NEC's LaVie Mini Tiger Lake Handheld PC Does Its Best Nintendo Switch Impression

LAVIE MINI modern display 2
Tiny handheld PCs are not exactly a foreign concept to us here at HotHardware. Just a few weeks ago, we brought you news of the GPD Win 3, which is powered by up to an 11th generation Core i7-1165G7. That handheld gaming PC has a sliding display that reveals a QWERTY keyboard beneath, but not everyone is familiar with the GPD brand.

Luckily for us, Lenovo and NEC might have the next best thing in the form of the LaVie Mini, which is an extension of the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) form factor from over a decade ago. The LaVie Mini has a tiny 8-inch display with a respectable resolution of 1920x1200 (WUXGA). Powering the machine is a modern Core i7-1180G7 Tiger Lake processor paired with 16GB of LPDDR4x-4266 memory. Also onboard is a 256GB SSD, stereo speakers, a 26WHr battery, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

LAVIE MINI modern display

That's a lot of potent hardware packed into a handheld device that weighs just 1.28 pounds. The tiny machine has a diminutive QWERTY keyboard with backlit keys, but there is no touchpad. Instead, there is an optical touch sensor below the space bar that handles navigation duties.

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But where things get interesting is with the optional accessories that attach to the LaVie Mini. There is a gaming controller that attaches and turns it into a legit gaming device. You'll find a directional pad, dual thumb sticks, and four buttons. There also are triggers at the top of the controller, along with a layout reminiscent of what you'd find on Xbox controllers. There is also an optional dock that allows you to hook the LaVie Mini up to your TV. You'll find HDMI-out along with USB-C and USB-A connections for your peripherals.

At this point, the LaVie Mini is simply being labeled as a prototype, and there are no details on a production release or pricing.