Power Consumption & Wrap Up
When it comes to idle consumption, the 7200U is on par with the 6200U as both complete systems consumed just 7 watts here.
Despite the slight clock speed advantage, the Core i5-7200U does consume slightly less power than the 6200U under full load, we saw a 2-watt reduction here. Certainly nothing worth getting excited over but it's nice to see efficiency improvements, even if they are minor.
Placing both the CPU and GPU under full load we see that the 7200U consumed 3 watts less than the 6200U, so again nothing earth shattering but it's still positive to see a reduction in consumption for a slight performance improvement.
Having already crowned the Beebox-S as one of the best pound for pound mini PCs on the market, this small update further cements that position. In terms of performance, the 7200U is faster while consuming slightly less power. Should the Beebox-S 7200U start selling for the same price as the 6200U in the next few weeks, then that minor performance bump and efficiency improvement would be warmly welcomed.
Pricing really needs to be on point here because other than the upgrade to the new Kaby Lake chip, the rest of the computer's hardware is identical to its Skylake-based predecessor.
One of the key benefits of buying Kaby Lake is that it offers more advanced video playback capabilities and Asrock notes that the new Beebox-S supports 4K (60fps) with 10-bit HDR output. Unfortunately, this isn't a feature I can currently test. I was able to test the system's performance and unfortunately the numbers are largely disappointing. Though, by all accounts, early indications had pointed toward Kaby Lake offering no real performance advantages over Skylake.
Even with a clock speed advantage, we often only saw gains of around 2% in our application testing. The encoding benchmarks saw a boost of 2-12% but with the Kaby Lake system having up to an 11% clock speed advantage, that isn't news.
As we mentioned early in this review, we mostly focused on performance, so if you'd like to learn more about the features of Asrock's mini PC check out our review of the nearly identical Beebox-S 6200U from this past August.
Pros: Great performance for everyday workloads. Compact, solidly constructed. Well connected: USB 3.1 Type C, mSATA, 2.5" storage, and triple display output.
Cons: Clumsy SATA power/data cable implementation makes installation harder than necessary. The Beebox-S 6200U remains attractive considering Kaby Lake's minor gains.