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Azulle Inspire Fanless Intel Kaby Lake Barebone Mini PC Review

Subject: Systems
Manufacturer: Azulle

Introduction, Specifications, and Design

Azulle's Inspire Barebone Mini PC offers a range of processor options and is, in all but the Intel Core i7 variant, a fanless system. The Inspire supports up to 32GB of DDR4 across two SoDIMMs, and supports both 2.5-inch SATA and M.2 storage. We had a chance to test out a Core i5-powered variant, and we'll explore both the design and performance in this review.

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As this is a barebone system, the Inspire - like Intel NUC computers - requires users to supply memory and storage, leaving only the processor to be selected when you order. Four Intel platform options are available, with Apollo Lake ($169.99), Core i3 ($269.99), Core i5 ($334.99), and Core i7 ($449.99) CPUs. Our review unit is equipped with an Intel Core i5-7200U, which is the $334.99 configuration, and Azulle sent over NVMe storage and DDR4 memory to make this a complete system.


Specifications from Azulle:

  • Processor:
    • Intel Apollo Lake J4205
    • Intel Kaby Lake i3-7100U
    • Intel Kaby Lake i5-7200U
    • Intel Kaby Lake i7-7500U
  • RAM: Up to 32 GB DDR4
  • Storage: MMC Optonal, SSD supported
    • M.2. Slot: x1
    • SATA: x1
  • GPU: Intel® HD Graphics 620
  • Wi-Fi: 2.4g/5.0g Dual-Band
  • Ethernet: 1x Gigabit
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • DisplayPort: x1 Port, 4K @ 60 FPS
  • HDMI: x1 Port, 4K @ 60 FPS
  • USB: x3 3.0 Port, x1 Type-C
  • SD Card Slot: x1
  • IR: IR Control
  • Audio Output: 3.5 mm Jack
  • BIOS: Wake On LAN/ PXE/Auto Power
  • Power Supply: 12V/3A
  • Dimensions: 4.9 in x 4.9 in x 1.9 inches

Pricing and Availability:

  • Inspire Mini PC Barebone - Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U: $334.99, Amazon

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Continue reading our review of the Azulle Inspire Intel Kaby Lake fanless mini-PC!

In addition to the mini PC and power adapter, the Inspire package includes a pair of removable external wireless antennae, an IR remote control, and SATA data and power cables for a 2.5-inch drive install.

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Now we'll take a look around the Inspire:

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The front of the Inspire offers basic connectivity, with USB Type-C and a standard USB 3.0 port, along with microSD, 3.5 mm audio, and an IR sensor.

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Around back we have 12V power input, full-size DisplayPort and HDMI ports, a serial port, Gigabit LAN, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The wireless antenna connectors flank the ports on either side, and above these connections you can see the vented upper chamber (which houses the heatsink). To aid in cooling, the top of the Inspire is fully vented as well:

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The base of the Inspire offers rubber feet and is attached using standard philips screws.

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The Inspire is a fairly compact mini-PC at appoximately 5 inches square and 2.5 inches high:

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Next we'll take a look inside the Inspire, and then run some system benchmarks to give you an idea of its performance.

Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
How product was obtained: The product was on loan from Azulle for the purpose of this review.
What happens to the product after review: The product was returned to the company upon completion of the review.
Company involvement: Azulle had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation: Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Azulle for this review.
Advertising Disclosure: Azulle has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.
Affiliate links: This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.
Consulting Disclosure: Azulle is not a current client of Shrout Research.

August 24, 2018 | 03:31 PM - Posted by GotYaPiecesOfSilverDidYa (not verified)

Sebastian Peak.

Where is the ZOTAC ZBOX MA551 with Raven Ridge Options!

PCPer is the next XBIT labs on the way to that dust bin of irrelevance right along with the deleted posts!

August 24, 2018 | 04:53 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Where indeed is the ZBOX MA551? If it existed as a shipping product, I'd love to review it. You go ahead and find that link for me - and I'm not talking about PR, I'm talking about a product page. Amazon or Newegg link? Anything?

