It has been a while since the last time we reviewed an Intel/Windows Mini PC. This is the case with the CYX_T11 (who picked the name?) which is a brand new, efficient model based on slightly older hardware. But if pricing and performance is right, it should be able to target a lot of potential buyers. More on that below.
For a short period, you can use the CYXBG666 coupon on Banggood to get 28$ discount.
CYX_T11 packaging was fairly basic, with no fancy colors features on the black box. At the back you will be able to read all the basic specs (CPU, RAM, ROM, I/Os etc.)
Given the relatively small size of the packaging, we were surprised to witness the existence of a VESA back plate in order to mount the unit behind your monitor for space saving and better cable management. In addition to that, you will also find the power cable, an HDMI cable and some basic documentation. We would appreciate a keyboard/mouse combo, but such a peripheral would raise the cost of the unit. At least in this way you are free to use the one you like. In our tests we used the Logitech K400 combo unit.
Build quality – Specifications
It looks like the CYX_T11 unit is sharing the same manufacturer, as other brands have the exact same chassis, with the same hardware but a different model (some also change the color). That is not necessarily bad since the chassis has been around for a long time with no bad feedback.
The unit is all black, made of plastic and fan-less, which is nice for use in a living room as a HTPC (it is capable enough for most end users) although the plastic finish is not that great. Certainly acceptable though. There is only a “Mini PC” white logo on the top that should not distract during use or movie viewing. It certainly better than CYX_T11 J
All input and output (I/O) connections are located on the back and both sides. To be more specific, on the sides you will find 3x USB2.0 ports, 1x USB3.0 and the card slot, while at the back the HDMI, a MBit Ethernet port, a headphone jack, a micro-USB port and the power connection. You also get a caddy where you can install an internal 2.5″ hard disk drive up to 2T.
In terms of wireless networking, a Dual Band module with support for BT4.0 connectivity is a top choice.
Intel’s Quad Core Z8350 is still a decent solution even though it has been around since 2016. Casual use like web browsing while watching You-Tube or listening to music should be easily handled. Same goes for productivity suites like Microsoft’s Office. You should of course avoid heavy tasks like rendering and encoding. The accompanying 4GB of RAM are more than we expected for the price (during 2018, you would get no more than 2GB of RAM at this price point) and the… expected 32GB of flash ROM module is at least very fast and should cause no lags, but more on that later.
The pre-installed operating system is Windows 10 Home.
Overall good hardware for the price.
Click on the images to zoom in
It looks like Intel Cherry Trail x5-Z8350 can still hold its own in terms of performance. Although benchmarking is not a segment where the CYX-T11 shines, actual performance is snappy and enough to get the basics right with no hassle.
Every day office performance was good. While using it for three days straight as my daily driver setting up all my Gmail accounts, Skype, Spotify and MS Office 2016 (among others) the only times the system was not fast where related to the lack of an SSD drive and (mostly) not because of Intel’s relatively low raw processing power. Browsing the web via Google Chrome while listening to Spotify and syncing my Outlook account was a pleasant experience overall. Not at all comparable to a modern I5/i7/Ryzen CPU but not problematic either.
Media file playback performance was even better. Via KODI and Media Player Classic, very high bit-rate Blu Ray files showed perfect playback with proper 23.976 motion handling, while 4K/HEVC hardware acceleration was also supported but only up to 8bit (10bit ones are decoded via software). We got the same results using camcorders and footage shot with smartphones. HDMI limitation to version 1.4 will prevent this box from proper playback of HDR material. In terms of audio bit-streaming, you are able to get more than stereo PCM since both Dolby Digital and DTS are supported (no HD Audio due to Intel’s limitations). At least by being an actual PC, compatibility with almost any file type is guaranteed. As expected for a PC, You-Tube and Netflix maxed out at 4K. We should mention that the maximum supported resolution is 4K@30Hz. You can get 60Hz in lower resolutions though.
Internal ROM (flash type) was better than expected with read speeds >110Mb/sec and write ones>85Mb/sec, thus simulating a casual mechanical drive in terms of performance. You will not get SSD responsiveness but you will not be bottlenecked either.
Gaming performance should be OK as long as you keep it simple with casual 2D and light 3D titles from Microsoft’s store. It performed superbly as a MAME emulator. Just plug two controllers and you are good to go.
Network performance is somewhat limited by the Mbit LAN controller, but at least the Dual Band Wi-Fi is good enough to provide 4K Netflix streaming. As always, your access point should be equally capable too in order to provide a strong signal to unit’s position.
No bloat-ware was pre-installed and you will find ~17GB of free space after the first boot/setup. The Windows 10 Home version installed appeared to be properly licensed since nothing bad happened after installing all available Windows updates.
CYX_T11 is probably the best Mini PC one can buy for 100$-160$ (Windows Home license costs almost half of that). It delivers a respectable every day performance at a budget price. It is still way cheaper than the most affordable NUC configuration (RAM and storage included) and its performance was very stable during our test period. It can also do great as a 1080p media player, and the fanless design is a feature many will appreciate.
- Banggood offered the unit for an honest review and that is exactly what we did.
- If this review helped you towards making your decision, we would appreciate if you made your order through the following affiliate link(s). This way we will be able to review more products in the future.
- Banggood link (for a short period, you can use the CYXBG666 coupon on to get 28$ discount!)
- Banggood link (ACEPC T11 , same hardware)