Hot topics

Geekom Mini IT 12 Review: The Perfect $500 Home Office PC?

geekom mini it 12 nextpit review 1
© nextpit

Read in other languages:

The Mini IT 12 from Geekom is powered by Intel's 12th-generation processors. You can choose between the i5 or i7 processor with up to 1 TB of storage space and 32 GB of RAM. Interestingly enough, Geekom already has a successor in the pipeline where you will need to set aside a slightly higher budget. Is it still worth buying the Geekom IT 12? Let's find out in this nextpit review!

Geekom IT12

Good

  • Solid performance
  • Modern connectivity options thanks to USB 4
  • Expandable memory
  • Fits on any desk

Bad

  • Processor cannot unleash its full performance
  • DDR4 instead of DDR5 RAM
  • Fan is permanently audible
  • Uses a proprietary power supply
Geekom IT12
Geekom IT12
Geekom IT12: All deals

The Geekom Mini IT 12 in a nutshell

The Mini IT 12 is not the latest mini PC from Geekom, but it still impressed in early 2024. The modern connectivity options, solid performance, and a high-quality, simple design are its main strengths. On the other hand, the somewhat outdated RAM and noisy fan that runs continuously during use is its  Achilles' Heel. If these do not bother you, you can always benefit from generous discounts from Geekom, which ensure excellent value-for-money.


This article was written in collaboration with Geekom. It has no influence on the content or the editorial opinion.

Design and processor

The design of the Geekom Mini IT 12 is hardly distinguishable from the manufacturer's other mini PCs, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The chassis of the small computer is made of high-quality material, hardly takes up any space in your rucksack, handbag, or desk, and has the necessary connections required for some home office action. There is even an SD memory card reader just in case you were wondering.


Pros:

  • Nice, small, and compact.
  • Wide range of connectivity options.
  • VESA mount available to attach a monitor.

Cons:

  • No USB-C in front.

In our list of the best mini PCs, we set certain requirements for tiny Windows 11 machines. They have to be compact, easily fit into a backpack, and impress us when placed on the desk both visually and in terms of space. As with all Geekom models, the Mini IT 12 ticked all the right boxes. This is because it features the same chassis as newer and older models in the series.

The Geekom Mini IT 12 is not short of connectivity options.
The connectivity options of the Geekom Mini IT 12. / © nextpit

This means you get a tiny box measuring 11.7 x 11.2 x 5 cm and weighing 650 g, fitting comfortably on any desk. The primary advantage? You do not have to crawl under your desk to plug in USB flash drives. However, since the Mini IT 12 is an older model, there is no USB-C port in front. This is annoying if you want to plug in a smartphone or headphones for charging. However, as with other models, the general variety of connection options is generally good.

  • Front
    • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A).
    • 1 x 3.5mm jack.
    • Power button.
  • Left side
    • 1 x SD card reader.
  • Right side
    • 1 x Kensington lock.
  • Rear side
    • 2 x USB 4 Gen 2 (USB-C).
    • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A).
    • 1 x USB 2.0 (USB-A).
    • 1 x RJ45 Ethernet port.
    • 1 x HDMI 2.0 port.
    • 1 x DC socket.

The Mini IT 12 also comes with a VESA mount, which you can screw the mini PC to the back of a compatible monitor. This transforms your monitor into an all-in-one PC that you can repair or upgrade as and when required. We will take a closer look at the extent to which the Mini IT 12 can be expanded later in this review.

It doesn't take too much to transform the Geekom Mini IT 12 into an AiO PC.
With a few tweaks, you can turn Geekom's Mini PCs into a powerful all-in-one PC. (Geekom AS6 pictured above). / © nextpit

At this point, however, I would like to point out that the Mini IT 12's fan is rather loud when operating.

Operating system

Windows 11 Pro comes pre-installed on the Geekom Mini IT 12, so you will find a functional and beginner-friendly operating system on the computer right out of the box. However, Geekom installs OEM versions on their PCs, which means you cannot use the same serial number and install Windows 11 Pro on different PC.


