Items tagged with Mini PC

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 expensive version of Raspberry Pi was upgraded with one of the most frequently demanded missing features.... 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 Intel Atom Z3735G (Bay Trail) foundation (similar to the CPU you'll find in Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2).... 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 of RAM and 24GB of solid state storage. Connectivity options consist of three USB 2.0 ports (two on... 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 N features an Intel Celeron N3150 processor built on a 14nm manufacturing process, which provides... 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 with 1280 CUDA cores, a 192-bit memory interface and 3GB of GDDR5 memory at your disposal. Interestingly... 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 optimizations have made the Raspberry Pi Model B+ cheaper to produce, hence the price cut, though... 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 outputs, and Intel HD Graphics 4400. "Zotac is a pioneer when it comes to packing as much performance... 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 cache, up to 1.83GHz), 2GB of DDR3L memory, 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader 802.11n Wi-Fi,... 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 memory card reader, HDMI output, 10/100 LAN, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, three USB 2.0 ports,... 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 16GB of 1333MHz or 1600MHz RAM, support for both an mSATA SSD and a standard 2.5-inch SSD/HDD, built-in... Read more...
A new flavor of Raspberry Pi is going to lead to some interesting mods, or so that's the hope. Raspberry Pi is being shrunk down and baked onto a SODIMM module, which modders and makers will be able to plug into their own home brewed Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). If that's above your skill or interest level, the Raspberry Pi Foundation also has in its recipe book a Compute Module I/O board to help designers get started. The SODIMM contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi -- BCM2835 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB eMMC flash storage (essentially the equivalent of having an SD card in the Pi). All of those parts are integrated into a 67.6mm by 30mm board that fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector.... Read more...
You may find that your next PC is a pint-sized model about the size of an optical drive, or even smaller. Mini PCs are becoming more powerful, making them viable options for people who really just need a daily driver for getting around on the web and productivity chores, or even some light gaming. Underscoring that point is Gigabyte's upgraded BRIX Ultra Compact PC Kit. "This new and updated Gigabyte BRIX builds on the incredible success and popularity of our original compact PC design," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of Gigabyte Motherboard Business Unit. "We’re confident end users will enjoy the improved overall performance that the latest Intel Core processors offer, as well as... Read more...
Want to know what would happen if you took Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and swapped out the chassis for one with a "Zen design," installed premium SonicMaster speakers into the device, and traded the built-in Wi-Fi card for one that supports 802.11ac? You'd end up with Asus' slim, sleek, and stylish VivoPC. The VivoPC is essentially a better looking NUC with some intriguing upgrades, though to be fair, it's also a somewhat larger box. Intel's NUC measures 4.59 inches by 4.41 inches by 1.55 inches, whereas the VivoPC measures 7.48 inches by 7.48 inches by 2.21 inches. It's a bigger device for sure, though we wouldn't classify either one as "big" in of itself. Packed inside the aluminum... Read more...
Stealth specializes in the industrial computer and peripherals market, and its newest product, the LPC-480FS, fits right in with that mold. It's a rugged mini PC that doesn't have any cooling fans, so other than any electrical noise that might possibly emanate from the system, it's silent rig designed for a variety of demanding applications, the company says. Heat is the biggest concern with any PC, especially silent systems that skimp or skips on active cooling. In this case, the system is housed in an extruded aluminum chassis that acts like a giant heatsink. The system measures just 6.1 inches wide by 10 inches deep by 2.17 inches high, roughly the size of a hard cover book, according to Stealth's... Read more...
If you're into mini PCs and gadgets that can fit in the palm of your hand, you have to be stoked at the growing number of options to choose from. The latest such device is the BeagleBone Black, a next-generation open-source mini PC from BeagleBoard.org that's the size of a credit card and costs just $45. Driving the BeagleBone is a 1GHz SitaraT AM335x ARM CortexT-A8 processor from Texas Instruments. This upgraded version of the original also sports twice as much RAM as before (512MB versus 256MB), has 2GB of onboard flash storage to run pre-loaded Linux software (you can also install Android), and boasts a micro-HDMI port, a new addition to the Black model. Other features include USB and Ethernet... Read more...
