GMKtec NucBox G1: Powerful mini PC at a really affordable price

Eileen Brown

If you would like mini PC that is unobtrusive – yet powerful, take a look at this budget friendly GMKtec NucBox G1. For an Intel-based mini computer, there is little not to like.

GMKtec has a range of PC’s to suit all budgets. It has a range of AMD Ryzen and Intel-based mini PCs and has also branched out into the laptop market with its 12th gen Intel Core i5-1235U 4k notebook.

Where to buy

Amazon.com $179.99
GMKtec.com $189.89

About this review: This review was written after building and using a NucBox G1 for two months. GMKtec did not have any input in this article.

The GMKtec NubBox G1 mini PC is an Intel based energy efficient PC with a 12th generation Alder Lake N95 processor, UHD graphics and a choice of 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB hard drive, or 16GB DDR4 RAM 1TB hard drive models.

Specifications: 

GMKtec NucBox G1

Dimensions4.48 x 4.17 x 1.67 inches/ 114mm x 106mm x 42.5mm
I/O PortsUSB-A 3.2 x4 (Gen1 x1 5Gbps)HDMI (4K@60Hz) x2 1x3.5 mm headphone jack Giga LAN (RJ45) x1 2.5G
Storage ExpansionM.2 SATA 2242 max 2TB/ M.2 SATA 2280 max 2TB
Auto Power ONNot by default – but this can be turned on in the BIOS settings
Weight0.79 lb/ 361g
ColourAnthracite Grey with Black top
Wall Mounting bracketIncluded in box
PriceUS$239.89 on 8+512GB / US$279.89 on 16+1TB but discounted on AMazon and GMK tec sites

Pros
• Lightweight
• affordable
• Powerful motor
• Windows 11 Pro installed
• Supports Dual-screen displays
Cons
• Peripherals needed to build PC
• no USB type-C port

GMKtec NucBox G1 mini PC: Price and availability

The GMKtec NucBox G1 is currently on offer at GMKtec’s US Store
It is also available on Amazon, with a discount coupon
The GMKtec NucBox G1 is, priced at under $200 and has regular offers on both the GMKtec and Amazon sites.

Design and hardware: Lightweight mini PC with small form factor

• Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake N95 processor
• Intel UHD graphics running at up to 1.2 Ghz
• 512/1TB ROM
• Supports 2 HDMI displays
• Storage expansion up to 2TB

The GMKtec looks smooth and stylish with an anthracite grey coloured body and a black glossy top. The top is supposed to be fingerprint resistant – but I managed to smudge its shiny surface during handling. However, the cover quicky can be restored to its original glossy look by polishing the case with a soft cloth. The front of the unit has two USB type-A ports and a bright green power button.
At the rear of the GMKtec from left to right there is a DC 12V 4A power jack. there is an HDMI port which supports a resolution of 4k@60Hz and a 2.5G RJ45 port. The there are two USB 3.2 type A ports and finally a second HDMI port that also supports 4k@60Hz Above the ports there are vents for unit cooling. There are also grilles at either side of the unit to further unit cooling.
To use the GMKtec NucBox G1, plug the power adapter into an electricity supply and turn on the green power button at the front of the unit. A white lite appears to indicate that the unit is switched on. You also need to use a wired keyboard and mouse for initial setup although once you have installed Windows 11 you can configure the system to use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth peripherals.

Gmktec Nucbox G1 Mini Pc Onmsft Unit Rear

Software and features: Windows 11 Pro workgroup and domain capability

• Quick and simple windows setup
• Quickly recognises external screens
• No touch screen support

The GMKtec NucBox is a 64-bit system and once Windows 11 has been installed, which takes about 10 minutes, the 8GB model gives 7.73GB of useable RAM before any office apps have been installed. As the NucBox G1 runs Windows 11 Pro you can run this as part of a workgroup or as a member of a domain. THe 22H2 version was updated at the end of May and this NucBox G1 is currently running build 2261.1778.
In use I am surprised at how quiet the NucBox is. I ran it for a couple of weeks on the desk before mounting the unobtrusive mount on the wall behind my monitor. Once I had configured my wireless mouse and keyboard then the only times I needed to go to the NucBox itself is when I powered Windows down.
Currently I could not test the support for touch screens as my external monitors are not touch enabled. I found myself reaching for the display like I do on my laptop, and realising that I was not using my laptop – but my unobtrusive mini PC.
The Ilife 10s must complete a full sweep of the area before you can customise the settings on the app. The maps on the Ilife T10S are detailed and accurate. You can label different rooms and specify how many times you want them to be cleaned during a pass, and how much water you want to deliver to the hard floor.
You can label different areas in the app and clean custom areas in the house at different times of the day or clean heavily trafficked areas more often. You can set schedules to clean the entire space automatically or specify a named area to clean. Voice activation works well and you can invoke the robot to start cleaning or return to its charging station at will.
You can set no go zones and specify different schedules for each room or zone
The app maintains a record of how worn the consumables are and how many hours these can be used before it recommends that they are changed. This is a useful feature if you forget to maintain your appliances regularly.

General performance: Silent running, good performance

• No slow down when working in an office environment
• Fan noise almost undetectable
In use I was impressed with the performance on the GMK tec NucBox. It is far more powerful than my laptop and can run memory hogging applications all day without any issues in performance.
The fan on the NucBoxis fast, but almost silent. I was aware of it running when using it next to my screen, but could ot hear it at all when it was mounted on the wall less than 1m away from my keyboard. It is very impressive and unnoticeable. When the fan does run, it runs for about 15 seconds before stopping.
The light on the power button is not intrusive in low light environments – certainly not as noticeable if you have a fairly bright screen. There are no other lights on the unit to distract you.
The top of the housing does get warm however – but not hot enough to burn you.

Gmktec Nucbox G1 Mini Pc Onmsft Unit Front

Should you buy a GMKtec NucBox G1 mini PC?

You should buy a GMKtec NucBox G1 mini PC if
• You want an unobtrusive PC with low fan noise
• You want a low cost PC with support for dual screens
• You want a pocket-sized domain enabled PC
You should not buy a GMKtec NucBox G1 mini PC if:
• You are a hard-core gamer who prefers AMD processors
• You run several heavy process applications at the same time
All in all, I like the performance of the GMKtec NucBox G1 mini PC. I like that it is compact and quiet, and I love the fact that I can mount it on the wall and forget about it.
The specification of the mini PC means that I can use it as an office workstation, a Media centre in the living room, or a leisure PC for casual games and social activities.
However, I find it a pain to build the PC with a wired keyboard and mouse- but I have an old keyboard and mouse specifically for this purpose. Once I have connected my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, my desk area looks tidy.
So if you want a low cost Windows Pro pc which has good performance and can cope with small to medium office work – or home activities, then the GMKtec NucBox is a great affordable PC for you if you do not want to spend too much on a PC for your home or small office
The GMKtec NucBox G1 mini PC is an affordable reliable workhorse that will perform well, stay out of the way, and stay within your budget. It is certainly worth a look.