Pros:

  • Windows 11 Pro pre-installed.
  • No driver problems after setup.
  • Dual boot with Linux is possible.

Cons:

  • OEM version cannot be activated on other devices.

With Windows 11, you get Microsoft's latest operating system in the Mini IT 12. However, this is by no means a unique selling point when buying a PC these days. If you are not familiar at all with operating systems, I can tell you based on my own experience that Windows 11 is definitely more beginner-friendly than older versions.

The setup guides you step-by-step through the required settings, after which you can surf directly thanks to pre-installed programs and download additional software from the App Store. You don't need to install drivers or other system programs.

If you don't like Windows 11 Pro, you can install alternative operating systems such as Ubuntu or other Linux distributions. Geekom offers a comprehensive BIOS for this, which you can use to boot from external media. A dual boot scenario is also possible, allowing you to select the desired operating system at system startup.

Performance

You can equip the Mini IT 12 with either an Intel Core i5 or i7. The Mini PC comes with a maximum of 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of internal memory. However, you can expand both RAM and storage space later if you desire and have the additional budget. Although the Mini IT 12 is not the latest model from Geekom, it comes with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.


Pros:

  • Solid performance.
  • Both RAM and internal memory can be expanded.

Cons:

  • No DDR5 RAM installed.
  • Processor performance is not fully utilized?

In our reviews of mini PCs, we already reviewed the Geekom Mini IT 13, which is considered the successor to the Mini IT 12. Geekom's naming convention works in such a way that the number at the end of the name refers to the generation of the Intel processor that powers the device.

You can therefore choose from an Intel Core i7-12650H or an Intel Core i5-12450H from Intel's 12th-generation processors. In the successor, there is also the option to select an i9 model. This provides even better performance, especially when it comes to multitasking.

You can have more than one SSD in the Mini IT 12.
In addition to the built-in m.2 SSD, you can install a SATA SSD or harddisk in the chassis. / © nextpit

Geekom furnished us with the Mini IT 12 with i7-12650H for our review. All test results and impressions are therefore associated with this configuration, which is equipped with 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of internal SSD storage. As usual, mini PCs that boast this configuration can also be found in a notebook. The processor was released as a mobile processor in January 2022 but proved to be one of the most powerful mobile processors from Intel on the market at that time.

If you have read my Mini IT 13 review, you already know the problem with the current processors in Geekom's Mini PCs. The processors from the 12th and 13th generations can consume up to 135 W of power in boost mode. However, the thermal design power of the motherboards is unable to deliver that much power. Personally, I think this affects the benchmark results.

Benchmark results

test Geekom Mini IT 12 Geekom Mini IT 13 Geekom A5 Geekom AS 6 Geekom Mini IT 11
Geekbench 6 11.774 20.600 16.783 26.376 17.434
AS SSD Benchmark 2.0 read 4,403.83 MB/s 3,826.72 MB/s 3,044.12 MB/s 3,068.19 MB/s 2,799.02 MB/s
AS SSD Benchmark 2.0 write 3,631.72 MB/s 3,905.83 MB/s 2,673.83 MB/s 1,787.49 MB/s 2,238.32 MB/s
Copy speed SD reader with SanDisk SD up to 90 MB/s up to 90 MB/s up to 90 MB/s - up to 90 MB/s

In comparison, we can see that the Mini IT 12 does not perform as well as the Mini IT 13 with its Intel Core i9 processor. This is understandable, as the Core i9 is objectively the more powerful processor. However, the fact that the performance level is even lower than that of the Mini IT 11 could be due to the limitations in the TDP. This cannot be verified as we were unable to review the Mini IT 13 with a comparable processor. However, you won't notice any drastic differences in everyday use.

