Last year GEEKOM reached out to me asking if I was willing to give one of its Mini PCs a whirl and I gave it high marks for connectivity and under-the-hood power. Now they are back with an updated version of its Mini PC with the Mini IT12. The 12 represents the generation of Intel Core processor inside it.
Below are the full specifications of this thing. I have bolded my configuration where relevant.
|Mini IT12 12th Gen Intel Core i7/i5|
|Size||117 x 112 x 45.6mm|
Intel Core i7-1260P (12 Cores, 16 Threads, 18MB Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)
Intel Core i5-1240P (12 Cores, 16 Threads, 12MB Cache, up to 4.40 GHz)
|Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics|
|Dual-channel DDR4-3200 SODIMM 16GB/32GB; expandable up to 64GB|
|1 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD, 512GB or 1TB onboard, expandable up to 2TB
1 x M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot, expandable up to 1TB
|Windows 11 Pro|
|Intel® 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps RJ45 Ethernet|
|Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211|
|19V power adapter, 90W, with geo-specific AC cord (IEC C5)|
|3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
1 x USB 2.0 port
2 x USB4 ports
1 x SD card reader
1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack
1 x 2.5GbE LAN port
2 x HDMI 2.0 ports
1 x DC jack
1 x Power button
Although this i7-1260P variant I am reviewing has an MSRP of $639, right now they are running a promotion where you can save $30 if you enter IT12GEEK30 coupon code when checking out.
The packaging has not changed between the Mini IT11 and Mini IT12, so it exerts the same premium feel as you pull the top of the box off to reveal the Mini PC sitting inside a foam-cushioned interior. Once you have the PC out, and the foam is removed you are greeted with a Thank You envelope, below that and after removing the cardboard "shelf" you can find the other components such as the power lead, HDMI cable, VESA mount plate with a bag of screws, and the instruction manual.
What’s In The Box
- 1 x Mini IT12 Mini PC
- 1 x VESA Mount
- 1 x Power Adapter
- 1 x HDMI Cable
- 1 x User Guide
- 1 x Thank You Card
This time around GEEKOM did not include a carry bag which is a bit of a shame for first-time buyers, and as you may have noticed from the specs, GEEKOM has removed the mini DisplayPort and replaced it with an additional HDMI 2.0 port. Despite the Intel Core i7-1260P fully supporting HDMI 2.1a (as well as DisplayPort 1.4a) and DDR5 memory, these options are absent from the Mini IT12.
With memory being cheap right now, I feel this could have given the Mini IT12 an edge over the competition. It just seems like a DisplayPort option was replaced with a second substandard HDMI port. I reached out to my contact for comment and was told that these omissions were a cost-cutting measure.
The Mini IT12 design has not changed much from the Mini IT11 and although it is almost 90g heavier, it has a good heft to it, but certainly is not heavy, but it isn't light either, it retains that premium and balanced feel to it. All the edges and corners except for the bottom edges of the Mini PC are rounded, so it is comfortable to hold and move around.
Although the Mini IT12 also includes two USB4 ports (Type C) unfortunately they are now both located on the back of the Mini PC. I can only imagine this decision was made to make the front of the Mini IT12 look more uniform with its ports, however having the option for Type C and USB on the front of the Mini IT11 is what made it great. The Mini PC still includes three USB3 Gen 3.2 ports, and confusingly, one USB 2.0 port.
As far as looks go, it is a fully metallic blue/gray exterior, it's not a fingerprint magnet. It also looks like aluminum, but it actually isn't; it's a plastic shell that covers a metal frame. It doesn't feel cheap and isn't flimsy either, and even when the base is removed it remains sturdy.
Accessing the Mini IT12 is as easy as unscrewing the bottom plate with the four Philips head screws located in the center of each rubber foot, a small hobby screwdriver is enough for the job, but you may want to use a flat-head screwdriver to prise the plate free, taking care not to damage the ribbon, which is a bit longer than the one included in the Mini IT11, and is connected to a connector for a full-sized SSD that can be added to a sled located on the backplate. Helpfully, the screws do not come loose from the backplate so you won't lose them either.
As you can see from the above images which can be enlarged when clicked on, there is ample room to manage the SODIMMs and Kingston 512 GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, so you can swap it out for something else if you want. The Mini IT12 includes an option to add a second NVMe SSD, as long as it is only 42mm long.
The backplate only fits back on one way, this is to ensure that the NVMe is always connected to the heat spreader.
On first boot, you are prompted to complete the setup of Windows 11 Pro, meaning you do not have to fork out for a license, which is nice. After the setup is completed, I am happy to report that the Mini IT12 does not come with any bloatware installed. It ships with Windows 11 22H2, so updates were relatively minimal.
