Setup and Everyday Use
Mini PCs are supposed to be as simple to install as possible, and the Beelink BT3 is no exception. Plug it in, and you’re good to go.
The compact size of the chassis, and the fact that it’s passively cooled, make the BT3 a nice choice for a lot of potential applications, from living rooms to certain types of small businesses.
There’s not much to complain about, but we did run into a few issues. For starters, the Intel GPU driver is cranky. The original one delivered quite good results, but as soon as the system updated to a new version, GPU performance fell off a cliff. It’s still not bad, but it’s not as good as it used to be. We can only hope that future driver updates will rectify the issue.
Another pet peeve of ours involves the bright status LED. It looks good from afar, during the day. However, if you want an HTPC system that will stream movies, the powerful LED could annoy you. It can be masked, but it really needs to be a lot more subtle.
Other than these minor nuisances, we did not encounter any serious issue.
The system is stable, silent and energy efficient. Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity works as advertised, which is not always the case with cheap Intel boxes.
The BT3 features a full-size SD card reader, which is not something we see often nowadays. The form factor is not what matters here, it’s the speed, and the SD card reader is very fast indeed. This is great news because it will allow you to repurpose old SD cards for extra storage, or to get new high-speed card and enjoy excellent performance.