It’s always possible to connect a USB hard drive to a mini PC, but it’s not quite as neat as having an internal drive, and it may not pass the wife test. NEXBOX T11 mini PC powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor addresses this issue by including a 2.5″ SATA bay on the bottom for the case of a SSD or HDD with up to 2 TB capacity.
- SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz/1.84 GHz (turbo) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics
- System Memory – 2 GB DDR3
- Storage – 32 GB flash, 2.5″ SATA drive support, and micro SD slot
- Video Output – HDMI and VGA
- Audio Output – HDMI and 3.5mm audio jack
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Misc – Power button
- Power Supply – 5V/3A
- Dimensions & Weight – TBD
The device is said to run a licensed version of Windows 10 Home.
The SATA bay is just made like in laptops where you need to loosen two screws to take out the cover, insert the drive, and put the cover back. In some cases, an internal SATA bay may also improve performance compared to an USB drive, as the processor may support SATA and PCIe, but Intel Atom x5 processor do not support SATA, and the company confirmed they used a USB 2.0 to SATA bridge to implement that feature. That means you won’t get better performance, but at least your desk will be neater. You’ll also notice the product can be wall-mounted thanks to two holes on the bottom of the case.
NEXBOX T11 is sold for $136.99 on GeekBuying, and $148.90 on GearBest but GBT11 coupon brings that down to $129.99. It is not the only Cherry Trail mini PC with SATA, as PiPO X6S also provides a 2.5″ SATA bay and Atom x5-X8300 processor with a different set of features (4GB RAM, 64 GB flash, 802.11ac, dual Ethernet, HDMI only…) for about $190 shipped.
You can also consult the manufacturer product page, where either T11 or T12 is used, but I’ve been told both are the same exact model.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.