Anyway, since that is a fruitless endeavor I'll briefly cover my review experience with this mini-PC for anyone who reads comments:

Azulle reached out to ask if I was interested in the Inspire. I said sure, and they sent the unit along with a stick of RAM and SSD to complete the review. They also sent over a prepaid mailing label for its return. When I took photos, tested system stability with different operating systems, and ran my benchmarks, I was finished. I packed the unit and provided RAM and SSD back in the box, adhered the return label, and took it to the post office. They got it back a couple of weeks ago. I didn't get a penny, and I didn't get to keep the review unit.

There you go! A true, and boring, account of the review process! For fans of AMD that are bothered by objective content about products not containing AMD products, I suggest starting your own site. Judging by your clever handle I assume you would have fun coming up with a domain name. How about "AMDProductsRuleAndAllReviewsOfIntelProductsArePaid.net" or "IntelDidntPayForThisAwesomeAMDSite.org" or "IAmInfantileToPutBrandLoyaltyAboveObjectivityButReadMyPostsAnyhow.com" or something like that.

August 25, 2018 | 09:16 AM - Posted by CoughzCoughzhuummmm (not verified)

How product was obtained: Does not Say!

What happens to the product after review: Does not Say!

Company involvement: Does not Say!

PC Perspective Compensation: Does not Say!

Advertising Disclosure: Does not Say!

Affiliate links: Does not Say!

Consulting Disclosure: Does not Say!

August 26, 2018 | 06:41 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

> Does not Say!

Does now. Thanks for playing.

August 26, 2018 | 07:18 PM - Posted by MustHaveFTCsOversight (not verified)

Too Late! already Cached, the whole web is watching!

Your industry needs regulation!

August 26, 2018 | 08:30 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

So? We forgot a disclaimer (something nobody else in this industry is doing, BTW). It’s now fixed.

August 26, 2018 | 10:17 PM - Posted by MoreThanOneForgottenAndCachedAlso (not verified)

Not just this one but one other and that's been cached also, and it's not only about this website as that transparency statement needs to be required of all websites. And only websites that buy their own parts outside of any “Free Sample”/NDA/Strings can have their reviews somewhat be trusted.

And by somewhat I mean not any website/s and Reviewer/s that have ever had a business relationship with any maker of any part that they are reviewing can be fully trusted. The transparency statement will reveal this.

There really needs to be government PC/Laptop/Phone/Other devices benchmarking standards and testing as well as hardware power standards testing done via some properly sanctioned testing labs, most likely administered by an academic/government institutional partnership.

The entire Press Sample review parts distribution process needs to be under the control of an Impartial Review Sample third party organization with the Parts makers(Out Of the Loop) and the Press outlets obtaining their Review Samples via random Lottery administered by that Impartial Review Sample third party organization!

Ditto for that Impartial Review Sample organization being the one to go out via a Random Review sample selection process to a Randomly chosen Retail Outlet to get those randomly chosen Press Review Samples. No more reviews before the Product is in the stores' inventory and available for purchase.

Make that process truly random with no more producers hijacking the Press Review selection process or seeding the press with review samples(Cherry Picked) and inhibiting the press with Review Manuals/NDAs and or review site favoritism.

If this process can not be accomplished then all transparency statements must have in big Red Letters a statement that the Review is done with Strings Attached and should not be Fully Trusted. This objectivity disclaimer needs to be required by Law if Actual Impartiality between Reviewer/Review Site and Product Produced/Producer Relationship Objectivity can not be independently certified by an independent certification entity! Big Red letters required for any current/past Business Relations between Reviewer/Review Website and any Reviewed Product’s Producer.

August 26, 2018 | 10:49 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Folks like you are going to complain regardless of what measures are in place. If everything you state was done, there would be people complaining that the 'Big Red letters' show favor to AMD, or to Nebraska's football team, or some other nonsensical unrelated crap they feel like spinning that day.