If you snooze you lose, and so it goes with the $25 Model A version of the Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized Linux PC that became available to purchase in the U.S. on Easter Sunday. Despite the holiday being a time to relax, plenty of people in the U.S. saw fit to fork over their financial information and order the Model A, which is now sold out. Texas-based Allied Electronics listed both the Model A and slightly more expensive Model B ($35) yesterday morning, and both are out of stock at the time of this writing. "Due to limited supply of the Raspberry Pi Model A, we are not offering pre-orders or backorders on the product at this time," Allied Electronics states on the item's product page.... Read more...
In Field of Dreams, farmer Ray Kinsella heard a voice that said, "If you build it, he will come." The Raspberry Pi Foundation must have heard a similar whisper about building a low-cost PC, and like Kinsella, the company was wise to listen, having likely sold a million Raspberry Pi boards to date. "The folks at element 14/Premier Farnell announced today that they alone have now made and sold more than half a million Raspberry Pis. They’re only one of two official distributors; we don’t have completely up-to-date figures from RS Components yet, but Farnell’s news suggests that we’re well on the way to having sold our millionth Raspberry Pi," the Raspberry Pi Foundation... Read more...
Giada announced a new mini PC that features an NVIDIA GT610 GPU. The new i35G mini PC series also features an Intel Atom D2500 series processor, up to 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard disk drive, and support for 1080p high definition graphics. As a mini PC, the i35G is designed to keep power consumption to a minimum. As you should expect, this PC has a small footprint, measuring about 7.56 x 6.10 x 1.02 inches. For connectivity, the i35G supports HDMI, remote control capabilities, VGA, Bluetooth, and five USB 2.0 ports. The PC also has a memory card reader. The Giada i35G series is available for $274. Giada Announces i35G Series for Consumer & Commercial Applications Low Power Consuming Mini-PC... Read more...
Zotac is sort of the Zen master of small form factor PCs. The company's ZBOX line of mini PCs are typically stylish, feature packed, and surprisingly powerful considering their small packages, which you can tuck away in a home theater rack or attach to the back of your PC monitor or HDTV. In an attempt to take things to a whole new level, Zotac has just unveiled its extra small ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus mini PC. According to Zotac, the Nano XS flavored ZBOX is the world's smallest mini PC capable of delivering a high definition desktop computing experience. It's 17 percent smaller than previous generation ZBOX systems with a 106mm chassis that's just 37mm tall, plenty small enough to "easily slip... Read more...
Is there any company more invested in the mini PC market than Zotac? Maybe there is and maybe there isn't, but either way, no one would argue that Zotac is one of the busiest bodies in the industry when it comes to Small Form Factor (SFF) PCs destined to find a place in your living room, whether its displayed prominently in your A/V rack or hidden out of sight behind your swank HDTV (or PC monitor, as it were). Adding to an already crowded lineup are three new models Zotac unveiled at CeBIT 2012. Zotac ZBOX ID82 Plus First up is the ZBOX ID82 Series. This is a standard ZBOX system with an Intel Core i3 2330M processor (2.2GHz, dual-core, 3MB cache), Intel HD Graphics 3000, HDMI & DVI-I outputs,... Read more...
Zotac is emerging as a major player in the mini PC market and you'll find a boatload of ZBOX units if you visit the company's website. The one we have with us today is the ZBOX ID80 Plus, one of the newer units built around Intel's recently released Atom "Cedar Trail" refresh. It comes equipped with an Intel Atom D2700 processor, 2GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, 320GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M GPU. There's also onboard Wi-Fi, Gigabit LAN, HDMI output, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 support, and an IR receiver with a media remote bundled in. All this and quite a bit more comes packed in a diminutive box that measures 7.40 inches x 7.40 inches x 1.73 inches that you can plop inconspicuously into your... Read more...
A new era of home entertainment is upon us. If you think about how you watch TV today versus 10 or even five years ago, it's probably a completely different experience. Nearly everything is served up in high definition, digital video recorders (DVRs) are now the norm and not the exception, and streaming services are making a big push to be the primary way in which you view content traditionally served up by cable and satellite TV. Unless you live way out in the boonies, you're probably rocking a broadband Internet connection, which is your gateway to any number of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, VUDU, Pandora, and so forth. With so much online content to choose from, you could... Read more...
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