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Alastair Jennings

Geekom Mini Air12 review

Geekom Mini Air12.

Geekom Mini Air12: 30-second review


CPU: Intel Alder Lake N100
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 12th
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Rear Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-C with DP 1.4 Alt Mode, RJ45, HDMI 2.0, Mini DP 1.4
Front Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-C Data Only, SD Card Reader, 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: N/A
Size: 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm
OS Installed: Windows 11 Pro 21H2
Accessories: VESA Mount

The Geekom Mini Air12 Mini PC is an excellent choice as a light task PC in a compact form. Equipped with the 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake N100 Processor, it creates a balance between energy efficiency and computing power. Our review sample featured a maximum of 16GB DDR5 RAM and a 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x 4 SSD, upgradable to 2TB if you need it.

Despite the small size and integrated graphics, this small machine still packs the power to support up to three displays, including 8K, making it suitable for a range of tasks and, of course, entertainment. This feature is particularly valuable for professionals in creative fields who require multiple monitors, although video editing applications will struggle with the processing.

Measuring just 116 x 111 x 35mm and weighing in at 498g, the Mini Air12 doesn't compromise on build quality. The high-quality plastic casing feels durable, and the port layout adds to its usability with USB Type A and C available on the front. The cooling system is crammed into a small space but proves to do the job and remains relatively quiet through most processing jobs.

When it comes to design, the Mini Air12 is sleek and understated, with a grey casing and black top plate that should fit unobtrusively into any setup. Its compactness makes it highly portable, ideal if you need a PC that can travel with you. Additionally, internal components for upgrades or maintenance are simple enough, with four screws on the base enabling quick access to the inner workings enabling easy upgrades when needed.

We've tested many of the best mini PCs, and after giving this one a thorough going over, we felt the Mini Air12 is well-suited for a range of applications, from office tasks and education to home entertainment. The inclusion of an SD card slot is a great addition for photography enthusiasts who use Lightroom or Photoshop (or, to be fair, any of the best Lightroom alternatives and best Photoshop alternatives that we've reviewed).

Geekom Mini Air12: Price & availability

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Geekom Mini Air12 is competitively priced at $249, down from its original price of $489. This price point makes it an appealing option for if you're looking for a balance between performance and affordability in a mini PC. 

Regarding availability, it is readily accessible on the Geekom website. However, availability can vary, and it's advisable to check the website or authorised retailers for the most current status. You can save even more if you decide to buy with these TechRadar deals. 

  • Score: 4/5

Geekom Mini Air12: Design & build

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Geekom Mini Air12 boasts a design that prioritises functionality and simplicity. It is compact, measuring just 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm, which makes it an ideal fit for tight spaces such as behind a monitor, on a bookshelf or on a desk. This machine is essentially designed for office use, education, and home entertainment. However, that's not to say that the Air12 feels and looks cheap; the casing is made of high-quality plastic, which feels and is durable. Aesthetically, it's understated yet stylish, with the grey casing complemented by a black top plate.

The port layout is a key strength, offering a decent range on both the front and back, including a handy SD card slot on the side, which is particularly beneficial for photographers. Despite its small size, the weight of the Mini Air12 adds to its feeling of quality.

In terms of cooling, the Mini Air12 is equipped with a compact cooling system that manages heat well. The fan noise remains acceptably low, ensuring a quiet working environment. 

When it comes to upgradability Internally, the design enables easy access to key components like RAM and M.2 slots through the base, which is held in place by four cross-head screws.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Geekom Mini Air12: Features

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Geekom Mini Air12 is designed to cater to a range of needs, from office work to home entertainment. At its core, the Mini Air12 houses the 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake N100 Processor, a choice that provides a balance of power and efficiency for everyday tasks. The processor is combined with 16GB of DDR5-4800 SODIMM memory and an M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x 4 SSD, which is upgradable to 2TB.

In a machine of this level, the speed of this drive helps boost overall performance with quick boot times and application performance due to the drive data transfer speeds. The connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, both helping to ensure a stable wireless connection.

The Mini Air12 supports up to three displays, including 8K, great if you need multiple screens for productivity or immersive entertainment experiences. While this feature is particularly advantageous for professionals hooked up to the best monitors for graphic design or the best monitors for video editing, we did feel the processing power provided by this machine won't quite meet professionals' needs.

Finally, the compact size of the Mini Air12, measuring just 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm and weighing 498g, makes it highly portable. If you need a machine that you can easily transport between home and office or to different locations, then this could be a great option. 

  • Features: 3.5/5

Geekom Mini Air12: Performance

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Crystal Disk Read: 3439 MB/s
Crystal Disk Write:  3030 MB/s
GeekBench CPU Single: 963
GeekBench CPU Multi: 2034
GeekBench Compute: 3271
PC Mark: 2908
CineBench CPU Multi: 796
CineBench CPU Single: 825
Fire Strike Overall: 1172
Fire Strike Graphics: 1222
Fire Strike Physics: 6488
Fire Strike Combined: 463
Time Spy Overall: 370
Time Spy Graphics: 322
Time Spy CPU: 2433
Wild Life: 2761
Windows Experience: 7.6

The Geekom Mini Air12's performance in video editing and gaming hinges on its hardware capabilities. For running any of the best video editing software, particularly with HD and 4K content, the Mini Air12's CPU and storage speeds (as reflected in the Crystal Disk and CineBench scores) offer decent performance for light editing tasks. However, intensive editing involving multiple layers or effects is a challenge due to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics and the processor's limited multi-core performance. 

In gaming, while the Mini Air12 can handle older or less demanding titles, its capacity to run graphically intensive games like Red Dead Redemption, Assassin's Creed, and Cyberpunk 2077 is limited. The Fire Strike and Time Spy Graphics scores indicate that it lacks the graphical prowess necessary for smooth gameplay in these modern AAA titles, which often require dedicated graphics cards and higher-end CPUs. 

While the Geekom Mini Air12 is a competent machine for general use and multimedia, its hardware constraints become apparent in high-resolution video editing and modern gaming scenarios. However, this mini PC is most definitely suited if you have modest gaming and video editing needs rather than anyone seeking a device for high-end gaming or the best video editing computer for a professional. Where the Mini Air12 really excels is for everyday tasks such as Microsoft Office, web browsing and multimedia for which it is ideally suited. 

  • Performance: 3/5

Should you buy the Geekom Mini Air12?

The Geekom Mini Air12 is an excellent compact and efficient mini PC, ideal if you are looking for a space-saving computer for general use, office tasks, and multimedia. Its solid performance, courtesy of the 12th Gen Intel processor and fast SSD, meets the needs of everyday computing and basic creative tasks. 

However, its limitations in handling intensive video editing and modern gaming should be noted if you're thinking of using this machine for gaming. The machine also offers excellent connectivity, a quiet cooling system, and portability. While not a fit for high-end gaming or professional video editing, it excels in delivering reliable performance for its intended use cases.

Value: Affordable, efficient for basic tasks; limited for high-end use. (4/5)
Design: Sleek, ultra-compact, and portable; ideal for space-saving setups. (4/5)
Features: Good connectivity and storage lacks in graphics and gaming. (3.5/5)
Performance: Capable for everyday tasks, struggles with intensive gaming/editing. (3/5)
Total: Great for daily use, not for graphic-intensive tasks. (3.5/5)

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

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