When it comes to mini PCs, the performance level compared to desktop PCs is also limited primarily by the absence of a dedicated graphics card. However, as Geekom installed two USB 4 ports, which theoretically allows you to hook up an external graphics card. This would make the Geekom Mini IT 12 suitable for gaming by doing so, which is only recommended to a limited extent with its onboard graphics solution.

To form a more concrete result in my review, I installed Counter-Strike 2 and Planet Coaster via Steam. Both games ran smoothly at 1,280 x 720 pixels, but the graphics settings were set to "Low" in each case. The mini PC is therefore more suitable for everyday office tasks and, with certain restrictions in place, image processing and video editing.

It is extremely practical for the SD card slot to be in front.
The SD card slot at the front of the housing is particularly practical! / © nextpit

I was able to import and edit images with Adobe Lightroom CC easily. Editing was smooth most of the time, making image editing fun on the Mini IT 12. Editing 4K videos without any issues was only possible by creating proxy files; Davinci Resolve works with scaled-down placeholder files instead of processing the image material in full resolution. This is a little more complicated, but you won't have any problems due to the large memory.

Speaking of memory: unlike many notebooks, you can still expand it after purchase. The chassis offers space for additional storage in a 2.5" format. You can also expand the RAM to a maximum of 64 GB.

However, as with the more expensive model, I have to note as a real disadvantage here. Geekom only installed DDR4 memory. Although there are no real drawbacks in everyday use, it would be desirable to benefit from the newer DDR5 memory. The rather noisy fan is also annoying as it is audible all the time and starts up even upon booting up.

Power supply

The Mini IT 12 is supplied with an external power supply unit. This saves Geekom both space and reduces heat in the chassis. The Mini PC cannot be powered by USB-C (which is a shame), but the power consumption is pleasantly low.


Pros:

  • More energy-efficient than full-blown desktop PCs.

Cons:

  • No power supply via USB-C.

Like all Geekom models reviewed, the Mini IT 12 comes with an external power supply unit. Geekom therefore relies on a proprietary power connection, making it impossible to power this using USB-C. Let's keep the advantages and disadvantages of the power supply brief.

You can secure the mini PC with the Kensington lock.
Thanks to the Kensington lock, you can secure the mini PC. / © nextpit

For those who love a tidy desk, it would be very practical if the Mini PC could also be powered via USB-C. This would allow the PC to be connected to a monitor and operated via a single power source. One positive aspect, though, is how the power consumption is lower than that of conventional desktop PCs. The power supply unit has a maximum output of 120 W, which experience has shown to be a little too powerful for Geekom's mini PCs.

Final conclusion

The Mini IT 12 impressed us in this review with a good performance level and modern connectivity options. Although the mini PC does not use the latest generation processor from Intel, there are two USB 4 ports that can be used to connect to external graphics cards or fast storage media. However, it is unfortunate that there are no USB-C ports in front.

Geekom does not make any major mistakes with the hardware. Our i7 variant was perfectly suitable for photo and video editing, and even certain computer games could be played smoothly on low graphics settings. A look at the technical specifications reveals how the processor is, unfortunately, not able to fully exploit its performance. At the same time, DDR4 instead of DDR5 RAM is used.

The Geekom Mini IT 12 is particularly interesting for anyone looking for a compact PC for the home office environment. The computer offers sufficient performance in a small package and, thanks to regular discount promotions from Geekom, also offers good value-for-money. However, you will have to live with a rather noisy fan, which I have experienced better with other Geekom models.

Choosing the Right Samsung Foldable

  Fold 2023 Fold 2022 Fold 2021 Flip-Phone 2023 Flip-Phone 2022 Flip-Phone 2021
Product
Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Product Image
Review
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Offer*
nextpit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
Go to comment (0)
Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Head of Editorial DE

Ben has been working in tech journalism since 2018, was a freelancer in the middle of the CoVid-crisis and has been full-time at NextPit since November '20. Since then he has tries to find the right mix between professional competence, humor and fresh perspectives in reviews and texts.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
No comments
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing