Desktop Systems Guide
Among the many Intel Bay Trail SOC (system on a chip) implementations we saw at Computex 2014, the sub-$200 ECS LIVA was definitely one of the few mini PCs we actually could see being used in the living room. The LIVA runs on a dual-core processor, 2GB DDR3L memory and a 32GB eMMC storage. It is a fully functional desktop PC with a proper set of features that include Gigabit LAN and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-fi + Bluetooth 4.0 wireless card. You also get one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, audio jack, HDMI and VGA output. At Computex 2014, ECS showcased the LIVA capable of running the latest Windows 8.1 operating system. However, you could just as easily load Linux on it.
Design Your Own LIVA
The 118 x 70 x 56 mm LIVA is so diminutive, you might initially think that you'll just hide it away, probably behind your TV or desk. However, ECS held a "Design Your Own LIVA" competition and if the entries shown at Computex 2014 were anything to go by, mini PCs are a great platform for creative and lifestyle casemods. Here are some of our favorites.