NOTICE: This review is based off of research about the separate hardware that is used in the AcePC AK1. Due to advancements in Cloud Gaming tech, their is a possibility that the hardware in this device is no longer viable for Cloud Gaming.
Small form factor and mini computers are crazy popular as of late, especially with those who like the minimalistic look on their desk, and those who want a small media server to tuck away behind their TV. With Shadow, this Mini computer can turn into a beast of a gaming PC as well. In fact, Shadow themselves sell a "Mini Computer" known as the Shadow Ghost, but with availability being limited, you may end up looking elsewhere. That is where other Windows 10 Mini PC's may come into play, especially the AcePC AK1. At $190, the AcePC AK1 is a decent priced Mini Computer. We will be reviewing the hardware in this Mini PC to see if it is a good candidate for your Shadow gaming setup.
Starting with the processor, the AcePC AK1 sports a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron J3455 with a burst frequency up to 2.3GHz. This chip has Intel HD Graphics 500 integrated in it, with the ability to support resolutions up to 3840x2160 at 30hz via its HDMI 1.4 ports. It also has the ability to decode both H.265 and H.264 video streams.
The AcePC AK1 ships with 4GB DDR3 memory. A decent amount of memory for some stand productivity work like web browsing, word documents, etc. It is also more then enough to run your Shadow client without many issues.
2x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
2x HDMI 1.4
1x 3.5mm Audio Out
1x SD Card Reader
1x 1gbit ethernet
Honestly, this is some nice I/O for a mini PC. With 4 total USB ports, you can add all your necessary devices, and the 2x HDMI 1.4 outputs allow for dual monitor support. The 1GBit ethernet port is wonderful for Shadow, and this device also supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0.
This device comes with 64GB eMMC storage with the ability to add your own 2.5in SSD/HDD or an mSATA SSD. The small amount of storage isn't ideal if you plan on storing files on it, but if you are just planning to run it as your Shadow Client, it is more then enough.
The AcePC AK1 is a small, yet powerful machine that will do just fine streaming Shadow. The small size of this device will also help create a nice and clean desk space, without a large clunky Computer Case, or laptop sitting on your desk. The AcePC AK1 is a fully working Windows 10 PC as well, so you are able to browse the web, and do light productivity work without using Shadow. This is a great computer if you are looking for a Shadow Ghost alternative in terms of size!