Beelink EQ12 review: Impressive mini PC for £250

I am from a time when having quality performance on a desktop computer meant having a generous tower nearby. Those times are a thing of the past, and machines like the Beelink EQ12 prove it.

This newly launched Beelink mini PC has a starting price of €239, ready to impress in terms of value for money. During the last two weeks I had the opportunity to try it, and in this article I tell you my conclusions.

Beelink EQ12

Beelink EQ12 Specifications

  • Intel N100 Alder Lake-N Processor, 4 cores, 4 threads, up to 3.4 GHz (turbo)
  • Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 24 EU with a maximum dynamic frequency of 750 MHz
  • Storage 500 GB M.2 PCIe SSD, expandable to 2 TB
  • 8 or 16 GB DDR5 RAM
  • Double fan for good heat dissipation.
  • Supports up to 3 simultaneously connected 4K resolution displays (2 via HDMI and one via USB-C)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 AX101
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Colors: Navy Blue, Pearl White, Millennial Gray and Senior Gray

Beelink EQ12 unboxing and first impressions

If you have a monitor, mouse and keyboard, in the EQ12 box you will find everything you need to start using your new mini PC. And we note that this is really small, when it occupies just over half of the box.

We are talking about a size of 124 x 112 x 38 mm. In the box you will find a transformer with a European outlet, long and short HDMI cables, support to mount the mini PC to the monitor or desk, and an instruction manual.

Beelink EQ12

First impressions of the product are very positive. As soon as it is turned on, it comes with Windows 11 Pro installed. Just do the initial setup, a few updates, and you’re good to go.

Beelink EQ12 design and build

The construction of the Beelink EQ12 is typical for a product in this segment. Plastic predominates, but nothing else was expected either. That’s not why it’s still a well-built product that will look good on any desk next to your monitor.

And of course, it has two screw slots. That way you can even hide it behind your monitor or under your desk if you want to have a more minimalist setup. I tried the Navy Blue version, which suits my taste. In one of the upper points we have a subtle reference to Beelink and the EQ line where the product is inserted.

Beelink EQ12

Beelink EQ12 connectivity

Despite its low price, this is a field in which Beelink has definitely spared no effort. In the front area we always have two USB-A ports at hand, which already wink at anyone who wants to use this mini PC as a retro game console. In addition, in this front area we have a 3.5mm jack input to connect your wired headphones and the on/off button.

On the back of this mini PC you will find another USB-A port and also a USB-C port that you can use to connect an SSD (for example) or a monitor. Additionally we have two more HDMI ports. This means that you can connect up to 3 monitors simultaneously with 4K resolution at 60 Hz.

We have Wi-Fi 6 and I can tell you that it has never let me down. With the mini PC in the same room as the router, I always got the 200/100 Mbps that I have contracted with the operator. In addition, we have two 2.5Gb Ethernet ports so that you do not lack anything in this field, and the DC input for power. Of course, we also have Bluetooth 5.2 so you can connect wireless peripherals.

Beelink EQ12

I didn’t feel like anything else was missing in terms of connectivity. One of the defects that mini PCs can usually have is the need to use a hub. Being that in this EQ12 I do not think it is necessary for my daily use.

Beelink EQ12 Power Management

Thanks to its low consumption between 6 W and 25 W, this is a very economical mini PC. This means that it is a mini PC that ‘tells’ users that they can have it connected without problems 24/7.

In this way, it becomes not only a possible ally in daily work, but also a good multimedia server. The options are immense and energy management is undoubtedly one of the great strengths of this product.

Beelink EQ12

Beelink EQ12 Performance

The thing to keep in mind when buying a mini PC like the Beelink EQ12 is that you can’t expect the performance of machines that cost 3-4 times as much. We are facing a low-cost mini PC, with good energy management, but which could perfectly be the day-to-day computer of many users.

In practice, the best compliment I can pay it is that it could very well be my daily work computer. You can handle many open Google Chrome tabs without breaking a sweat, which is very important for many users.

You won’t have any problems performing tasks like browsing social networks or using Microsoft Office programs either. This means that a student, for example, will be able to use this computer as her personal computer without any problem.

mini computer

The same goes for playing content if that is one of the main uses of the device. Whether playing a series in 4K on HBO Max or a YouTube video at that resolution, we didn’t notice any issues. Everything light and fast as expected. It is worth noting the support for the AV1 codec.

