We have been working for months to bring our readers the Intel Core i3 N305 performance. Ever since we heard about Alder Lake-N, we have been excited. With five systems ordered with the N305, the first to arrive was the Beelink EQ12 Pro. This mini PC uses the N305, a 15W TDP CPU with eight cores, and a new Intel graphics engine to do something that we have been waiting to see for over a decade. A usable fully E-core machine.
Beelink EQ12 Pro Overview
As we have for many of these STH Mini PC series reviews, we have a video for this one:
Thanks to the STH YouTube members for making buying this unit possible. As always if you want to help us buy these units, you can join the channel to help the budget. We also suggest opening the video in its own window, tab, or app for a better viewing experience.
Our Beelink EQ12 Pro is the high-end unit of this series. With the Pro model, we get a fully configured machine with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed. More on Windows in our key lessons learned.
In terms of our configuration, we got 16GB of DDR5 and a 512GB NVMe SSD. The catch is that the NVMe SSD is on a PCIe Gen3 x1 link.
We got WiFi as well, but it was an Intel AX101 unit so only a 1×1 WiFi 6 solution. The key thing to keep in mind is that at just about every turn there was cost-cutting in this unit versus some of the higher-end systems we have seen.
Beelink EQ12 Pro External Hardware Overview
The front of the system has two USB 3 Type-A ports and a headset port. Along with the power button, the CLR CMOS button, a Beelink staple, is present.
The sides of the system have vents.
The material is very plastic feeling. This is one of the cost-saving measures in this system.
The rear of the system has a USB Type-A and Type-C port. There are two HDMI ports and two 2.5GbE LAN ports (Intel i225-V B3.) It is nice to have that level of networking on a system like this.
The top of the system is a textured plastic with the Beelink EQ logo.
The bottom of the unit has Beelink’s large rubber feet. Beelink does better than companies like Minisforum here because it has large rubber feet with through screws.
Beelink also has the instructions to get into BIOS as well as a pull tab for the bottom here.
Next, let us get inside the system.