The original GIGABYTE BRIX paved the way for the more powerful BRIX Pro earlier this year, but what if you wanted a BRIX with a built-in display? The next closest thing is the appropriately named GIGABYTE BRIX Projector Ultra Compact PC Kit, which I recently reviewed over on MEGATechNews. It's just like the BRIX, as you can imagine, except it has a built-in projector too.
Can You Upgrade the GIGABYTE BRIX Projector?
While I cover the BRIX Projector from more of an average Joe consumer point of view in my MEGATechNews review, I thought it'd be worthwhile to explore a little more of the PC DIY side of things here on Futurelooks. The BRIX Projector comes configured in a similar way as others in the BRIX family. What this means is that core components like the processor and motherboard come pre-installed. It comes with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo wireless module pre-installed too.
While there may be some opportunities for further upgrades to this Ultra Compact PC Kit, realistically you are only afforded two main places to give it a little more jump... and these are necessary components, because it doesn't come with any memory or storage, nor does it come with an operating system. So, what you get is an mSATA slot where you can plug in your SSD for storage, along with two SO-DIMM slots for your RAM. It's very easy to remove the four screws from the base plate to access these slots. The wireless module is hidden underneath the mSATA SSD.
Our particular review sample was outfitted with a Kingston 120GB SSD and a couple of HyperX RAM modules, but you can bring whatever compatible components you'd like to the BRIX Projector party.
PCMark 8 and 3DMark 11 Benchmarks
As a day to day machine, the GIGABYTE BRIX Projector will handle most of your mainstream tasks like web browsing and even HD video watching, but the 480p resolution of the on-board projector will leave something to be desired. From a more quantitative perspective, I ran the machine through our usual suite of PCMark 8 and 3DMark 11 benchmarks.
On the PCMark 8 Home Conventional 3.0 benchmark, the BRIX Projector scored a reasonably respectable 2479. Its performance in 3DMark 11 was equally mediocre, but acceptable given the form factor and presumed purpose of the BRIX Projector. It got 39348 in the Ice Storm test and an even 4000 in the Cloud Gate test.
A Compelling Computer?
You have to go into the GIGABYTE BRIX Projector with the right set of expectations. You can't expect it to do anything even remotely resembling heavy lifting, but it is a perfectly capable little package that'll be great for watching videos on the run or doing your business presentations in the absence of a proper projector in the meeting room.
Be sure to read the full written review on MEGATechNews for a closer look at this unique class of product.