IoT solutions, positions it as a top contender in its niche. When considering its value for money, it's clear that the Byte4 Elite is not your everyday consumer device but a specialised tool meant for specific, demanding tasks.

Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini
Azulle Byte4 Elite Mini

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