Mini Desktop PCs: Best Buys
Group Test Mini PCs range from the downright tiny to systems that, today, seem barely smaller than a regular mini-tower machine. They encompass models based on desktop components and PCs that use laptop parts.
To recap, here are the machines I looked at this time:
- Acer Aspire X5900
- Dell Inspiron Zino HD
- Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000
- Peak Cape 7 Ion
- Shuttle XPC SG41J1
- Viewsonic PC Mini 132
In this group, the Acer Aspire X5900 trod the route of the conventional tower and delivered high performance at a reasonable cost.
Although the X5900 is small compared to a regular PC tower it looks enormous next to the Dell Inspiron Zino HD, which is an attractive PC but costs too much for what it delivers.
I was won over by the cutesy looks of the Core i3-based Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000 and could easily imagine using it as a second PC.
By contrast, the barebones Core 20-equipped Shuttle XPC SG41J1 looked dated and surprisingly large for a machine that was once the very definition of a small form-factor PC.
Peak's Cape 7 Ion and Viewsonic's PC Mini 132 are both tiny Atom-powered PCs with Nvidia ion graphics and have a great deal more in common. Unfortunately. the Cape 7 Ion is hamstrung by a single-core CPU that can't handle the heavy workload of Windows 7.
The ViewSonic, however, manages the job with aplomb and looks superb into the bargain. As such, it has to take home the Editor's Choice prize.
The Overall Winner ViewSonic PC mini 132
The Contender Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000
The Performance Leader Acer Aspire X5900
The Looker Dell Inspiron Zino HD
Next page: PCMark Vantage Results
hope you are going to review more units.
Missed out the ION330HT proper media centre , surround sound, DVDRW or BLU-Ray combo drives available
super quiet, not much bigger than a Wii.
They may only be 1st Gen ION but are available at reasonable prices.
Acer Aspire Revo R3610 Desktop PC
Got to stay I'm suprised this was missed from the review list.
A revo has been reviewed before, but no dual core ones.
The specs are below, and a well know online retailer sells it for £240 (with Win 7) or £189 with Linux, so considerably cheaper than the Viewsonic.
Intel Atom Dual Core 330
NVIDIA Ion Chipset
2GB DDR2 800MHz
Configuration: 2 x 1GB
Expandable to 4GB
2 x soDIMM slot
NVIDIA Ion - GeForce 9400 - up to 896MB
High Definition Audio Support
LAN: Gigabit Ethernet, Wake-on-LAN ready
WLAN: 802.11 b/g
Come on, there are far superior, cheaper alternatives to the Viewsonic;
Acer Aspire Revo R3610 - same specification, only £240 at eBuyer
ASRock ION330 - different specs between £200 (only missing the wireless) and £360 with a BluRay drive (but no OS)
Ugly is the new... blah!
Be it cars, clothes or - now apparently - mini PCs, we are going through a phase of extreme ugly at the moment.
Other than the ViewSonic unit - that looks refreshingly nice - a particularly hard feat to pull off in that colour!
Oh..no Asrock ION box?
Just as powerful as the Viewsonic...er..creation and looks far better too.