Items tagged with Mini PC

The fast growing Internet of Things (IoT) market has been a boon to the mini PC market, and the same can be said about the relatively recent maker movement. Plain and simple, geeks love to tinker. The affordable Raspberry Pi helped popularize the mini PC category by offering tinkerers cheap entry into the field, and because of that, we're seeing some interesting competitors emerge. One of them is the NanoPi Neo Plus2. The NanoPi Neo Plus2 is powerful and cheaper alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It is available online for just $25, which is $10 less expensive than the Pi 3. Based on price... Read more...
Intel is releasing a new line of "Next Unit of Computing" (NUC) devices built around its newly launched desktop Kaby Lake processor family unveiled at CES. While not a monumental leap over Skylake, Intel's Kaby Lake architecture brings with it a handful of architecture improvements and better integrated graphics, both of which are welcome upgrades in the fast growing mini PC sector.Early generation NUCs were interesting, though not necessarily exciting due to their limitations. However, NUCs have become increasingly capable little machines as of late, and for users in need of a system that can... Read more...
Forget everything you know about workstations, or at least dismiss the preconceived notion that systems serving up server grade power are typically as big as they are powerful. That might have been the case before, but HP just turned the sector upside down by introducing its Z2 Mini, a relatively tiny box measuring 2.3 inches high by 8.5 inches long and wide. HP is billing the Z2 Mini as the industry's first mini workstation. We won't argue that claim—at just 2.3 inches high, the Z2 Mini is 90 percent smaller than a traditional business-class tower desktop. Or put another way, this thing is shorter... Read more...
Depending on how old you are and where you went to school, you might memories of jabbing a potato with nails, wiring it up with copper, and using the seemingly unlikely contraption to illuminate a light bulb. That was high tech stuff back in the day, but it's a different era and today's kids are playing with far cooler toys. One of them is BBC's Micro Bit, a mini PC that's not totally unlike the Raspberry Pi. Having already been used to teach kids in the U.K. how to program, the Micro Bit is headed overseas. BBC gifted 1 million of the DIY PCs to year 7 (sixth grade) students in the U.K. last year,... Read more...
Budding programmers and makers on a budget were treated to the Raspberry Pi Zero last November, and despite carrying a shockingly low price of just $5, the Raspberry Pi Foundation was somehow "blindsided" by the level of demand. That's only going to increase now that a camera connector's been added. Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said it was "through dumb luck" that the same size FPC connector used on the company's Compute Module Development Kit happened to fit perfectly on the right hand side of the Raspberry Pi Zero. All it took was some rearranging of components and just like that, the least... Read more...
The teeny-tiny PC movement that's leading the Internet of Things (IoT) category is largely dominated by ARM-based processors, and for good reason—they're cheap and capable. That's fine and dandy, but what if you prefer to work with a x86 architecture? You have options, one of them being JaguarBoard, a mini PC project that's currently in search of funding on Kickstarter. JaguarBoard looks strikingly similar to Raspberry Pi, which is arguably the most popular credit card sized PC out there. But unlike Raspberry Pi, JaguarBoard allows users to code for a x86 architecture courtesy of its... Read more...
We cover a lot of high end gear, everything from multi-core processors with boatloads of cache to graphics cards that can run circles around Crysis. But what about the other end of the spectrum? A company called Endless Computers points out that in the developing world, nearly 5 billion people don't have access to a PC. Endless aims to change that with a low cost system that brings the Internet to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to either. Meet the Endless Mini, a $79 sphere-shaped PC. It's built around an ARM Cortex-A5 processor running at 1.5GHz with a Mali-450 GPU. It also has 1GB... Read more...
Shh, do you hear that? Neither do we, nor are we supposed to. In case you're wondering, we're listening for MSI's Cubi N mini PC, only we can listen until the cows come home and never hear a peep from the tiny box. That's because it's a fanless system designed to deliver "ultra-silent" (not just silent!) operation.In case you haven't been paying attention to the NUCs and Zboxes and every other pint sized PC of late, these mini systems are growing in popularity. You can thank advances in processor technology for that, and in this case, give a salute to Intel and its Braswell architecture. The Cubi... Read more...
We’ve always been enamored with Zotac’s tiny Zbox mini PCs for quite some time now, but the company just may have outdone itself with the new Zbox Magnus EN970. For starters, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way — you won’t find an Intel Skylake processor under the hood on the Zbox Magnus EN970. Instead you’ll find a completely competent Broadwell-based, dual-core Core i5-5200U CPU processor. But the magic happens when we move to the graphics power that is lurking within this pint-sized machine, which measures just 8.3” x 8” x 2.1”. Inside you’ll find an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 graphics card... Read more...
Give credit to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for helping to popularize the tiny and affordable PC movement that has makers and programmers of all skill levels tinkering with do-it-yourself projects. Millions of boards later, others have jumped into the category, including CHIP, the world's first $9 computer and one that could give Raspberry Pi a run for its money. In response, the price of a previous generation Raspberry Pi Model B+ has been cut to $25. That's a $10 price cut compared to its original $35 price tag. It's a long overdue one. Officially, the Raspberry Pi Foundation says that production... Read more...
If there's a company that knows how to build a pint sized PC, it's Zotac, makers of a about a million different ZBOX models (we rounded up a bit). Zotac's newest creation is the ZBOX Nano XS. It's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet packs an Intel Core i3 4030U dual-core processor based on Haswell inside. That's not all. There are two DDR3L-1600 SO-DIMM slots that support up to 16GB of RAM, an mSATA port, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort output options, 3-in-1 memory card reader, GbE LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 2.0 ports (front), two USB 3.0 ports (back), 3.5mm input and... Read more...
Your options in the mini PC space rapidly expanding. Not only that, but they're becoming more intriguing with each new release. Come October, Minix plans to launch its Neo Z64 mini, a pint-sized system powered by Intel's Bay Trail platform with Android 4.4.4 KitKat pre-installed for a mere $129. Don't care for Android? The Neo 64 can also run Windows 8.1, though you'll need to install it yourself. The Neo 64 is Minix's first 64-bit Android mini PC, and as far as first efforts go, it's not a bad offering. According to the spec sheet, it will sport an Intel Z3735F quad-core processor (64-bit, 2MB... Read more...
Perhaps in another few generations, we'll have super powerful gaming PCs that measure about the size of a fingernail. In the meantime, the mini PC movement is in full force, and Zotac is leading the charge. The newest small form factor (SFF) PC from Zotac is the Zbox PI320 Pico, an ultra-tiny system about the size of a smartphone (it measures 115.5mm x 66mm x 19.2mm). Despite its small size, the Zbox PI320 packs some impressive hardware and features. It sports an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor based on Bay Trail, 2GB of DDR3L memory, 32GB of eMMC storage flanked by a microSD card slot, 3-in-1... Read more...
Intel developed its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) device to run general purpose computing applications in a space saving form factor, but why stop there? Gigabyte's been running with Intel's NUC design and selling its own mini PCs marketed as Brix, the newest of which takes aim squarely at gamers. Called Brix Gaming, Gigabyte's latest DIY mini PC kit wields an Intel Core i5 4200H processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 GPU. That's a potent combo for a machine that measures a scant 59.6mm by 128mm by 115.4mm, but it's also only the beginning. It has two SO-DIMM DDRL slots that you can fill with up to... Read more...
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