GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC review – a new model series with some familiar features

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REVIEW – Mini PCs offer a cost effective, versatile and minimalist end point computing experience, and their popularity continues to grow as more workloads become distributed.  GEEKOM is building on their mini PC lineup with the XT12 Pro, the inaugural offering of the new XT series.  We’re putting it through its paces and cracking open the case to see what it has to offer.

What is it?

The latest in the GEEKOM lineup, the XT12 Pro is a new series of Mini PC from GEEKOM.  Sitting alongside the IT# and A# series, the XT12 Pro is running a 12th gen Intel Core i9 chipset in a prix fixe configuration.  While possibly related to it being a new model, at the time of this review there are no other Intel chipsets offered in the XT lineup – a departure from the IT series which had several chipset offerings.

We’ve reviewed several GEEKOM products here at The Gadgeteer over the past year, and they tend to hold their own.  GEEKOM has been in the computer business for over 20 years, and its current product offerings revolve around the mini PC category.

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What’s included?

  • GEEKOM XT12 Pro
  • Power adapter
  • HDMI cable
  • User guide
  • VESA mount

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Tech specs

Click to expand
Form Factor 117 x 111 x 38.5mm
CPU Intel Core 12th Gen Alder Lake I9-12900H
TDP 35W
Video Engine Processor Iris Xe Graphics
Memory Dual channel DDR4 260PIN 3200MHz SODIMM, up to 64GB
Storage M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4*4 SSD (up to 2TB)
M.2 2242 SSD SATA slot (up to 1TB)
I/O Port 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A support Power delivery & 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2 x USB 4 Gen3 Type-C support Power Delivery
1 x 3.5mm front stereo headset jack
1 x RJ45
2 x HDMI 2.0
1 x DC in
1 x Power Button
1 x Kensington Lock
Ethernet Intel 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps RJ45
Wireless LAN M.2 Wi-Fi 6E、 Bluetooth 5.2
Kensington Lock Yes
Adapter 19V6.32A
Operating system Microsoft Windows*11(64-bit)
VESA Mount Yes

 

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Design and features

The Geekom XT12 Pro mini PC has a typical square design, with ports found at the front and back of the chassis and a hardware lock mount on one side.  One of my gripes with the IT13 was a lack of USB-C in the front, and it’s still missing here.  There are two USB-C ports in the back with power delivery which is nice, and the ports are spaced well enough to not be too crowded when they’re all in use.

Opening the chassis is a matter of loosening the four screws at the base of the XT12 Pro, and lifting off the top.  The top has a heatsink and thermal pads for the SSD.  Inside, we have two upgradable memory DIMMs, a wireless network card, and an SSD on the top half of the PCB.  There are a couple screws that secure the PCB to the frame, and with those removed we have the underside where the chipset and heatsink sit.

There is a bit of an easter egg on the board… an SD card reader!  It’s on the same side as the cable lock port – which hilariously, does not have a cutout for the SD card reader to be usable when assembled.

Aside from the weirdness with the SD Card slot, there is another note for those reliant on VESA mounting.  The VESA mounting works by loosening two of the chassis screws and sliding them into the center mount slots.  Sounds easy right?  Well… a picture is worth a thousand words.  There is no orientation I can find on this mount plate that will let me attach the XT12 Pro with more than one screw.

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Assembly, Installation, Setup

There isn’t much to do to get going – plugging in power and connecting the included HDMI cable to a display is all it takes to get connected.  First boot takes you straight into the Windows 11 out of box setup which prompts you through everything.  The Windows 11 license was activated without any issues, and the XT12 Pro is ready to go!

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Performance

Mini PCs run mobile-class hardware, which is good for productivity workflows but not so much for gaming. There’s no dedicated GPU, and the components that the XT12 Pro is built around are designed for power efficiency. Running the Geekom XT12 Pro against the 3D Mark benchmarks delivers scores in line with expectations. While the game performance isn’t great, the CPU did manage to hold its own despite its age as a two-year-old chipset.

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I also like to run a stress test to really tax the cooling efficacy of the system.  A stable FPS is a good sign that the system is able to cool itself adequately under prolonged load, which the XT12 Pro did great at.

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While native gaming is clearly not the forte of the XT12 Pro, it is plenty capable at handling mobile or cloud streaming games such as via Xbox Game Pass.

In production workflows, the XT12 Pro was consistently responsive. Despite loading Chrome with ten or more tabs and running Zoom meetings alongside music streaming, the XT12 Pro had no issue delivering an enjoyable computing experience.

I can’t say the move to DDR5 memory DIMMs would make a significant difference in performance for most users of a mini PC, but it would be nice to see a new product series running the latest gen hardware.

Malware check

The GEEKOM XT12 Pro passed a malware check out of the box, and continued to pass periodic scans throughout the review period using Windows Defender with the latest definitions.

What I like about the GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC

  • Typical GEEKOM build quality
  • Solid value proposition: MSRP of the i9-12900H chipset is $617
  • System performs great for productivity workflows
  • 3 year warranty

What needs to be improved?

  • Included VESA mount just doesn’t work
  • SD Card reader needs external access
  • 12th gen i9 chipset is over two years old, and is paired with DDR4 memory

Final thoughts

The XT is an interesting new model addition from GEEKOM. On review of the marketing of the XT, it’s clear that GEEKOM is putting an emphasis on aesthetics along with the performance their hardware is known for. The matte white accents on the metal frame are refined and seamlessly fit in at home or the office. In looking at the hardware, the presence of the phantom SD Card reader suggests they’re moving existing IT model PCBs into the XT. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing… the IT series mini PC from GEEKOM is great. There are some obvious teething pains in this new model offering, particularly with the VESA mount. The XT12 Pro is otherwise a solid mini PC all around, and if the price is in line with your budget, would be an excellent option to consider.

Price: $699.00
Where to buy:  GEEKOM (5% off (USA official website): GadgXT12Pro expires 5/30/2024)
Amazon (5% off (USA official website): GadgXT12Pro expires 5/30/2024)
GEEKOM (5% off (UK official website): GadgXT12Pro expires 5/30/2024)
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by GEEKOM. GEEKOM did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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