Feature: ECS Liva XE Mini PC

September 1, 2018 0 By urbantechnoobs
Most of us know ECS as a motherboard manufacturer, but they are also producing mini PCs that are specifically built for everyday usage. The difference of their mini PC from other mini PCs out in the market would be its size.
ECS has literally made its mini PCs as mini as possible, one of which, is the Liva XE. It is one of their mini PCs that’s not only literally small, but is also packed with specifications that would make your office “Core2Duo” desktop feel small.
A space saver and can probably be a conversation starter. These are just some of the big words that can describe the ECS Liva XE. So, again before you pull the trigger, lets check it out first.
What’s inside
ECS packed the Liva XE with all the accessories that are needed to get it up and working. No need to go to the electronics store to get an adapter for the power brick since the 3 widely used adapters are included in the package.
There’s also a couple of papers to read. We just don’t get why do they still need to use a CD for the drivers, but there’s that. If the urge to have a clutter free desk chimes in mind, then just use the mounting bracket included in the package. The screws that you would need to do the task are also included.
All the stuff you need in a small package
The Liva XE has two variants, one with a 2GB DDR3L RAM and 32GB eMMC storage, and the other with 4GB of DDR3L RAM and 64GB eMMC storage.
The one we have here is the 2GB/32GB variant. It’s not much for someone who loves to play games on PC, but it is enough to play your favorite eSports titles such as Dota 2 and LOL. Just don’t get crazy and push the graphical settings to high or ultra.
The Liva XE provides two options to connect to the internet. One is via the Gigabit LAN port, while the other is via the wireless combo card (widely known as your WiFi and Bluetooth card) inside it.
It is also built with an HDMI port and VGA port, which enables the Liva XE to a dual-monitor setup.
There are also 3 USB ports that can be used for connecting peripherals or for external drives if you opt for a 2-in-1 Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Upgrading is easy, but decisions aren’t
If the need for an upgrade arises, the Liva XE has a little room for upgrades aimed at storage expansion. It has an M.2 expansion slot that can accommodate 2242 or 2280 M.2 SSDs only.
If the decision is made to have the storage upgraded, then a Screw Driver and a little bag of courage (if you are not used to opening things up) are needed to start with the upgrade.
Under the Liva XE are 4 screws with rubber stoppers that also act as feet. Unscrew all 4 screws and remove the cover. You’ll be greeted by the Liva XE’s heatsink. Remove the heatsink and you’ll find the M.2 slot, but do be careful with you movements as the processor chip is exposed. Insert your M.2 SSD to the port and voila! You’re good to go. 
Now, return all the things that we removed to its rightful place.
Specifications, and what we think
The Liva XE that we have is powered by an Intel Braswel SoC that has 2 GB of DDR3L RAM. As we’ve mentioned in the beginning, there are two variants of Liva XE, one with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage and the other has 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.
SoC or System On Chip is an integrated circuit. It has the CPU, memory, storage, and all other components on a single substrate. So, with that said, there is just no way to upgrade the memory and primary storage.
Moving on, both of the variants will be bundled with a Windows 10 OS. So, you wont need to look for one or you know.. Argh! Aye, cap’n! But, you are not locked to just the OS that comes with it, you can always opt out of it and install the operating system that you want.
ECS Liva XE is something to consider if you are still rocking an olden desktop PC. It not only beats olden PC when it comes to specifications, but also beats your olden PC when it comes to mobility. It’s small and can fit inside a pouch bag. The great match for minimalists.