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This tiny but mighty home PC could finally let you ditch that huge Mac Pro

(Image credit: ECS)

Once upon a time, we used to have office desktops that were so large that they sat under our desks as well as palm-sized personal digital assistants with 3-inch displays that could handle basic web browsing and email, but were not meant for productivity.  

Fast forward to today, we have smartphones with screens larger than six inches that can hardly fit into a pocket and which are also not meant for productivity, but we have palm-sized desktops that are still good enough for nearly all office workloads. Some of them are rather cheap too. 

Among such ultra-compact form-factor desktop PCs are ECS’s recently announced Liva Q1D and Liva Q1L that come in chassis that measure 74 x 74 x 34.6 mm yet offer essential office features like two display outputs and two GbE ports.

(Image credit: ECS)

The ECS Liva Q1D and Liva Q1L systems are based on Intel’s ‘Apollo Lake’ Celeron N3350 (2C/2T, 1.10GHz – 2.40GHz, HD Graphics 500, 6W TDP) or Pentium N4200 (4C/4T, 1.10GHz – 2.50GHz, HD Graphics 505, 6W TDP) system-on-chips paired with 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 memory as well as an eMMC module of 32GB or 64GB capacity.

(Image credit: ECS)

On the connectivity side of matters, the ECS Liva Q1D and Liva Q1L feature Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.1, three USB Type-C ports (two USB 3.0, one USB 1.0), and a micro-SD card slot. The main difference between the two systems is different display and networking connectivity:

  • The Liva Q1D has two display outputs (DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0), but one GbE port.
  • The Live Q1L has one HDMI 2.0 display connector and two GbE ports.

Usage of Intel’s Apollo Lake SoCs that were launched in 2016 for late-2020 systems looks a bit odd, but should not come as a complete surprise. Many companies use Apollo Lake PCs and would keep deploying a familiar platform instead of moving on to something new. To that end, PC makers like ECS will continue to offer Apollo Lake-powered systems as there is demand for them. 

One of the particularly good features of ECS’s Liva Q1D and Liva Q1L UCFF PCs is their price. The cheapest configuration with the Intel Celeron N3350 SoC costs $210, whereas the more advanced Intel Pentium N4200-powered PC is priced at $240.

(Image credit: ECS)