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Cherry Trail-based Beelink BT3 mini PC reviewed

by on14 March 2016


Design and Build Quality

Unlike last year’s Beelink mini PC line-up, the BT3 does not feature a very compact chassis.

At 120x120x24mm, it’s roughly on a par with Intel’s NUC form factor. Beelink even describes it as an “Intel NUC” device in some marketing materials, but this device is not compatible with NUC components. While it is a NUC-like form factor, you can’t swap out the motherboard for an Intel NUC board, and the power brick wouldn’t suffice, either.

IMG 8012

Even the retail box looks Intellish, resembling Intel’s NUC retail boxes. Luckily, apart from that minor marketing faux pas, there’s not much to complain about.

The design is minimal and looks quite serious, perhaps even too serious. The top is adorned by an oversized Beelink logo, which could have been a bit smaller, but it’s not too bad.


No, it’s not aluminium, the whole thing is plastic, but keep in mind that there’s good and bad plastic. In this case, it’s very good plastic. The rubber feet feel sturdy and the overall finish is good, even at the bottom. 


While this is a passively cooled computer, it still needs a bit of airflow, hence the vents.

IMG 8007

Let’s just hope Apple doesn’t sue Beelink for using its patented “round rectangle” for its mini PC. The designers didn’t mess around with the shape, but they did choose two use two different finishes on the chassis – a matte and polished one. Both look and feel good, and here’s why they feel right: the device weighs 250g. As a result, the chassis feels sturdy and the plastic is thick. Of course, you can’t expect miracles given the price, but this is pretty much as good as it gets in this segment.

The layout is nice and there's not much to complain about.


The most important stuff is at the back: Power button, DC power in, USB 3.0, HDMI, LAN and audio port.


The front? Nothing to report here, just a black slab. It's minimal and it works.


The same goes for the left side, but on the right you'll find the SD card reader (proper SD, not microSD), flanked by a couple of USB 2.0 ports and cooling vents.


Brand recognition, or lack of it, could be a problem. Confronted with the prospect of ordering a small-brand PC from Asia, a lot of people are likely to express doubts about the build quality.

rubber feet 2

Fortunately, there’s nothing to worry about. This is a rock-solid device, and even big brands wouldn’t have a problem with shipping something like this toy. In any case, the new Beelink Cherry Trail box won’t take your breath away in terms of sheer design, but it won’t disappoint you either.


The really interesting stuff is under the bonnet.

Last modified on 14 March 2016
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