ECS is a brand known for its quality mini PCs and the latest to roll out of its assembly line is the new LIVA Z3. Compared to the previous releases, ECS has bumped the specification up – the new Z3 now comes in two flavours when it comes to processing power. You get to choose between an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor.
Our review sample came equipped with the Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, running at a clock speed of 1.1-GHz. Inside the box, you get the ECS Liva Z3, along with a quick guide, the power adapter and its cable, a VESA mount, and a pouch with six screws.
The overall size of the Liva Z3 is extremely compact and it also retains the ability to be mounted to a monitor or television with its VESA mount, as mentioned earlier. In terms of IO ports, you get lots of choices. These include three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, a power button, and four built-in microphones on the front.
On both the left and right sides of the device, you get the heat dissipation vents, which is very useful to cool down the device since the Liva Z3 is a fanless mini PC. On the rear of the device, you get an HDMI 2.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, a Gigabit LAN port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a power port.
Since the ECS Liva Z3 comes with an HDMI 2.0 port, it is capable of displaying 4K content at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The Liva Z3 also comes with 128GB of SSD storage – you can also install extra M.2 SSDs by opening up the device. In addition, it also offers 8GB of DDR4 memory, which is also expandable up to 16GB. Graphics meanwhile is handled by Intel UHD Graphics.
You will find all the instructions to open up the device and upgrade it, in the quick guide included in the package. In terms of wireless connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 802.11ax and Bluetooth 4.2. Wi-Fi 802.11ax offers higher connection speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
Setting up the Liva Z3 takes no time. Once you get past the initial Windows 10 setup, you can get quickly to start using the device. The Liva Z3 can also be upgraded to Windows 11, however, for this review, we chose to stay with Windows 10.
The overall design and build quality is quite top-notch. In terms of performance, the ECS Liva Z3 does the job quite efficiently when it comes to day-to-day office jobs. In order to gauge the operating temperature of the Liva Z3, we used Core Temp to score it.
During our review process, we saw that the maximum temperature of the ECS Liva Z3 was around 82-degrees, while the minimum operating temperature was around 58-degrees, which is quite acceptable for a fanless mini PC. YouTube streaming in 4K worked really well and the ECS Liva Z3 was able to handle all workloads we threw at it, with aplomb.
During our review process, we did not find any lag or stutter, when using multiple apps. Everything worked well, whether it was creating documents or spreadsheets, image editing, watching movies, or even rendering videos using DaVinci Resolve 17. While the Liva Z3 isn’t made for heavier workloads, it did handle all of it quite charmingly.
The ECS Liva Z3 is an ultra-small form factor mini PC that saves up lots of desk space. It is also extremely power efficient, offers great build quality, is upgradable, and operates quietly. A key feature of the mini PC is that it comes with an HDMI 2.0 port and a mini DisplayPort, which lets you use the Liva Z3 as a central console of your home theater setup, too. The ECS Liva Z3 thus comes across as a highly recommended mini PC!
LIVA Z3: N6000/RAM 4G/EMMC 128G/No OS – $239.
LIVA Z3: N6000/RAM 4G/EMMC 128G/with Windows 10 Pro – $269
ECS Liva Z3 $239 onwards
The overall size of the Liva Z3 is extremely compact and it also retains the ability to be mounted to a monitor or television with its VESA mount, as mentioned earlier. In terms of IO ports, you get lots of choices. These include three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, the power button, and four built-in microphones on the front