Geekom Mini IT11 review: This mini-PC is a pocket rocket

The Mini IT11 delivers incredible power in a tiny chassis.

Geekom Mini IT11 review
(Image: © Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Windows Central Verdict

Need a mini-PC for productivity use? Look no further than the Mini IT11. It is powered by 11th Gen Intel hardware and lets you easily switch out memory and storage, and the chassis has excellent build quality. You get all the ports you could ask for — including the latest USB4 standard — and this diminutive machine is a workhorse for daily use and even casual gaming. Throw in a Windows 11 license and you get a phenomenal overall value.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent performance for productivity tasks

  • +

    Good selection of ports

  • +

    USB4 connectivity

  • +

    Easy to upgrade RAM and storage

  • +

    Windows 11 out of the box

  • +

    Standout value

Cons

  • -

    Not built for intensive gaming

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Interest in the mini PC category has skyrocketed in recent years, and it's easy enough to see why. A mini PC takes up barely any room on your desk while still offering the same level of performance as a full-fledged workstation. Geekom is a Chinese manufacturer that is doing all the right things in this category, and it has three offerings: the budget-focused MiniAir 11, the Mini IT8, and the high-end Mini IT11.

I initially meant to use the Mini IT11 for just a few days and get back to my gaming rig, but the motherboard (a Z490 Aorus Master) conveniently decided to fail. So I ended up using the Mini IT11 for the better part of two months as my main workstation, relying on it for writing, image editing, and even a little bit of gaming. What I realized in that time is that this is a fantastic machine for daily use.

Geekom Mini IT11: Pricing and availability

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Geekom launched the Mini IT11 in August 2022, and it is available in several variants, with all models featuring 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD as standard. The base version is powered by an Intel Core i5-1135G7 and is available for $519 on Geekom's website (opens in new tab) and $499 on Amazon (opens in new tab), and there's a Core i5-1155G7 variant that retails for $549.

Then we have two Core i7 models, with the i7-1165G7 debuting at $599 on Amazon (opens in new tab) and the i7-1195G7 selling for $749. There's a standard one-year warranty with all Mini IT11 models.

Geekom Mini IT11: What I like

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Geekom may be a new entrant to this category, but it's clear that the Chinese manufacturer knows a thing or two about build quality. The Mini IT11 has a diminutive profile with a well-designed chassis that's made out of ABS plastic, and the matte finish and dark grey color ensure it doesn't call out attention to itself.

The build quality is on par with the best mini PCs, and with dimensions of 117 x 112 x 45.6 mm, the Mini IT11 fits just about anywhere. It's ridiculous just how small this thing is; I've used several Zotac Zbox products in the past, and the Mini IT11 is distinctly smaller. Heck, my router is double the size of this thing.

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

You also get a VESA mounting plate in the package if you want to install the Mini IT11 behind a monitor, and the bundled accessories including a carrying case. The unit weighs just 564.9g, making it easily portable. The sides of the chassis are vented and deliver good airflow to the internals, and you can easily access the DRAM and M.2 SSD slots located at the bottom by removing four screws in the base. There's also a SATA slot if you want to install a 2.5-inch SATA SSD, and two SO-DIMM slots that can accommodate 32GB DRAM modules each for a total of 64GB.

There's an exhaustive list of ports here, including an SD card reader that's located on the side. At the front, you'll find a 3.5mm jack, a USB-A 3.2 port, and a USB-C port that uses the latest USB4 standard, delivering the full 40Gigabit bandwidth. Round the back, you get an HDMI 2.0 port, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a USB-C port that's based on USB4, and an RJ45 port that has Gigabit connectivity. On the wireless front, there's Bluetooth 5.2 along with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and I didn't have any issues in this area.

The variant of the Mini IT11 that I'm using has a Core i7-1165G7 with Iris Xe, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD installed out of the box. Geekom uses Kingston's white-label DRAM and SSD storage modules, and while there's no barebones version available, the standard model starts off at just $499 and comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, an excellent value for the caliber of hardware on offer.

On that note, the Mini IT11 is a productivity powerhouse, holding its own at just about every workload I threw at it. I didn't notice any difference in daily use versus my full-fledged gaming rig, and it handled intensive image editing workloads in Lightroom without breaking a sweat. The Mini IT11 posted 1455 in the Cinebench R23 single-core test and 5488 in the multi-core test, in line with Intel's own NUC. The Kingston M.2 SSD is fast and reliable, posting read scores of 2458MB/s and writes of 1825MB/s in CrystalDiskMark.

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

There are no issues with media playback here, with the Mini IT11 doing a stellar job playing 4K content — whether it's off a streaming service or locally-stored media. And thanks to the Iris Xe hardware, the Mini IT11 does a decent enough job at gaming; it obviously isn't geared toward gaming, but you can play casual titles at Full HD without any framerate issues.

The best part about the Mini IT11 is that it comes with Windows 11 Pro out of the box. There isn't any bloatware installed either — you get a clean Windows install here, and that's great to see.

Geekom Mini IT11: What needs work

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Honestly, the Mini IT 11 doesn't miss out on much. The only area where it could do more is gaming, but that's not feasible without a dedicated video card. While I was able to play a few games, it isn't designed for visually demanding titles. 

So if you're more interested in casual games like Stardew Valley, the Mini IT 11 is a great choice — just know that this thing isn't going to run Assassin's Creed Valhalla or any recent AAA game.

Geekom Mini IT11: The competition

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

There's no shortage of choice if you need a mini-PC for daily use, with the Beelink GTR5 leading the way with its Ryzen hardware. The device features AMD's eight-core Ryzen 9 5900HX, and comes with 32GB of RAM and a 500GB M.2 SSD as standard. 

You get dual 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity as well, and there's Wi-Fi 6e alongside Bluetooth 5.0. You get four USB-A and two USB-C ports, and the design is elegant. Like the Mini IT11, you can switch out the memory and storage, and the GTR5 is a good choice at $839.

Geekom Mini IT11: Should you buy it?

Geekom Mini IT11 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

You should buy this if:

  • You need a machine that doesn't take up much room
  • You want powerful hardware out of the box
  • You're looking for memory and storage extensibility
  • You want a reliable workhorse for productivity tasks

You shouldn't buy this if:

  • You want an SFF machine for gaming

Geekom nailed the basics with the Mini IT11. The mini-PC does an excellent job in daily use, holding its own during browsing, office work, and image/video editing workloads. It is ideally suited for those looking to switch to a small machine that has plenty of power for day-to-day tasks and casual gaming, and the value on offer here is incredible.

Starting out at $499, you get a machine powered by Intel's 11th Gen hardware, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, a great selection of ports, and Windows 11 Pro out of the box. Honestly, for what you're paying here, you are getting an absolute bargain.