Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of reviewing an Ace Magician CK10 mini PC. As mini-PCs are becoming the new standard in personal and business use, I was excited to look at how they function. This was, of course, the entry-level model and still it did very well in all the tests. The excitement built when their representative asked me to review the S1, which is one of their more “middle of the road models.” The CK10 was a fun computer to test in multiple ways, but the S1 blew it out of the water in most categories. Please check out their Black Friday Sale if you are looking for any of their models.
The S1 goes out to a little higher level market than the CK10, mainly because of its newer processor. While the CK10 could deal with most gaming issues that I look at, the S1 has a faster pick up time, which allows for smoother game play. Likewise, when doing graphics work, this computer works a little faster (especially in rendering). As a result, this unit still has a great price and even better performance – so it still appeals to a very wide market of business and personal use. 9.5 of 10.
Ease of Use
Once again, Ace Magic has defined the term “plug and play.” I opened the box and hooked the system into my test rig, filling all of its USB and display ports. The system runs on Windows 11, which loaded up quickly and with no problems. Whether you are looking for this unit for home or for work, the ease of use almost makes it easy enough to carry around with you as a smaller version of a laptop (with a wireless mouse and keyboard). This lets you use it while you are traveling – while laptops are nice, having access to a full computer can be even better. 10 of 10
The S1 is a more advanced machine than the CK10, which runs on an older chip set. This mini PC is powered by an Intel n95 chip, which sports 4 cores, 4 threads, and 3.4 GHz speed. This will perform quite well in the tasks most users will do. If you want to game and stream at the same time, you will see good performance in that area too, regardless of what normal games you are throwing at it. S1 systems come with Windows 11, which makes it great for those who are used to the Windows interface. The system comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive (there is an option for a 512 GB model as well). The system runs WiFi right out of the Box. Normally $299, this system is selling for $189 on sale! 7.5 out of 10.
So what are we looking at for the system? This system runs two screens with UHD graphics; this means you will need HDMI for both screens. Once again the graphics are putting my personal use computer to shame with the UHD system. There are four USB ports on the system and LAN Ports.
When you open up the magnetic case, there is an expansion slot for another hard drive. This lets you expand its already-impressive compliment. The box comes with the cord to add the pieces to the unit. Because it is a mini PC, there is not additional room to add anything else inside; however, this still makes for a strong machine for daily use. 7 of 10.
Unlike the CK10, which was fairly basic, this system can impress right out of the box. One of the unique features of the unit is it has a screen on the front; this allows you to see system specs while you are using the computer. For most of us this is a novelty, but it does look cool. If you are running the computer hot, this computer can give you a warning before you light it up. The size of this unit is interesting as well. Being slightly smaller than the CK10, it fits in my suit pocket. This means that I can take my computer with me when I am traveling easily without sticking it in my carry-on. Not a huge deal, but easier than emptying out your carry-on when to get your machine when you are going on a long flight. 9 of 10.
Ace Magician continues to expand the expectations of mini-PCs. Whereas mini-PCs used to be a novelty – something that did not do much but was fun to have – the Ace Magician line is raising the bar. This unit will compete with more expensive units while keeping a reasonable cost, something we have been looking for in the computing industry for years. With an overall score of 43, this is a great unit to have. The only caution I have is to manage your exceptions. This is not a $5000 gaming machine, but it sure acts like one. Overall, anyone could use this as their main rig for casual gaming, school work, or personal use. The size also makes it a great gift for the holidays.
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