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Review: Quantum Byte Fanless Windows® Mini PC with Windows 8.1


The Quantum Byte is a powerful fanless Windows 8.1 Mini PC. The small form factor and HDMI output makes it a great media center for your living room. Adding in a Intel quad-core processor for fast, smooth streaming makes this a contender for your next media center or work station.

As a media center connected to your TV:

Why have a full Windows PC and not just a Roku or Fire TV? Sadly there are still a lot of great legal streaming services that do not have apps for Roku and/or the Fire TV. The ability to use a browser to stream content is still important for many cord cutters looking for legal options to stream events like the Super Bowl.

The Quantum Byte worked very well as a media center. With native Netflix, Hulu, and WatchESPN apps just to name a few, makes it easy to watch your content. A full browser brings in everything you would want stream online. If you do not like the IE browser just install Chrome, Firefox, or any browser you would like to use.

A full Windows computer connected to your TV allows you to install any windows program you want. We found it works very well with Skype. We just plugged in our Microsoft HD webcam with built in mic and our 2 year daughter can Skype with Grandma and Grandpa. She sees them on the TV and Grandpa and Grandma can see our living room as she runs around talking with them.

During our testing we had no issues with the Quantum Byte. It never crashed or hung-up in Windows or other applications.

Pros:

  • Very powerful for the price
  • Never crashed or hung up in our testing
  • XBMC/Kodi is easy to install
  • Easy and quick setup
  • Full copy of Windows 8.1
  • Very quiet

Cons:

  • Small internal hard drive
  • No keyboard/mouse or remote included (I recommend the Rii i8+ wireless keyboard and touchpad)

As a gaming PC:

As a traditional desktop computer:

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The Quantum Byte works very well as a desktop computer. It is more than powerful enough for web browsing, YouTube, Word, Excel, etc. It is small enough to fit into a small work space in a warehouse or in your office.

There is no CD drive, however CDs are not really needed in most office spaces. Network storage and services like Dropbox or Google Drive makes the need for a CD or large internal hard drive for most office uses unnecessary.

The Quantum Byte would make a perfect work station computer for different users to log into their accounts.

So if you just need a basic desktop computer cheap the Quantum Byte is exactly what you want.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Very fast for every day office needs
  • Full copy of Windows 8.1
  • The small size makes it perfect for small work areas

Cons:

  • This is not a computer you want to edit video with or do very intensive processing
  • Small internal storage

Summary:

The Quantum Byte is a very well rounded Windows 8.1 PC. Great for the living room as a media center and very good as a office PC. Many users who only surf the web and edit documents now have the option of a full Windows PC for about the same price; opening up a larger catalog of programs and applications when compared to the Chromebox.

If you want a quad-core Intel processor Windows Media center under $200, the Quantum Byte is the computer for you. If you want a cheap office computer, the Quantum Byte is definitely something you should look into.

You can find the Quantum Byte on Amazon here:

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  • Jeck

    I love that the price is coming down on these. I’m hoping that the new Intel chips that were announced at CES drive them down even further. Only thing that will make these more attractive will be a controller and video inputs.

    • Admin

      The video inputs can easily be added with a USB dongle. For the controller I think they assume most people have a keyboard and mouse laying around. So they don’t include it to keep the price down.

  • Joshua

    You’re the first person I’ve heard to bring up the the plug use with the power strip. I love plugs like this.

  • freaksloan

    I am looking for a cheap PC option for playing Minecraft.

    Will this work?

  • F.Garcia

    Hello, does the pc come with windows media center? I’d like to know if i can play my cablecard/tuner through it.

    • Admin

      No it dose not you will have to pay to upgrade it to get media center or buy separate software to do that.

  • Yujun Sun

    Does this PC has port to connect a microphone?

    • Admin

      You can use a USB microphone with this PC.

  • Torontonian

    Hi.
    I am planning to follow your advice and cut cable.
    What do you recommend for running Kodi and games: quantum byte or g box q?