Azulle Access3 Mini PC Review

Azulle Access3 Mini PC Review

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It’s hard to know where to begin with the Azulle Access3 mini PC. It’s a pretty simple design that offers great value for money.

That said, it isn’t the most powerful mini PC available and can’t quite match the price-to-performance ratio of some of the more expensive options on the market. It’s a budget PC that offers a lot for a lot of people.

What’s more, it’s one of the most versatile computers you can buy. Aside from being a cost-effective mini PC, it can also be used as a standalone gaming machine, a USB hub, an SD card reader, or even a media server.

So it’s hard to put a price on the Azulle Access3. But if you’re looking for a small, versatile, and affordable mini PC, then this is definitely a great option.

The Design of the Access3 Mini PC

Azulle Access3 Mini PC Review

Azulle Access3 appears to be almost a carbon copy of Azulle Access Plus, released in 2017. Stick PC designs have largely stayed the same since the form factor was introduced in 2015. The candy-bar dimensions are 5.5 x 2.36 x 0.76 inches, and the stick PC has a grooved surface with a concentric circle pattern. Our favorite stick PC design is still the Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry, with its star-chart-imprinted heatsink, which rivals some of our favorite mini PC designs.

Due to its fanless cooling design, the chassis has no moving parts, and the external Wi-Fi antenna provides better wireless connectivity than most stick PCs.

The device has an HDMI connector at one end, which plugs directly into a monitor or TV, and a thicker section of chassis at the other, which makes plugging and unplugging easy. As well as providing more width, it can accommodate a full-size Gigabit Ethernet port.

Azulle Access3 Mini PC: Connectivity

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The Azulle Access3 comes with a surprising number of ports, including HDMI 2.0 output, two USB 3.0 slots, a microSD storage slot for additional storage, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and Gigabit Ethernet.

In terms of ports, the 2017 Azulle Access Plus has the same selection as the previous model, however, the Ethernet port is Gigabit instead of a 10/100 Mbps connection, and the USB ports are both 3.0 instead of the older 2.0 port.

In addition, it offers a significant improvement over competitors such as the Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300, which had only one USB port. The Access3 does not require additional dongles for basic connectivity, unlike the Zotac Zbox PI225 pico.

Configurations of the Azulle Access3 Mini PC:

You can choose the memory and storage capacity of the Access3 according to the version you choose. The base model comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, which is a step up from our review model. There is also a version with 4GB and 64GB.

Additionally, there is a 6GB memory option with a 32GB eMMC drive.

Azulle Access3 Mini PC: Performance

The Access3 has 4GB of RAM and is powered by a quad-core Intel Gemini Lake Celeron N4100 processor, clocked at 1.1GHz. Although low-powered Celeron and Atom processors are common in this class of PC, this CPU supports the 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro, which is not always guaranteed. For instance, with its Intel Atom Z3735F processor and 2GB of memory, the Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300, for instance, was limited to a 32-bit version.

The Access3 can manage up to 8 browser tabs in real-world use without freezing. After opening the ninth tab, performance slowed down. Additionally, it can handle 4K video at 30Hz, making it ideal for home theater use. Rather than using Wi-Fi to stream video, you’ll want to use a local storage device instead, which can often slow down their performance.

We benchmarked the Access3 on Geekbench 4, and it scored 4,541 points. Azulle Access Plus (2017) scores 2,401 points with an old Atom processor (Intel Atom x5-Z8350, 4GB of RAM), handily beating Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry (2,283, with an Atom x5-Z8350, 4GB of RAM) and Zotac Zbox PI225 pico (1,475 points, with an Intel Celeron N3350 and 4GB of memory).

We tested the Access3 on an older Open Office spreadsheet macro, pairing tens of thousands of names and addresses in 7 minutes and 33 seconds. This may not seem impressive, but it’s a record-setter in the mini PC world, where the Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry (18:50) and the Zotac Zbox PI225 pico (21:55) took much longer. The closest result, in fact, was the Azulle Access Plus (16:47), which was still nearly nine minutes behind.

During our file-transfer test, where the stick PC took 3 minutes and 3 seconds to move a 4.97GB file at a rate of 27.81 Mbps, the Access3 failed to set a new bar for performance. Although that’s not the worst performance we’ve ever seen-the Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry falls a half step behind it at 24.35 MBps, it’s still slower than other pocket-sized PCs like the Zotac Zbox PI225 pico (45.04 MBps).

Nevertheless, graphics performance put it back on top, scoring 27,404 points at 1080p settings in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark. This represents a substantial improvement over the Zotac Zbox PI225 pico (13,462) and the 2017 Azulle Access Plus (18,805), and the difference will be visible in better video streams and faster graphics rendering.

Azulle Access3 Mini PC: Extras

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The Access 3 has two USB ports, allowing it to work with a wired keyboard and mouse or even a wireless keyboard and mouse like the Logitech K600. Azulle also offers its own keyboard accessory, the Lynk Windows Multifunctional Remote Control ($29.99), cramming a wireless keyboard into a form that looks more like a remote control. This product is widely compatible with many devices. Due to its wireless USB dongle, the Lynk will also work with game consoles, set-top boxes, and any other Windows PC.

The keyboard remote features a variety of remote-control buttons that provide similar functionality to smart-TV remote controls: a directional pad for navigation, volume control buttons, a home button, and a play/pause button for controlling video playback. In addition to the microphone button, there are a power button and a contextual menu button.

Furthermore, there are some unique buttons, such as the left and right mouse buttons, that can be used with the gesture mouse so that you can point the remote at the TV and move the cursor with a waggle of the remote. The LG Smart TV’s motion control is similar to this. As well as mouse options, there is also a Windows button and a button that turns on the tiny QWERTY keyboard.

This handheld remote control includes a small, thumb-friendly keyboard, allowing you to quickly type and perform simple keyboard shortcuts without ever getting up from the couch. It is also backlit, with bright blue letters.

If the mini PC is connected to a TV, the keyboard is a welcome addition, especially for those who need more traditional computer functions. My experience with the keyboard’s soft rubber buttons is definitely better than most of the on-screen keyboards I’ve used.

However, the rest of the remote is less satisfying. Design-wise, the remote control is not particularly comfortable to hold, and the various Windows functions grafted onto the remote control feel disjointed. It serves only to illustrate how essential a real keyboard and mouse can be, despite being an honest attempt to present a full keyboard and mouse in a more TV-like environment.

Advantages and disadvantages

Pros Cons
It delivers a 4K video at 30Hz. The optional bundled keyboard is clunky.
Zippy efficiency Transfers of data are slow
The improved port selection includes USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
The elegant design combines fanless cooling with a stylish appearance.

Final Verdict

We had high expectations for the Azulle Access3, the follow-up to our favorite stick PC. Even so, the slim mini PC managed to exceed them thanks to a zippy processor, a wider selection of ports, and a design that didn’t change anything we loved the first time around. In spite of the slower transfer speeds and the clunky keyboard and remote, the Access3 still claims the top spot as our favorite stick PC.

Compared to the 2017 Azulle Access Plus, the new model of Access3 has faster performance, better video handling, and more ports. That’s a big deal when there are only one or two square inches for ports. When compared with other pocket-sized mini PCs, like the Ockel Sirius B Black Cherry and the credit-card-sized Zotac Zbox PI225 pico, it offers an even wider performance margin and does so in a smaller package.

The Azulle Access3 is our new favorite stick PC, whether it’s for use in your home theater, for digital signage, or just for watching Netflix on your hotel TV.