Also, voicing your opinion of how disclaimers should be done, on the site that appears to already be among the most transparent on disclaiming, is quite the waste of time.

> Not just this one but one other and that's been cached also

There was another? Ok, so if we missed one, how about pointing to it. We'd be happy to correct the error. Instead, you come in here with a threatening tone. Who cares if it was cached? We include the disclaimers because it is the right thing to do, not because they are required.

August 27, 2018 | 11:03 AM - Posted by ItsAboutKarmaBeingSoApropos (not verified)

No Favor to AMD, just Bad Karma on the Big Chip Monopoly's part that's coming around on so many differet levels lately. No Great love for AMD as if it is some sort of GodHead entity. Just a lack of fair and equal competition and an On Line "Reporting" Industry that more Marketing and Mind Share oriented than any true Reporting oriented that goes for getting at the truth, Zotac's lack of Raven Ridge Mini-PC options after 6 months are elapsed or otherwise.

"right thing to do" after being called out in a journalistic manner. And it should be the law that all websites need to be forced to have a transparency statment that legally has to be truthful under penalty of law. The unregulated Radio industry was in fact regulated after many such issues with regards to transparency and conflicts of interests.

The public Interest is not being served by the Internet "Reporting Industry", no not at all.

It was cached for a historical perspective reason so that others may research the Internet in its present unregulated form. Things are not how Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee would have envisioned. I often wonder if he ever expected things to turn out for the Internet/High Technology industry so very much worse than the Oil Technology industry at the Hight of the Standard Oil Trust(Abusive Monopoly Interest) actions that started the path to all Anti-Trust Regulations being enacted. Man that's one dirty High Technology Industry timeline that will be considered a New Gilded age in a simlar manner to the Gilded age of the Late 19th into early 20th centuries.

The 1980s into the 2020s will get its spot in historical infamy in this new Gilded age and man-oh-man that some dandy levels of complete corruption for the history folks to peruse over.

August 26, 2018 | 01:22 AM - Posted by backAgainToPesterYa (not verified)

"ToPutBrandLoyaltyAboveObjectivity" my AZZ, I'm happy seeing IBM/Nvidia and OpenPower Power9 take business away from Intel and also Cavium's Thunderx2 take business away form Intel. Intel still owes AMD another 10 billion added because that little few Billion fine was no where near enough to make AMD whole! Dell and any other OEM racketeering partners in crime with Intel should also have to pay!

How's that HyperThreading(TM) now Intel and the rest of your swiss cheese hadrware based side channel attack insecurity blunders! Oh yeh Intel's got IPC at the cost of security and folks are now waking up to the need to have a second choice of x86 based hardware beacuse of things like Meltdown and other threats and vulnerabilities that Intel's outsized market share has foisted on the entire market place because of lack of security related QA/QC over the years from the big chip monopoly!

August 29, 2018 | 03:20 PM - Posted by Mostly Sane (not verified)

Just stopped by to say, Thank You (for this review, and the site in general). I am a NUC/SFF fan, and always appreciate new reviews of small systems, be they AMD or Intel. Haters gonna hate, just keep on doing your good work.

August 24, 2018 | 05:28 PM - Posted by JimsGotYourMOsPegged (not verified)

Azulle reached out, incentivised and you do not spin for peanuts, but Censorship at PCper and your articles mostly and maybe that's going the XBitLabs direction to the bitbucket after a while only to be found on the way back machine.

AdordedTV pegged your operation very well, and folks Know of Intel's nefarious history! No questions about that fact that the technology industry is the heyday of Charlatans(Not The Band) and That's just the way it is.

It's best to not remove post's that are critical of Abusive Monopoly Interests and or Reply to any post that's got you upset! But your going to be known by the posts that you removed that where not necessarly deserving of being removed.

And Low and low and behold no transparency statement!

August 26, 2018 | 09:22 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Sorry about leaving out the disclaimer section on this one. It's my fault as I published the story myself.

As for the complaining and conspiracy stuff here - I'm glad to see the internet has not lost its sense of humor or sense of entitlement. 

