When you see it you'll...
The term innovative is bandied around an awful lot nowadays,
usually by marketing types, but actual innovation is one of the real rarities
in the tech industry. When Gigabyte’s Brix Projector landed in our labs, we
figured it to sit somewhere between curiosity and novelty. However, once we
fired it up it became clear that this was one of those moments where actual
innovation has occurred.
The Brix projector comes as a barebones system, requiring
the user to add SODIMM RAM, mSATA SSD and an operating system to get it up and
running. Based upon Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) concept, the system
features a Core i3-4010U CPU, with HD 4400 graphics, to which Gigabyte has
paired a DLP-based projector, capable of outputting an image at 864 x 480
What results is something with obvious limitations, but so
much potential. It isn’t going to break any performance barriers, thanks to
hardware akin to that found in an Ultrabook, and the projector resolution is
admittedly low (one can’t even run Modern UI apps in Windows 8.1 - although
that may be more blessing than curse).
It isn’t going to
break any performance barriers
Once we had the system up and running, though, all of our
worries went out the window. The projector outputs a fantastic image in a
semi-darkened room (the 75lm brightness means it struggles in brightly lit
areas), and even though it isn’t HD resolution, videos looked crisp and clear,
as did normal Windows desktop programs. Most importantly, we could see all
sorts of weird and wonderful uses for the Brix, from boring kiosk-type
solutions to forming an integral part of one colleague’s ongoing Star Trek
LARPing (it could even make an underwhelming technology like the Leap Motion
Of course this isn’t a product suitable for everyone, and
its barebones nature means a reasonable amount of tech savvy is needed to get
it up and running.
Ultimately though, not only is this by far the best
implementation of the NUC concept to date, but it is a product that is both
unique and innovative without ending up as a pure gimmick.
Of course this
isn’t a product suitable for everyone
Specs and price
864 x 480 75lm DLP projector
Build quality: 4/6
Features and design: 6/6
Value for money: 5/6