The LIVA Z2  is a straight up addition to the growing number of fanless Mini PCs from ECS. Compared to its older siblings, the LIVA Z2 offers a dual-storage design, allowing you to upgrade whenever required.

Being a palm size mini PC, the LIVA Z2 still offers a wide range of IO ports. That includes two display ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and four USB 3.0 ports for a total of 6 USB ports front and back. This is a sub $200 mini PC with connectivity in mind.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Processor
CPUIntel Celeron N4100
ChipsetIntel Goldmont Plus
Memory
SDRAMDDR4
Slot2x DIMM
ChannelDual Channel
Frequency2400MHz
Capacity8GB, 4GB installed
Graphics
GPUUHD Graphics 600
OutputHDMI 2.0, HDMI 1.4
Expansion
PCI ExpressNA
Storage
SATASATA, eMMC
M.2NA
Network
WiredGigabit LAN
WirelessIntel WiFi 802.11ac & Bluetooth 4.2
Audio
CodecNA, 3.5mm Combo Jack
USB
USB 2.02x USB 2.0
USB 3.04x USB 3.0
USB 3.1NA
Dimensions
Length132mm
Width118mm
Height56.4mm
WeightNA

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:

The ECS LIVA Z2 comes packed inside a slim packaging. The model we got comes with the following items inside the box:

  • 1 x Power adapter
  • 1 x VESA Bracket
  • 6 x VESA Mount Screws
  • 2 x HDD Screws(Optional)
  • Quick Guide & Driver DVD

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The ECS LIVA Z2 Fanless Mini PC is a true palm size PC. That is, if you’re holding it with both hands. The LIVA Z2 is a simple unit by design, making it a good complementary system on any living room setup.

ECS LIVA Z2 (8)

In contrast, the back is a a bit more industrial by design. We have venting ports here, a few technical information and the mounting for the VESA mount itself.

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The front panel connectivity consists of three USB 3.0 Type-A ports as well as a single USB 3.0 Type-C port. We also have a combo jack here and the mic as well.

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The back panel on the other hand features the power port, the VGA port, HDMI, a Gigabute LAN port and the two USB 2.0 ports. Wireless antennas for both the Bluetooth and WiFi are internal.

ECS LIVA Z2 (7)

Inside, you’ll find a 2.5 inch bay for an HDD or an SSD. The RAM is also upgradable up to 8GB  but you’re limited to DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM kits.

ECS LIVA Z2 (1)

FIRMWARE INTERFACE:

The ECS LIVA Z2’s BIOS is as simple as it looks. No reason the flair up things here really.

ECS LIVA Z2 (2)

There are 7 main menus to choose from with the Advanced menu bearing most of the tweakable settings.

ECS LIVA Z2 (3)

TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:

The system performance shall be evaluated by various benchmarking tools and applications. We are testing this system with the high-performance settings enabled at the OS, with the default UEFI configuration. Background processes such as anti-viruses and third-party applications are disabled as well. Outlined below are the applications and benchmark tools for reference:

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
PROCESSORIntel Core-i5 6600K
MOTHERBOARDASUS Z170-A
COOLERCryorig C1 Top Flow
MEMORYCrucial Ballistix Tactical DDR4 @ 2666MHz 2x4GB
GRAPHICSASUS ROG Strix GTX 1060 OC 6GB
STORAGE Crucial BX200 480GB
CASEThermaltake  Core P3
POWERCORSAIR RM850X 850W
DISPLAYDELL U2715H
OSMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro

TEMPERATURE, POWER AND NOISE:

  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Temperature, Power, Noise

CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:

  • Super PI – 32M Calculation
  • wPrime – 1024M Calculation
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark

PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE:

  • GIMP – 7 MB worth of image processing
  • HandBrake – 150 MB MP4 to H.264 video encoding
  • WinRAR – Compression speed

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • AS SSD – Storage performance
  • RightMark Audio Analyzer – Audio performance
  • NetIO-GUI – Network Performance

TEMPERATURE, POWER AND NOISE:

System power consumption is evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via the AIDA64 System Stability Test. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (1)

The AIDA64 System Stability Test is also used to evaluate the system thermals. Readings are taken with AIDA64 and is cross-referenced with HWiNFO.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (2)

System noise level is also evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via AIDA64’s Stress Test. The noise measurement is taken by a sound level meter.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (3)

The ECS LIVA Z2 is an energy efficient mini PC with a matching heat output and noise levels. This is a fanless mini PC after all.

CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:

Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark within the industry.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (5)

WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots. It verifies the results by squaring them, then compares it with the original numbers.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (4)

The AIDA64 Memory Benchmark measure the data transfer bandwidth and latency of the system memory. We are measuring the latency on this benchmark.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (6)

The ECS LIVA Z2 scored ahead of the two other LIVA units we tested on the synthetics with of course the exception of the single-threaded SuperPI benchmark.

PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE:

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing tool. A 7 MB worth of images is be processed and converted to gauge the system performance.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (8)

HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. A 150MB worth MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec to gauge the system performance.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (9)

WinRAR is a file archive utility that can create, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The software’s built in benchmark tool is utilized to gauge the system performance.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (7)

Real world performance is good enough for what it is. The best in class yet with the Celeron N4100 inside.

STORAGE PERFORMANCE:

AS SSD is a storage benchmarking software widely used throughout the industry. On this test, we are using its scoring system to evaluate our Crucial BX200 SSD’s performance using the system’s native SATA controller.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (10)

The result for the SATA performance is a-ok. Nothing concerning nor extravagant to see here.

AUDIO PERFORMANCE:

The RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) is a tool designed to test the quality of audio devices. We used a sampling rate of 24-bit at 48000Hz for the loopback test. We are essentially testing the quality of the line-in and line-out of the audio solution.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (11)

The ECS LIVA Z2 scored -50.2 dBA of noise level at RMAA. It’s not the best, but we’re not complaining either.

NETWORK PERFORMANCE:

The NetIO-GUI is a good application to test any network’s performance. The LAN round trip time is our concern here, checking out latency anomalies if there are any. The client and server are connected on the network via Cat5 cables using a 100Mbps router.

ECS LIVA Z2 Benchmarks (12)

The ECS LIVA Z2 featured a wired network performance at 1ms of latency on any packet sizes tested.

SOFTWARE, LIGHTING AND SPECIAL FEATURES:

No software bundles nor lighting features here folks. This is just a plain mini PC featuring a fanless design and upgradable storage. It also features GPIO support which basically adds PLC + human-machine interface, remote control, virtualized IO applications, and support for ADC via the internal GPIO header. Learn more about it on the official product link.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The ECS LIVA Z2 is a much appreciated addition to the growing LIVA models ever since they have been announced. It is a bit faster than the previous models and it doesn’t skip a beat where it matters. This is just as capable with extra storage options and IO in tow.

Build quality and connectivity wise, the ECS LIVA Z2 is great to say at least. We have plenty of USB ports plus wired and wireless connectivity. Display options could be a little better though with a DisplayPort. Regardless, this is still a good option over the previous LIVA models.

The ECS LIVA Z2 retails for about $200 USD or around 10000 Pesos. A bit pricey for what it offers to be honest but if you are looking for a mini PC with storage upgrade capabilities in mind, then you’ve found what you are looking for.

  • DECENT GENERAL PERFORMANCE
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT FANLESS DESIGN
  • DUAL STORAGE DESIGN
  • TONS OF USB PORTS
  • VESA MOUNTABLE
  • GREAT BUILD QUALITY
  • A BIT PRICEY AT $200 USD

TechPorn Awards 2018 (1)

ECS LIVA Z2 Fanless Mini PC Review
  • PERFORMANCE
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • FEATURES
  • AESTHETICS
  • VALUE
3.8

Summary

The ECS LIVA Z2 retails for about $200 USD or around 10000 Pesos. A bit pricey for what it offers to be honest but if you are looking for a mini PC with storage upgrade capabilities in mind, then you’ve found what you are looking for.