As the disclaimer states, no one was paid, and we returned the hardware. Man I love the hardware community. ;)

August 26, 2018 | 10:36 PM - Posted by MoreThanOneForgottenAndCachedAlso (not verified)

I'm glad that Folks do not Fully Trust/Respect the online review industry because of that Industry's intrinsic conflict of interests!

It's not just this site and the PC/Laptop and devices industry is past even the Old Big Oil Industry/Ma Bell in earning this level of mistrust. Your industry is much like the unregulated Auto Industry and the levels of big money involved is not helping the Technology Indstry look any better than any of the out of control Industries of the Past. Talk about unsavory the High Technology Industry takes the cake.

August 26, 2018 | 09:52 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

> AdordedTV pegged your operation very well

If by 'pegged' you mean a defamatory and mostly false hit-piece that remains uncorrected even after he was notified of the many errors present (even reposting the video after being made aware of them), then sure. Whatever floats your boat.

> but Censorship at PCper

We have deleted comments that were obscene or otherwise inappropriate/non-civil (at our discretion - this is a privately owned website, not a government organization). AdoredTV, on the other hand, has no issues self-censoring (deleting) his own comments (5x in this link alone) from an entire thread instead of admitting he was just flat wrong. Lots more deleting going on there than here...

August 26, 2018 | 11:03 PM - Posted by MoreThanOneForgottenAndCachedAlso (not verified)

Post Wacked because it was critical of Intel, not obscene! They have no grounds for defence beacuse of their documented history!

But you do have the right to remove posts but removing some posts that are critical of a convicted Abusive Monopoly Interest will be met with objections and that Kind of Censorship is not going to be looked upon as in a positive manner by many folks.

But yes continue to remove posts, and now you attack AdoredTV. He's not perfect but he's at least He's trying!

And it's not just of this website issues you are just a single example some good and some bad!

Your Internet Based Reportng Industry is very similar to the unregulated Radio, and TV industries of the past. In fact the only real reason the Internet was so popular across the political spectrum in the US/maybe other nations also was because of that unregulated nature that appeals to the Out Of control Technology Trusts(Monopolies Most Abusive).

The Spin is large and the Money for the Mind Share market is large also. Look at all the Technology Website little fish being swallowed up by the big website industry sharks! But some of those small websites spin just as hard because they are not in the reporting business thay are just as markeing driven Mind Share oriented also.

The Internet is becoming more effluent based with each passing day and is moving on to become less of a positive amd more of a negatve and wasteful impediment to progress. It sure was fun while it lasted but that time has past. Everything has gone all polyester plaid dressed used car salesman now!

August 24, 2018 | 05:45 PM - Posted by Jim Lahey

Why isn't 10gig-e an option?

August 25, 2018 | 06:13 AM - Posted by Justin Stephenson (not verified)

Very nice. Might be a good replacement for my very old first gen i3 NUC which I put into a fanless case a while back. These work brilliantly as a media centre PC or in just about any office as a standard word processing/excel PC

August 25, 2018 | 11:07 AM - Posted by Notafanofshortreviews (not verified)

Why is there no account of thermal performance under extended load?
It is the most interesting part of any review of a fanless computer.

August 25, 2018 | 07:23 PM - Posted by ThistIsAsTheMoneyCommands (not verified)

It's a sponsored review, it's there to sell and not to inform! Lies of omission come part and parcel with any marketing funded content! Note the lack of a reviewer's transparency statement.

This SKU's creaion has been incentivized but the Processor maker, and that practice has not stopped for more than a few decades now, just look at Dell's histoty with that Big Processor Monopoly interest and see.

Never trust a review without a reviewer's transparency statement. The only somewhat trusted Reviews come from those that have -->on their own<-- purchased the hardware and have no strings attatched to the product maker and the suppliers of the parts used in that reviewed product.

