Evesham/AOpen Mini PC Plus
The Intel-powered alternative to the Mac Mini
Performance-wise the Mini PC Plus isn't a scorcher, but then again, that isn't the purpose of a machine such as this. Still, with a SYSMark 2004SE score of 138 it is more than up to everyday tasks. The integrated graphics core is really its biggest flaw as it i's the reason for the low graphics score in PCMark 05 as well as the 3DMark03 score of a mere 900. It 's definitely not a gaming machine, but the low graphics score in PCMark also reflects its video playback capability.
As a stylish, small desktop machine there is nothing wrong with the Mini PC, but I would imagine that most people, myself included, would like to be able to use this as a full Media Centre PC.
Without surround sound output it's not really suited as a main system though it might suffice for a secondary one. Ultimately it's the price that would put the breaks on me buying one. At £699 inc VAT it's £200 more expensive than a Mac Mini that has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth included. The Mac does have a slower CPU, but it also has a dedicated graphics chip.
This is why my positive initial impressions of the Evesham Mini PC didn't last, but I can still see many buying it because of its looks and size. However, I'd recommend hanging on for the next generation of machines which will hopefully rectify the issues, such as the lack of surround sound, and possibly even add a dual-core processor.
The Evesham Mini PC Plus is the Intel-powered alternative to the Mac Mini. It looks good, but doesn't offer enough to be a Mac beater, at least not at its current price.