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Geekom Mini Air 11 review: Almost entirely unusable

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  • Posted on 13th Sep, 2022 13:34 PM
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No, we can't exactly remember why we wound up with what equates to an office mini PC, but Geekom Mini Air 11 isn't too shabby.

No, we can’t exactly remember why we wound up with what equates to an office mini PC, but Geekom Mini Air 11 isn’t too shabby.

So let’s just preface this with that we’re not going to put the Geekom Mini Air 11 through its paces with Geekbench, Cinebench, or 3DMark. There’s no point, this tiny little machine struggled to run Counter-Strike on low settings.

Until we forced it to a resolution of 1080p on our 4K BenQ monitor, it struggled to set up Windows 11.

Key specs

  • GPU: Intel UHD 600
  • CPU: Intel Celeron N5095
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe

Features: 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, SD card, Ethernet, Bluetooth

The Geekom Mini Air 11 is not supposed to be a gaming machine. It’s not even supposed to be your Plex Server, or even anything remotely resembling what you’d usually see here. On paper, the Air 11 isn’t great. Its performance? Also, not so great.

Do you know who loved the Geekom Mini Air 11? The parents.

Yes, the Geekom shined brightly when put at the disposal of the parents. They weren’t going to watch Netflix or a YouTube video higher than 720p, they were going to use a singular browser tab to browse Amazon, Facebook, or something mundane. But, why would anyone do that if you had almost anything else to browse the internet with?

Retro fun with the Geekom Mini Air 11

Dexerto

The closest thing the Mini Air 11 can do in reference to anything that the entirety of Dexerto would classify within its purview was some retro gaming.

While it couldn’t run Doom Eternal for any tests, it could run Doom 2. After mowing down the demons on Mars for a while, we swapped over to other games from our past that we wanted to revisit. Our time with the Geekom was splendid, playing games that we usually don’t get to try out, except under ridiculous circumstances.

Having the limitations of the Geekom, but having a multitude of power over say, a Raspberry Pi, allowed us to have a retro feast. Games from yesteryear took full swing and that was more than enough.

What’s the point of the Mini Air 11?

Dexerto

However, should you get one of these mini PCs? It raises a question as to why Geekom thought it was a good idea to put an Intel Celeron N5095 into it. Even an i3 chip from the 11th generation that the Celeron inside spawns from would have been better suited than it.

See, the thing is, the Intel Celeron is pretty much useless for anything outside of what you suspect your parents or grandparents would use a computer for. Sending an email, or playing solitaire doesn’t require a PC.

What Geekom seems to forget with this entry-level PC, is that almost nearly every person has a comparable, if not more powerful device in their pocket. Or on their desk, table, or bedside cabinet. Tablets and phones have usurped this concept.

While the parents loved the idea, the one thing that we think Geekom is failing to do here is really hit an audience that needs these types of PCs.

Glass ceilings and misunderstandings

Those in an office will hit a glass ceiling incredibly quickly. Multiple tabs open in any browser will eventually bring the tiny Air 11 to its knees. Chromium (which powers Edge, as well as Chrome) or Firefox will guzzle resources, leading to an unpleasant experience.

Installing Linux onto it didn’t fare any better, as once we started to load up different programs outside of a terminal environment, we ran into similar issues.

These things can be offset by fitting the device with more RAM, which is easily accessible, but the audience this is aimed at isn’t going to either have the wherewithal to do so, or the time. Imagine Freddy at the back of the office, whipping out his screwdriver to put more RAM in because Excel decided to crash.

Bizarre overpromises

Geekom

As we’ve stated, the Celeron is not really up to the task of doing anything more than your basic PC tasks. You’d be better off with an iPad Mini or something similar.

The thing is, on their website, Geekom is listing things that Air 11 just couldn’t do. Not properly, as apps like Photoshop require hardware capable of dealing with its prowess. It’s not that Geekom is lying to people, as you could very easily use something lighter, but there are some falsehoods being presented in its advertisements.

Getting weird with the Geekom Mini Air 11

Once the bliss of being held hostage by our nostalgia wore off, we realised that the Geekom is better suited as a small, low-powered server. It currently hosts files that we make for a website, a few games we wanted to offload, but not redownload, and host a slightly dodgy experimental Monster Hunter Frontier server.

Geekom should give up on making mini-PCs and trying to barge into the various market spaces they want to desperately fit into. They should take note of our particular use cases and consider getting into the weirder, maker-esque things that people like us want to experiment with.

Geekom

Outside of that, no, you shouldn’t get the Geekom Mini Air 11. In fact, Geekom has better PCs on their website, but still. Who is going to be editing a video on Adobe Premiere on an integrated GPU from an 11th generation i5 or i7 CPU? No one.

Do Geekom even know what they want?

3/10

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