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When you think about using heavier programs, you must take into account the limitations of the product. This doesn’t negate image editing in Photoshop or video editing in Premiere. But a lot of layers will be felt when editing and rendering.

And who wants to play? Well, despite not being an ultra-powerful computer with an XPTO graphics card, it will do basic tasks. If you are not greedy with resolution, you will be able to play games like League of Legends or Counter Strike without any problem.

Fall Guys

And to the surprise of some, it even manages to run very popular games at the lowest settings. I’m talking about Forza Horizon 5, Grand Theft Auto 5, or Cyberpunk 2077. But those aren’t the kind of games you’ll want to play on this machine, since you don’t get a full experience.

In this or other cases, you always have to adapt the resolution to the limitations of the product. In my case I was able to play Fall Guys and Football Manager without major problems. In addition, I have also tested some PS1 and PS2 games with RetroArch with great success.

In this field of gaming, this is a machine designed to play some of the lighter games. But mainly to be able to serve perfectly as a retro game console. That course shines, if you want to play those classics.

beelink eq12

I tried the version with 16 GB of RAM, which is definitely worth it, since it’s available for just €20 more than the base model. And I never felt like this one was congested. The same goes for the 500 GB of SSD storage, which I think is quite interesting in this price range.

This is not a mini PC where you have to focus on numbers, but on usability. And I can assure you that it is very reliable, fast and without ‘crashes’ even in the most demanding tasks. However, I leave you below some of the benchmarks that I carried out with the Beelink EQ12.

Test Beelink EQ12 on Basemark
Test Beelink EQ12 on Basemark
Beelink EQ12 single core test in Cinebench
Beelink EQ12 single core test in Cinebench
Beelink EQ12 multicore test in Cinebench
Beelink EQ12 multicore test in Cinebench
Beelink EQ12 multicore test in Cinebench
Beelink EQ12 numbers in Cinebench R23

Who is the Beelink EQ12 for?

At the end of 2022, Intel announced that it would stop using the Pentium and Celeron brands in its processors. One result of that is this N100 Alder Lake-N processor. And what a good result, if we take into account that it is a mini PC for only €239.

The truth is, Beelink EQ12 can easily be the desktop for any student who wants to do school/university work, do research in Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, and consume 4K content on HBO Max or YouTube.

To play this is not the most suitable machine. But the truth is that it managed to run some games that I didn’t expect it to run (even in the lowest resolution), having surprised me in that field. And if you want to use it as a retro console, it’s perfect for that.

Beelink EQ12

The same goes for anyone who wants to use it as a server for services like Plex, for example. Taking into account the low energy consumption, it is a mini PC that will not consume a lot of energy, and will ensure that you always have your library of movies or series at hand.

Conclusion on the Beelink EQ12

The best compliment I can give the Beelink EQ12 is that I could easily use it as an everyday work machine, with content research and writing in mind. Of course, if you want to do heavy editing, you’ll have to look into more powerful machines.

For those who just want to do online research, office tasks and consume multimedia content, it is a perfect machine. In addition, it is also very energy efficient, which makes it attractive for use as a media server.

Beelink EQ12

If you are looking for a product for your retro game console, Beelink EQ12 can also be that partner. And the large number of ports and wireless connectivity make it quite complete for €239 (8GB of RAM). Not to mention that for €259 you have 16 GB of RAM.

Beelink EQ12 price and availability

The EQ12 is available for purchase on the official Beelink website for €239 in the version of 8GB of RAM or €259 in the version of 16 GB of RAM. It’s currently available in Navy Blue, but it’s also expected to be available in Pearl White, Millennial Grey, and Senior Gray in the future.

Learn more about Beelink EQ12 pricing and shipping

What you should keep in mind is that the shipment is made from China, and that it may have associated customs fees. In my case, I had to pay €26 to liquidate the product. Which I don’t think is a problem. It was DHL who took care of everything, it was only necessary to approve it on the carrier’s website and pay at the time of delivery.

Beelink EQ12

Beelink EQ12 Strengths

  • Portability and versatility for any desktop
  • All the ports needed for daily use
  • Possibility to connect up to 3 monitors simultaneously
  • Low power consumption and very quiet fan.
  • Quite decent performance for the price segment.
  • Ideal to work as a Plex server or retro game console
  • AV1 codec support

Points to improve Beelink EQ12

  • It does not have performance cores (Performance Cores)

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