Since I reviewed the Mini IT11, my Samsung CRG9 49" Ultrawide broke, so I have since upgraded to a Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. Although 12th gen Intel CPUs and Intel Xe graphics should fully support the maximum resolution for my screen (5120x1440 @ 240Hz), because only HDMI 2.0b ports were included I can only get 60Hz at that resolution. For this reason, it feels a bit gimped. It should fully support my display, but it doesn't. I can probably achieve this over the DP to USB4 cable that I ordered.
It's physically possible to directly attach four screens to the Mini IT12 using the two HDMI and the two USB4 ports if you wanted. Regarding connectivity, there is a USB 2.0, and 3.2 gen 2 port along with a barrel port for power on the back. Around the front, there are two USB 3.2 gen 2 ports and a port for a 3.5mm headphone jack.
As you can see from the two images above that, you can affix a Kensington lock on one side and insert an SD adapter for a micro SD card on the left side of the Mini IT12.
With that out of the way, and because people like that sort of thing, I ran some benchmarks and compared it to my main PC which I built in 2019. The Mini IT12 is running Windows 11 Professional 22H2 build 22621.1555 and I upgraded to the latest Intel driver which is v220.127.116.1114 (April 2023).
My Main PC consists of the following:
- Intel Core i9-9900K (stock)
- Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI (BIOS revision F12)
- 64GB DDR4-3200 G.Skill Ripjaws (16-18-18-38) dual channel
- Samsung 980 1TB NVMe
- KFA2 RTX 2070 SUPER (Nvidia driver 527.37)
- Windows 10 22H2 build 19045.2311
For the benchmarks, I used 3DMark, PCMark 10, Geekbench, and Cinebench. 3DMark Time Spy tests gaming capability with DX12 graphics performance. PCMark tests are a mix of CPU and real-world productivity tests, such as using an office suite, web browsing, light photo/video editing, and making conference calls. Cinebench stresses the entire CPU as it is a multi-threaded rendering test. Finally, Geekbench is a synthetic benchmark that is great for a quick look at the potential performance across a wide range of workloads.
|GEEKOM Mini IT11
|GEEKOM Mini IT12
|3DMark (Time Spy)||1,635||1,740||9,995|
|Geekbench Single / Multicore
|1,583 / 4,543
1,739 / 8,628
|1,300 / 8,186
|Cinebench Single / Multicore||1,532 / 4,947||
1,671 / 8,162
1250 / 11,711
I also tested the SSD's capability using AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark.
Despite running all of the above benchmark tests, the Mini IT11 did not get hot to the touch and there were no annoying noises coming from the single fan that cools the unit.
One thing that remains clear from using these Mini PCs, is that they simply aren't a gaming PC, you will not be able to enjoy graphically intensive games on them, but it absolutely is suited as an office workstation, or perhaps a good solution for a student with limited living space with the ability to pack this away after every use. This thing isn't taking up much room, you can even screw it to the back of a screen if it has VESA support with the included mount plate.
In a world that is apparently too stingy for phone manufacturers to include a power lead and charger for their flagship phones, GEEKOM has provided all of the cables and tools necessary to get started straight away, along with a Windows 11 Pro license and a clear guide with instructions on how to access the internals.
When it comes to Mini PCs, retailers are full of cheaper options like the BEELINK SEI12 with its mobile-class 12th gen Intel i5-1235U being one such example, but that option does not include USB4, a DisplayPort, an SD Card slot, or even a Kensington lock and more, it's the lowest denominator of a Mini PC and when you're spending hundreds of dollars to replace the job of a full-sized PC, you're going to want it to replicate it as much as possible aside from the obvious lack of GPU prowess.
The Mini IT12 no longer has the cheaper i5 entry point, only offering the i7 model in two flavors with expanded memory and storage costing $70 more. As I said earlier, the decision ultimately comes down to what you're willing to pay for the options you need. This Mini PC will let you connect to four displays, whereas cheaper solutions will be limited to two screens.
Assuming you've made it this far, yes at $649, the Mini IT12 looks like a hard sell if we consider that they cut corners to not offer the fully supported HDMI 2.1a and DDR5 memory on the 12th gen Intel processor. There's also the odd decision to include a USB 2.0 port, but leave out DisplayPort 1.4a connectivity, which for me, all adds up to it costing a point. It's still great though. Aside from not being able to seriously game on it, it's still a powerful machine inside a tiny body.
Our contact at GEEKOM let me know they are running a promotion starting on May 5th that gets you an extra $30 off the price when you enter the IT12GEEK30 coupon upon checkout, bringing it down to $619 (or $689 for the 32GB/1TB variant). It looks like you can save an additional $10 if you sign up for their newsletter as well, but I am not sure if those coupons can be run at the same time.
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