MINIX NEO Z100-0dB fanless N100 mini PC review – Part 1: Unboxing, teardown, and first boot

MINIX Z100-0dB (or MINIX NEO Z100-0dB) is a fanless mini PC powered by the popular Intel Processor N100 quad-core Alder Lake-N CPU with up to 32GB RAM, up to 512GB M.2 SSD, various USB 3.2/2.0 ports, a microSD card slot, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a 2.5GbE RJ45 jack, as well as WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 wireless module.

MINIX sent us a sample of the NEO Z100-0dB mini PC for review with 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM and a 512GB M.2 SSD preloaded with Windows 11 Pro. Since we’ve already listed the specifications in the announcement, today, we’ll go through an unboxing and a teardown before giving it a quick try booting Windows 11 Pro. We will then test the performance and features of the mini PC in detail with  Windows 11 Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 (or 24.04) in the next parts of the review in several weeks.

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC review


MINIX NEO Z100-0dB unboxing

The NEO Z100-0dB Mini PC comes in a familiar MINIX retail package highlighting that it is is a fanless mini PC powered by a 12th Gen Alder Lake N100 Processor and running Windows 11 Pro.

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC package

The bottom side of the package shows the specifications for the mini PC and our model comes with a 512GB SSD as expected.

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB specifications

The MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini ships with a 12V/3A (36W) power adapter with UK, US, and EU plug adapters, two dual-band antennas, a user manual, a VESA mount plate with a screw set, one HDMI to HDMI cable, and a cable tie.

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB mini PC unboxing

The NEO Z100-0dB fanless mini PC will dissipate the heat through its metal enclosure which will get very hot, especially under heavy loads. That’s normal, but it will get hot enough so that the company added a warning sticker on the top of the device.

Fanless mini PC HOT warning

The sticker reads:

  1. The ZERO 0dB cooling system utilizes the metallic housing to dissipate heat passively into the surroundings. The surface of this mini-PC, especially the top aluminum heatsink, may get hot while running CPU/GPU intensive tasks.
  2. This mini-PC is professionally designed to prevent itself from overheating while in use.
  3. Adequate air-flow around the housing of this mini-PC shall greatly enhance its cooling performance.
  4. Please avoid touching this unit with bare hands while operating

We can confirm it can get seriously hot, but it’s difficult not to touch it when you are inserting or removing a USB flash drive or hard drive for instance…

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB DC Jack USB 2.0 2.5GbE HDMI

One of the sides of the mini PC comes with a Reset pinhole, and the “rear panel” features a 12V-19V DC jack, two USB 2.0 ports, a 2.5GbE RJ45 jack, and two HDMI 2.0 ports.

MINIX NEO Z100-0dB: antennas, nicroSD Card slot, USB-A, USB-C

The other side is equipped with two SMA antenna connectors, and the “front panel” includes a microSD card slot, a USB 3.2 Type-C (10Gbps) port for data, two USB 3.2 (10Gbps) ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a power button.


Time for a teardown of the NEO Z100-0dB mini PC. It’s designed to be opened to change/upgrade memory, storage, and wireless module, and four screws hold the bottom cover in place. There’s also a QR code pointing to the MINIX Forum for support and a download link to the official Windows 11 Pro image with all necessary drivers.

NEO Z100-0dB bottom cover

As we can see the top aluminum heatsink is not the only part used for cooling, as the bottom cover is also in contact with the motherboard through a metal protrusion and a thermal pad. The SSD is also cooled with its own heatsink and thermal and around a 5mm space underneath for airflow.

MINIX Z100-0dB teardown

One 16GB MINIX-branded PC4-3200 memory stick is also installed in the mini PC as well as an Intel AX201 WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 CNVi module with two antennas.

AX201 WiFi module

When he first got the specifications the weight for the mini PC was declared to be 1.3kg and 1.5kg for the package. That seemed a bit too high to use, so we checked the weight of the mini PC with the two antennas again and measured about 900 grams. It’s still heavy with all the metal used for the case and heatsink, but not quite over one kilogram.

Fanless mini PC weight

First boot to Windows 11 Pro

We connected the two antennas to the mini PC and added two RF dongles for the mouse and keyboard plus an HDMI monitor connected to both one of the HDMI ports and one of the USB 3.0 ports for power. Finally, we inserted the power cable, pressed the power button, and went through the usual Windows 11 Pro setup with language selection, Ethernet or WiFi network connection setup, etc… before getting to the Windows 11 Pro desktop with a working WiFi 6 connection.

MINIX Z100-0dB windows 11 Pro

Going to the System->About window confirms that we have a Z100-0dB mini PC powered by an 800 MHz (base frequency) Intel N100 processor with 16GB RAM running Windows 11 Pro operating system version 22H2, which we will upgrade to 23H2 before the second part of the review.

Fanless Intel N100 mini PC Windows 11

That will be all for today. We will then test the mini PC with Windows 11 Pro, and eventually switch to Ubuntu 22.04 or 24.04 to check out how well the Z100-0dB works in Linux.

We’d like to thank MINIX for sending us a sample of the NEO Z100-0dB mini PC for review. The model showcased here with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD is sold for $260.90 on Amazon after ticking on the $15 discount coupon.  You’ll also find it on the MINIX online store along with the cheaper 8GB/256GB model going for $239.

Continue reading

  1. MINIX Z100-0dB review – Part 2: A fanless Intel Processor N100 mini PC tested with Windows 11
  2. MINIX Z100-0dB review – Part 3: Ubuntu 22.04 Linux

CNXSoft: This article is a translation, with some additional insights, of the review on CNX Software Thailand by Suthinee Kerdkaew.

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