Whenever we take a look at the array of possible options available to set up our HTPC in a way that is useful and satisfying, we always look to establish parameters or ways to tell if the device we are analyzing is the best mini computer for that particular job. You might be a fan of running your HTPC with Kodi for Android, and thus look for the cheapest Android media players, and that might give you the performance you look for. However, what happens if you want to run Windows on your media streamer? Well, in that case, there are mini computers that come equipped with this operating system, albeit there are fewer of them. One of these particular ones is the device we will analyze today, in our Quantum Byte review. [Read: PiPO X8: an Android/Windows dual-boot touchscreen device]
In this Quantum Byte review we take a look at a device that combines a decent computing power and good features to become your HTPC of choice with a small and slim package that's also fanless, which will translate into a quiet environment for you to watch your movies and TV shows hassle-free. The Quantum Byte fanless computers consume little power and are always ready to show you your favorite content in glorious and ultra-realistic... 1080p. That's right, these boxes can play 4k video, but will only output at 1080p. Does that mean you should skip buying the Quantum Byte entirely? Not so fast.
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Quantum Byte review: Windows 8.1 from your couch
The first thing we notice in our Quantum Byte review is that Windows 8.1 makes things easier with this computer, because this operating system seems familiar and is easy to manage. You might find yourself browsing the internet, looking at work spreadsheets or watching movies on your big screen with this Windows mini PC, all from the comfort of your couch. Perhaps you will use a wireless HTPC keyboard such as the Logitech K400 Plus -or any other- with this device, thanks to its 3 USB 2.0 ports; in fact, they sell a Quantum Byte bundle in Amazon that includes the mini PC and this particular Logitech keyboard. [Read: Guide: How to install Kodi on Windows in three easy steps]
However, besides a Windows environment and the possibility to work on productivity apps, watch movies or play some games, what other things does this device offer? Not an awful lot of hard drive space, sadly. It comes with a 32GB SSD which, if you are smart with your setup, you will only use for the OS, doing all your storage on an external drive. We notice in our Quantum Byte review a rather small, but sufficient 2GB RAM memory, which will allow you to perform most tasks well enough. For a complete picture of this device, take a look at the Quantum Byte specs from the Quantum Suppliers website:
Quantum Byte review: technical specifications
- Windows® 8.1
- Intel® Baytrail™ T Quad Core Z3735F processor
- Intel® HD Graphics
- 2GB of DDR3L RAM
- 32GB total integrated storage
- 802.11 b/g/n Integrated Wireless Network
- 3X USB 2.0 ports
- HDMI & VGA input
Is the Quantum Byte the best mini computer?
The honest answer after this Quantum Byte review would be: probably not. A steep price tag keeps me from getting too excited with this device that, for all the advantages it offers, is not able to display 4k content and has such a small RAM compared to other devices. It might be enough for a nice HTPC experience, but there are cheaper alternatives. However, if you want to set up a home server, perhaps the included antenna might make it easier for you to stream over the wireless network within your home, and by spending a little bit more in a hard drive and other peripherals, you would have a decent server to stream your media from.