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Review: ECS LIVA Z2V

ECS has been one of the foremost players in terms of mini PCs. The company showcased its new range of ultra-compact form-factor PCs way back in January 2018. The company also showed off the new models at Computex Taipei which happened in May 2018. The new LIVA Z2V is aimed at office and digital signage applications.

The design of the ECS LIVA Z2V is in line with the overall design cues of the company’s enterprise-grade mini PCs. Draped in an all black, plastic body, the ECS LIVA Z2V comes with a very pleasing design and build quality. In terms of the size, the Z2 is a bit larger than the original LIVA. This is because, the PC adds support for a 2.5-inch SATA HDD or SSD, numerous USB ports, and a pair of SO-DIMM slots.

The new LIVA Z2-series of mini PCs also offer higher general-purpose performance compared to their LIVA Z predecessors because of the Goldmont Plus CPU microarchitecture. In addition, the new mini PCs also come packed with an improved media processing engine, which supports 10-bit HEVC and 10-bit VP9 video.

The architecture of the ECS LIVA Z2V is based on Intel’s Gemini Lake SoC (System on Chip), which comes with either two or four cores as well as UHD 600-series integrated graphics. The test unit we received came with a 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 60GB worth of eMMC storage space. There is also a 2.5-inch HDD slot which can be used to further expand the internal storage capacity of the device.

For networking, you get a Gigabit LAN port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. You also get an M.2 expansion slot, one HDMI 2.0, one HDMI 1.4, one Combo Jack, three USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A ports, two USB 2.0 Type A ports, and one USB 3.1 Gen1 Type C ports. The ECS LIVA Z2V comes in two variants – one that comes as a barebone and the other that comes loaded with Windows 10 OS.

Inside the box, you get everything you need to get started. All you need to do is connect a keyboard, mouse and a monitor using HDMI cable, and you are good to go. Setting it up is a walk in the park and once you switch on the device, it springs into action right away.

The LIVA Z2V is meant for digital signage applications or for use in offices for day to day computing. You can even use it as a PC for your kids. Since it comes with a VESA mount, you can mount it at the back of a monitor to get it out of your way on your desk. Performance-wise, the ECS LIVA Z2V is a good PC – but don’t expect blockbuster performance, since it is not intended to offer one.

In terms of operation, it very silent and is very energy efficient. If you are a professional developer, you will appreciate the fact that the LIVA Z2 comes with a GPIO control interface. This interface can be used for external mainstream solutions such as PLC + human-machine interface, remote control, virtualized I / O applications, and support for ADC (Analog-to-Digital Converter).

For a very pocket-friendly price of $220 (without OS), the ECS LIVA Z2V is a great buy, if you are looking for dependable solution for your digital signage or office computing needs.

Price: $220 (without OS), $250 (with OS)

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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