Ace Magician AD15 Mini PC Review

The Ace Magician AD15 excels in responsiveness, performance in office work, streaming video, and casual online gaming. However, it’s less suited for intensive tasks like Plex server setup, video editing, or serious gaming. It’s ideal for those seeking a minimalistic setup and reliable performance for Windows-based tasks.

Ace Magician AD15
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The Ace Magician AD15 Mini PC is a compact, Windows-based computer ideal for desk use. It excels in everyday tasks and fits well in an office environment, also serving effectively as a simple entertainment hub for streaming video.

However, for tech enthusiasts seeking high-performance, NUC-style units, smaller and more powerful options are available elsewhere. Despite its small form factor, easily fitting in one hand, the AD15 performs comparably to a mid-range, full-sized desktop PC.

Who Should Buy the Ace Magician AD15?

Windows dominates the computing world, with over 1.4 billion monthly active devices running Windows 10 or Windows 11 as of April 2022, according to Microsoft. Among these devices are mini PCs.

The Ace Magician is suitable for those desiring a compact desktop PC setup, particularly for a home office. It also functions well as a streaming video hub, a simple home media server, or for cloud gaming on Xbox Game Pass.

My Personal Experience

I spent four months evaluating the Ace Magician AD15 in my home office, using it to write parts of this review and comparing it to my more powerful Acer Predator gaming laptop. 

My goal was to discern the performance differences between these two Windows-based computers that an average person might notice.

My use wasn’t limited to mundane, everyday tasks. I tried setting up a Plex media server with an external WD Red drive. I used cloud gaming on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to play EA’s fast-paced multiplayer game, Star Wars Battlefront II.

I have been using various Windows-based PCs since the mid-1990s. I have bought and built various desktop PCs, and owned models from most major U.S. brands including Acer, ASUS, Dell, and HP. 

First Impressions

The Ace Magician features a tower-style design, measuring approximately 7 inches in height, 6 inches in width, and 2 inches in depth. Its dime-sized power button is conveniently located at the top. The front panel includes an audio-out port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB Type-C port.

ace-magician-ad15
(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)

The rear sports two additional USB 3.0 ports, a pair of HDMI ports, an Ethernet LAN port, and a power port, along with a Kensington Security Slot at the bottom.

While the black plastic casing seems sturdy, it might not endure a serious fall. The base, slightly wider at the bottom, adds stability to the otherwise not-so-tall unit.

Starting up the Ace Magician for the first time was straightforward, following standard procedures for initiating Windows 11. I opted for Google Chrome as my web browser, quickly replicating my work setup with Google Docs and Sheets.

Ease of Use

Anyone familiar with a Windows PCs can use the Ace Magician AD15. 

However, users must supply their own keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Setting up the unit was straightforward, with minimal profile setup required. Notably, the case features two removable QR codes for customer service.

I easily connected an external hard drive containing a large media file collection. Using the external hard drive was a plug-and-play experience.

Performance

The mini PC operates quietly and maintains a reasonable temperature during typical computing tasks like writing and editing.

While not ideal for graphics-intensive tasks such as Adobe Photoshop or video editing, the Ace Magician AD15 matches the power and performance of mid-range, general-use desktop PCs.

Specifications include a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-12450H processor at 2.0 GHz, 16 GB of RAM, and a 475 GB SSD.

Connected to dual monitors, it efficiently handled a typical day of office work and occasional live TV streaming through a web browser or the HDHomeRun app.

Ace Magician AD15
(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)

The experience was indistinguishable from using a decent $500 desktop from a major brand.

Windows 11, with a 64-bit operating system, came pre-installed. I had no problems playing movies off my Plex media server. The cloud gaming experience via the Xbox app was surprisingly good.

I used an Bluetooth-connected Xbox controller while playing Star Wars Battlefront II. I did not encounter any lag or Wi-Fi issues. Given the mini PC’s smaller hard drive, I decided not to download any Xbox games, but its performance with moderate online gaming was satisfactory.

Processor and Storage Specs

  • 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-12450H, 2.00 GHz
  • Internal SSD: 475 GB
  • RAM: 16.0 GB (15.7 GB usable)
  • 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
  • Windows 11 Pro / Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22681.1000.0

Durability

The Ace Magician feels remarkably light, with a smooth top and a power button at the front. The ports on both front and back are well-constructed. Two Phillips screws at the bottom suggest the possibility of internal upgrades, such as adding RAM.

What I Liked about the Ace Magician AD15

The AD15 stands out for its ease of setup and use. Its compact size doesn’t compromise performance, handling everyday office tasks and casual gaming effectively.

Pros: Easy setup, compact size, decent speed for most tasks.

Room for Improvement

A larger SSD, ideally 1TB, would be a significant improvement. More detailed instructions, especially for beginners or those unfamiliar with mini PCs, would enhance the user experience. Additional guidance on upgrades, like adding RAM or SSD, would be beneficial.

Cons: Limited hard drive space, sparse instructions.

Ratings for the Ace Magician AD15

Based on my hands-on testing and comparison with other models, I rate the Ace Magician AD15 an 8.3 out of 10.

Overall Rating

The Ace Magician AD15 excels in responsiveness, performance in office work, streaming video, and casual online gaming. However, it’s less suited for intensive tasks like Plex server setup, video editing, or serious gaming. It’s ideal for those seeking a minimalistic setup and reliable performance for Windows-based tasks.

Performance & Value Rating

The Ace Magician AD15 offers good value for those needing a compact, efficient PC for everyday tasks. It’s well-suited for small spaces like dorm rooms or offices, matching the performance of many full-sized desktops.

Conclusion

I recommend the Ace Magician AD15 for standard Windows-based office or school work. While not suited for intense gaming or video editing, it exceeds expectations for typical tasks.

Where to Buy

The Ace Magician AD15 is available on Amazon, typically priced at $339. A 5% discount is available with the code ACEAD1501.

Disclosure

Ace Magician provided a complimentary review unit. This review is not sponsored, and the company had no influence over the editorial process. Purchases through my Amazon links support my work, as I have an affiliate relationship with Amazon.

Methodology

I spend hundreds of hours throughout the year conducting hands-on testing of streaming services, including Peacock, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV. I do the same rigorous testing for TV antennas and TV-related hardware. Check out the review policy to see how I compare products and services.The Cord Cutting Report is a reader-supported publication, and may earn affiliate commissions when you pick a streaming service through a recommendation. Read our affiliate policy for more information.

Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.

Why you can trust The Cord Cutting Report: I do hands-on testing with TV-related hardware and services throughout the year. Find out more about the review policy.

1 thought on “Ace Magician AD15 Mini PC Review”

  1. The AD15 has good price & performance. I’ve never heard of Ace Magician, what’s their track record & support like? I purchased an HP Prodesk PC at the Micro Center (Cambridge, MA) for $99 a couple of months ago. It was in like new condition. I choose the $99 model because it included a DVD drive, that was essential to me. It came with older Windows (yuck) so immediately converted it to Ubuntu (much better). Enjoy!

    Reply

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