The iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC is a compact yet powerful computer designed to cater to the needs of tech enthusiasts and IT professionals. With processor options including the Intel Processor N95 and the more robust i3-N300, users can tailor their experience to their specific requirements. The Mini PC boasts onboard LPDDR5 memory, available in 8GB or 16GB configurations, facilitating efficient multitasking and quick data processing.
Storage is well addressed, supporting NVMe/SATA M.2 2242 SSDs up to 2TB, providing users with abundant and fast storage options. Connectivity is another highlight, with three Intel i226-v 2.5G network cards and an additional Realtek 2.5G network card, complemented by various USB ports, including USB-A 3.2 Gen1 and Gen2, and a USB-C 3.2 Gen2 port. The device's 4K-ready HDMI 2.0 and Type-C display outputs cater to users needing high-resolution display capabilities. The iKOOLCORE R2 is compatible with a broad spectrum of operating systems and software platforms, adding to its versatility. Its cooling system, which includes a full-copper heatsink and a PWM-controlled fan, ensures efficient heat management even under load.
|Choice between N95 or i3-N300 processors
|Realtek NIC compatibility issues with certain software
|Up to 16GB of fast LPDDR5 memory
|Non-upgradable memory limits future expansion
|Variety of high-speed Ethernet and USB ports
|Optional Wi-Fi modules incur additional cost
|Dual 4K display outputs for high-resolution setups
|Case temperature may rise during intense operations
|Broad compatibility with multiple operating systems
|Efficient cooling system with full-copper heatsink and fan
Detailed Insights into the iKOOLCORE R2
The iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC showcases what is possible in small form factor computing. Despite its diminutive dimensions of just 2.96 x 2.96 x 2.05 inches, it doesn't compromise performance. Users can choose between the N95 and the i3-N300 processor, depending on whether they prioritize energy efficiency or computing power.
Memory is a strong suit for the iKOOLCORE R2, with LPDDR5 RAM at 4800MHz, ensuring smooth operation. The device's M.2 2242 SSD support means users can enjoy quick data retrieval and ample storage space. Connectivity is robust, with three Intel i226-v 2.5G network cards for reliable high-speed networking and an additional Realtek network card for expanded connectivity options. The USB ports, including a versatile USB-C port with DisplayPort 1.4a support, are plentiful and cater to various peripheral and display connections.
Compatibility with a wide array of operating systems, from Windows and Linux to specialized platforms like pfSense and VMware ESXi, makes the iKOOLCORE R2 a flexible choice for many applications. The AMI EFI BIOS adds features like Auto Power-on and Wake-on-LAN, enhancing the device's utility in diverse computing environments.
The cooling system is meticulously designed, featuring a full-copper heatsink and a PWM-controlled fan for the processor, while the M.2 SSD benefits from passive cooling via the CNC metal top cover. This combination ensures that the iKOOLCORE R2 operates efficiently and remains cool, even when tackling demanding tasks.
Reviewer Insights on the iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC
The iKOOLCORE R2 has attracted the attention of several tech reviewers, each offering valuable insights into its performance and design.
ServeTheHome commended the iKOOLCORE R2 for its tiny stature and energy efficiency, packed with an impressive feature set. The inclusion of an 8-core Intel Core i3-N300 processor and four 2.5-gig Ethernet ports were particularly praised. Notable upgrades from the R1 Pro model were well-received, such as the USB 3 port doubling as a DisplayPort and the combo audio jack in a USB-C port. On the flip side, the missing microSD card slot found in the previous generation was noted as a drawback. The reviewer pointed out the non-user-upgradable LPDDR5 RAM, and they wished for more RAM options—standout features of the cooling system's quiet operation and low power consumption during testing. ServeTheHome regards the iKOOLCORE R2 as an excellent choice for a compact home lab node, offering portability and impressive performance. Watch the full review on YouTube.
Everything Smart Home focused on the iKOOLCORE R2's potential as a Homelab server. The CNC aluminum chassis was appreciated for its aesthetics and thermal management capabilities. The mix of Intel-based and Realtek-based Ethernet ports and the internal upgrades, like the i3-N300 CPU, were highlighted as significant improvements. The R2's capacity to handle various Homelab tasks, including VM hosting and media streaming, was thoroughly tested and confirmed to be exceptional. The device's power efficiency was also commended. Everything Smart Home recommended the iKOOLCORE R2 for those seeking a compact and efficient Homelab solution. Watch the full review on YouTube.
2GuysTek provided a detailed look at the iKOOLCORE R2, noting its suitability for home labs where balancing performance with power consumption is essential. The consistent external design with the R1 Pro and the hardware options offered were appreciated. The Realtek Ethernet port's potential compatibility issues were noted, but overall connectivity options were seen as a benefit. The i3 N300 CPU's performance was highlighted as a good balance between power and consumption, and the pricing was deemed competitive. 2GuysTek recommended the iKOOLCORE R2 for virtualization tasks and as a firewall, suggesting the 16 GB RAM model for added flexibility. The reviewer expressed satisfaction with iKOOLCORE's continuous improvement in their mini PC offerings. Watch the full review on YouTube.
Customer Reviews for the iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC
Customer feedback on the iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC has mainly been positive, highlighting the device's design, performance, and features. One IT professional faced challenges with the Realtek NICs when setting up a pfSense firewall but found a workaround to resolve the issues. Another customer admired the Mini PC's design, noting its small footprint and high-quality finish. The passive heat dissipation for the SSD and the CPU's copper PWM heat dissipation were praised despite the case becoming warm to the touch. Customers also appreciated the silent operation and performance, the support for dual protocol SSDs, and the option to add a wireless network card.
A repeat customer who previously owned the R1 model expressed contentment with the R2's upgrades, such as improved temperature control and reduced fan noise. The integrated graphics card's performance and the resolution of initial issues with HDMI sound and the startup screen contributed to a positive experience. The anticipation for the upcoming R3 model reflects the customer's satisfaction with the iKOOLCORE R2.
Customers who pre-ordered the Mini PC lauded its heavy yet compact build, meticulous craftsmanship, and aesthetically pleasing design. The manufacturer saw extra accessories like additional foot pads as a thoughtful touch. The machine's ability to maintain performance under full load and effective shell heat dissipation were highlighted as essential advantages.
The iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC has garnered praise for its thoughtful design, robust performance, and features. While minor issues have been noted, they have yet to impact positive customer feedback significantly.
Conclusion: Who Benefits from the iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC?
The iKOOLCORE R2 Mini PC is ideal for individuals seeking a compact, high-performance solution for their networking and server needs. It is particularly well-suited for IT professionals and enthusiasts looking to set up a next-generation firewall, a home lab, or a small server environment. The Mini PC's compatibility with various operating systems and software platforms makes it versatile for different applications.
However, users needing upgradeable memory or more extensive storage capacity may want to explore other options. The iKOOLCORE R2's non-upgradable LPDDR5 memory and single M.2 slot could limit future expansion possibilities. For those interested in comparing the iKOOLCORE R2 with other Mini PCs, Starry Hope's Mini PC Comparison App is a valuable resource to help make an informed decision.