The CPU/SOC, GPU, and OS, business has been under the influnce of the Monopolies now even longer than the Oil Business was allowed to remain unregulated in the past history of abusive Trusts(Abusive Monopoly Interests) of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Welcome to the New Gilded Age(since 40 years ago) of Technology Trusts. Different centuries now (Late 20th into early 21st centuries) But that corruption is the very same. The Oil Business was in fact regulated and the laws still on the books for that period(AntiTrusts laws and regulations) are largely being mostly ignored(Thank You Citizens United and the Failed campaign finance reform).

Caveat emptor!

August 26, 2018 | 09:23 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Please see comments above.

Though I do appreciate the time you put into these comments. Applied to a worthwhile endeavor, you would be quite productive!

August 26, 2018 | 11:18 PM - Posted by MoreThanOneForgottenAndCachedAlso (not verified)

You are in the Mind Share busines not the Reporting Business. That's not debatable as one marketing side spilled over to the "Reporting" side. But your website is not alone so its best to lower ones trust of the entire industry and not just any one singular website!

It only Translates into the necessary lack of trust that anyone should have relative to your entire online "Reporting" industry what with that Industry being so unregulated.

This is Just like Radio Days all over again with no FCC/FTC in existence.

And all this debate because of one deleted post.

Keep up the transparency statements and encourge other websites to follow but any Trust for Your Industry is no longer there and has not been for a good long while.

August 26, 2018 | 11:27 PM - Posted by Isaac Johnson

Guys, you really shouldn't pick on the mentally disabled like that.

August 27, 2018 | 11:31 AM - Posted by ItsAboutKarmaBeingSoApropos (not verified)

No those Guys(Mind Share for Hire) folks should not under pretense of propriety censor critical posts and not expect that their reputation will be unaffected.

And there is a whole online Mind Share for Hire Industry that needs proper FCC/FTC regulation to enforce transparency with regards to the Industry's intrinsic conflicts of interests.

That Caching helps preserve that historical record, and may even be useful in a congressional oversight manner when that Unregulated Internet issue is brought up for debate.
There is a whole load of online records but this Online PC/Technology Reporting/Review Industry, as a whole, needs to have every last little webpage recorded with all the Reviwes and Review Sample, Benchmarking controversies focused on in detail as well as its other conflicts of interests.

That Historcal Record will matter for a lot more than some folks realize.

The rule of law is not being enforced online with regards to the Internet "Technology Product Review and Reporting" Industry, that's more mind share for hire income related than gettng at the Truth related.

Some of those YouTube Related sites are much more journalistic with a higher level integrity than that Mind Share for Hire/Marketing driven Industry that's in need of actual legal/regulatory Reining In.

September 7, 2018 | 05:14 PM - Posted by Azulle (not verified)

Thank you Sebastian, for your insight.
The Azulle team does not usually chime into these articles but we have found the questions and concerns regarding this review, and a lot of false claims.
We understand that sponsorship holds a lot of assumption. However, Sebastion and the PCPER team have always held the integrity of not accepting a monetary amount from Azulle, and on a contingency of an honest review. (P.A we never pay for words, we simply offer monetary amount out of respect for the writer's time!)
When collaborating on honest reviews, we understand the device may have some negative statements, but we are confident in our products, and have never paid this cite or any other cite to write about our products as we wish. We actually take criticism as a way to develop future models.

In short - All sponsorship from Azulle be it for this article, or any other - is all for HONEST reviews. We simply provide the product and sometimes graphics team assistance for visuals, thus considering it sponsored. All thoughts and comments come from the writer.

We appreciate the Pcper Team and their integrity when it comes to reviews, and we urge readers to not discredit their hard work :)

Many Thanks,
The Azulle Family

October 6, 2018 | 12:52 AM - Posted by DaveNotARagingNitwitUnlikeSome (not verified)

Thanks for the mini-review and for taking the time to install Ubuntu. I've been looking for a fanless NUC-style replacement for my old i3-2100 music jukebox PC and this looks like a good candidate.

One thing I'd like to see in reviews like this is a quick test of the analog audio, something subjective like plugging in decent headphones and checking for hum and hiss.

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