Geekom Mini IT8 review: Plenty of power in a tiny chassis

The Mini IT8 is a fabulous mini-PC for office use.

Geekom Mini IT8 review
(Image: © Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Windows Central Verdict

The Mini IT8 is a mini-PC designed for productivity use, and it does a great job in this area. The chassis doesn't take up much room on your desk, you can easily add more memory and storage down the line, and it comes with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed. Considering it's now on sale for just $319, you are getting a fabulous value here.

Pros

  • +

    Diminutive chassis

  • +

    Hardware is good enough for daily use

  • +

    Easy to upgrade RAM and storage

  • +

    Comes with Windows 11 Pro out of the box

  • +

    Good overall value

Cons

  • -

    Older Coffee Lake hardware

  • -

    Not designed for gaming

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Geekom is a relatively new vendor in the mini-PC segment, but it has managed to stand out for its value-focused offerings. The entry-level MiniAir 11 delivers Celeron hardware and is ideally suited for casual browsing and office work, and the high-end Mini IT11 is a productivity powerhouse that combines Intel's Tiger Lake Core i5 and i7 designs with great connectivity options while still maintaining a tiny profile.

The Mini IT8 sits in the middle of the pack, and is designed for office use. It comes with an older Coffee Lake Core i5-8279U and starts off at just $369, a decent deal in and of itself when you consider it comes with Windows 11 Pro installed out of the box. I used the Mini IT11 extensively a few months ago and was eager to see how the Mini IT8 holds up in daily use, so if you are interested in a new workstation that doesn't take up much room on your desk, this is what you need to know about the Geekom Mini IT8.

Geekom Mini IT8: Pricing and availability

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Geekom launched the Mini IT8 over a year ago, and it is available in several memory and storage configurations. All models are powered by Intel's Core i5-8279U, and the base version has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, retailing for $369 on Amazon (opens in new tab) and Geekom's website (opens in new tab). While that's a good value on its own, Geekom is running a Christmas sale at the moment where it's bundling a carrying case for free, and Windows Central readers can get the Mini IT8 for just $319 by using code XMIT8i5A.

If you need more memory and storage, there's a 16GB/512GB variant that's down to $439, but you can get it for just $389 with code (opens in new tab)XMIT8i5A (opens in new tab)on Geekom's site. Other than the change in memory and storage modules, this variant is identical to the 8GB/256GB version. The code is valid until December 31. 

Geekom Mini IT8: What you'll like

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Geekom has been making mini-PCs for just a year now, but the Chinese manufacturer clearly knows a thing or two about delivering products with a clean design and sturdy build quality. The Mini IT8 has a polished design and looks quite good with the glossy plastic finish at the top. This is different to the matte finish on the Mini IT11, and while the glossy coating is prone to smudges, you're not likely to interact with that part of the product as much.

The rectangular chassis is minimalist in the extreme, and it doesn't call any attention to itself. And thanks to the VESA mount that's included in the box, you can tuck it away behind your monitor. Like the Mini IT11, the Mini IT8 has a vented design on three sides that's great for passive cooling, and in the week I used the machine, I didn't see any throttling issues on account of overheating.

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

You'll find the power button, 3.5mm jack, USB-C, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port at the front of the Mini IT8, with most of the connectivity options tucked away at the back. There is a side-mounted SD card reader, and at the back you get two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one mini DisplayPort, one HDMI 2.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB-C connector. On the wireless front, there's Wi-Fi ac and Bluetooth 4.2 — you miss out on the latest connectivity standards here.

There is the potential here to drive up to four 4K monitors, but that's an outlier; most users will run the Mini IT8 with one monitor, and I didn't see any issues powering a 165Hz gaming monitor off the machine.

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Geekom interchangeably uses Kingston and Lexar NVMe drives in its products, and the Mini IT8 that I'm using has a Lexar 512GB M.2 SSD installed out of the box. Same goes for RAM; you'll find a Kingston or Wooposit SO-DIMM module installed. Geekom doesn't sell the Mini IT8 as a barebones kit, but if you need to switch out the memory or storage, it's as straightforward as removing the four screws at the base and accessing the mainboard.

There are two SO-DIMM slots here, and you can add a total of 32GB of memory. The single M.2 slot can accommodate drives up to 1TB in size, and there is a slot for a 2.5-inch SATA drive at the bottom. That's about it as far as configurability goes, but for most users, the bundled 8GB/256GB and 16GB/512GB options should be more than adequate. If you need more storage, head to our best SSDs post for recommendations. 

Coming to the hardware side of things, the Mini IT8 is powered by Intel's Coffee Lake Core i5-8279U. This is an older CPU that debuted back in 2019, but it holds up just fine for productivity use cases. I didn't see any slowdowns in Chrome or the Office suite, and it fared pretty well in Lightroom as well — although it took a while to export photos. It obviously isn't able to go head-to-head with the Tiger Lake-powered Mini IT11, but considering how much it costs, you get a good level of performance here.

What I particularly like about the Mini IT8 is that it comes with Windows 11 Pro out of the box. There's no bloatware either — other than what Microsoft bundles with Windows 11 — and Geekom did a great job bundling a Windows license with the package.

Geekom Mini IT8: What needs work

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

There isn't a whole lot that Geekom doesn't get right with the Mini IT8, and the mini-PC is ideal for day-to-day office use. The main drawback is that it is using an older CPU, so it doesn't quite deliver the same figures as mini-PCs with Intel's 11th Gen and 12th Gen hardware.

And while it excels at productivity tasks, this isn't a machine designed for gaming. You can play a few casual games on the Mini IT8, but the hardware shortcomings are revealed the moment you run a AAA game.

Geekom Mini IT8: The competition

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

Geekom's own Mini IT11 is a great alternative to the Mini IT8, delivering much more power and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. The beefier hardware makes the IT11 a productivity powerhouse, and it is decent for casual gaming as well. If you want a powerful machine that's designed for video and image editing, you should get the IT11 instead. The base variant with the Core i5-1135G7 and 16GB of RAM along with a 512GB SSD is going for as low as $469, making it a downright steal.

Geekom Mini IT8: Should you buy it?

Geekom Mini IT8 review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

You should buy this if:

  • You want an affordable workstation that doesn't take up too much room on your desk
  • You want reliable hardware that's well-suited to daily use
  • You need versatile connectivity options
  • You want Windows 11 pre-installed

You shouldn't buy this if:

  • You need a workstation for video editing or gaming
  • You want the latest Intel hardware and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity

Geekom nailed the basics with the Mini IT8, and the mini-PC is ideally suited for office tasks. It has a design that doesn't look ungainly, you get extensive connectivity options — including wireless connectivity — and it's extremely easy to add more memory or storage down the line should you need to do so.

The best part is that you get a Windows 11 Pro license out of the box, making the Mini IT8 that much more enticing. Overall, the Mini IT8 has plenty going for it if you need a workstation for browsing and productivity tasks.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.