Not in vain, Beelink is among the leader in the Chinese mid-range and entry-level TV box market. It offers products for everyone and for all purposes. Usually, when we talk about a Beelink TV box, many think it should be priced under $100 and provide appropriating performance. But this brand is also known for its powerful models. One of them is the Beelink BT3. Moreover, this product belongs to the category of mini PCs. Thus it is capable not only turning your TV into a smart TV but also you can use it as a regular computer. Just connect a monitor, a couple of peripherals such as a keyboard and a mouse and use it in a regular way. At this moment, the BT3 Intel mini PC is discounted by $20 that means you can get your hands for only $105.99 after applying the coupon (code: BT3GB4).
Unlike last year’s Beelink mini PCs, this model doesn’t come with a compact chassis. It has dimensions of 120x120x24mm that is roughly on a par with Intel’s NUC form factor. Not accidentally, the company has been promoting it as an Intel NUC device. But we understand these two models have nothing common. Even the housing is not made of aluminum like its founding father. The Beeling BT3 comes with a plastic body. But this is a very good plastic. The rubber feet feel sturdy and the overall finish is good, even at the bottom.
This is a passively cooled computer. But it needs a bit of airflow. That’s why the Beelink BT3 is using vents similar to the Apple’s round rectangle approach seen on its mini PC. By the way, this appearance is patented by the Cupertino-based manufacturer. Using a form factor like the Intel NUC and a ventilation grills similar to the Apple mini PC, the Beelink BT3 doesn’t cause any complaints. However, the most important part of its body is the back. Here we can find the power button, DC power in, USB 3.0, HDMI, LAN, and audio port. Plus, but on the right, you’ll find the SD card reader (proper SD, not microSD), coupled with a couple of USB 2.0 ports and cooling vents.
As for hardware, the Beelink BT3 sports an Intel Atom x5-Z8300, which is considered to be the slowest quad-core Cherry Trail chip on the market. But surprisingly, this SoC provides results identical to the high-end Bay Trail chips. Here is the reason why it’s so. Actually, Cherry Trail is essentially a die-shrink of Bay Trail. Both of them come with almost identical CPU cores. That’s why it is capable of providing superior efficiency and higher clocks – the x5-Z8300 runs at 1.44GHz, but it can hit 1.83GHz on Turbo.
The Beelink BT3’s x5-Z8300 relies on Gen 8 GPU based on the same architecture employed in Broadwell processors. Moreover, unlike the Ivy Bridge (Gen7) graphics, the Cherry Trail ships with 12 to 16 EUs. However, it’s not about the performance only. The newer GPU offers more features and supports more standards, such as 4K/h.265 video acceleration and DirectX 11.2 support. It also supports 2 displays. As for memory, there is only a 2GB of DDR3L RAM. But when recalling the price range, we understand it’s not a deal breaker. Plus, it is packed with a 64GB of eMMC 4.5x storage. It is divided into two partitions.