Giada Launches Compact yet Powerful i80 Mini-PC

Giada is no stranger to the compact systems, but the new i80 takes it to a whole new level with power in a compact chassis. The tiny i80 mini-PC is built on Intel’s NUC concept that packs plenty of power in a compact form factor and coupled with a fashionable appearance, as they call it. The i80 is using the latest Skylake-U processors and support dual 4K UHD resolution that makes it perfect for office work.

The Giada i80 features both HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort connectors for your monitors and they are powered by an Intel Graphics 520 GPU unit. There are two different models with different CPU, but other than that the two models are the same. One uses an Intel Core i5-6200U processor with 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz boost while the other uses the smaller i3-6100U processor with 2..3GHz and no Turbo Boost 2.0.

You are able to install up to 16GB DDR3L-1600 MHz in these units via the two SO-DIMM slots which should be plenty for most work situations. The two slots also allow for dual-channel memory usage that gives a clear benefit over units that only feature one slot.

There are plenty of connection and control options. Starting on the front, there are two USB 3.0 ports next to a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR receiver.

The connections continue on the rear where we find the previously mentioned Mini-DisplayPort that supports 4K 60Hz resolutions and the HDMI port that allows 4K resolutions with 24Hz. There are two more USB 3.0 ports on the rear where you also find an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connector and a TF card reader.

On the inside, you will find an integrated Realtek ALC662 audio codec that powers the two-in-on jack on the front. The Ethernet is powered by Intel’s i219LM controller.

You can expand the function with a full-length Mini-PCIe card that supports mSATA2, a half-length Mini-PCIe Wi-Fi or BT module, and install one mSATA3 drive as well as one 2.5-inch SATA3 drive with a maximum height of 7.5mm. That is quite a bit of expansion options for such a tiny system. speaking of tiny, the system only measures 116.6 x 111 x 47.1 mm

The larger i80-B5000 model comes with a suggested retail price of $380, but the price for the smaller i80-B3000 model wasn’t revealed at this time. Further details can also be found on the official product page.

Intel’s Skull Canyon NUC Ready For Gaming

Traditionally if you wanted to play video games on a PC you needed a full case PC with all the components within the case taking up space. In recent years, the craze of small gaming rigs has seen gaming laptops catch up with the level of power they offer for your daily gaming needs. This week though a new competitor may be on the market with Intel’s new Skull Canyon NUC preparing to take on gamers needs.

Typically when dealing with NUC’s (Next Unit of Computing. A term used to define mini-PC’s), you were offered limited power in exchange for a pocket PC but the Skull Canyon NUC seems to break this by offering an i7-6770HQ.

The difference between this and a traditional i7 or i5 is that for most units they would contain 24 execution units for the graphics. The i7-6770HQ offers you a whole new level with 72 execution units. The Skull Canyon will also support Razer Core, Razers latest creation that will allow for external graphics card set ups.

Supporting thunderbolt 3.0, USB3.1 and even HDMI 2.0, you could enjoy streaming 4k content with ease before switching over to your games.

In regards to price, you should be able to find one on the market as soon as May for $650 (£450 approximately) but you will need to provide the RAM, SSD and operating system but with the overall price for a system on a 16GB and 256GB SSD set up coming in under $1,000, miniature PC’s could soon be showing up at gaming tournaments.

Shuttle’s New DH170 1-Liter Mini-PC Now Available in the UK

Shuttle has been on a roll as of late, releasing one new system after another, but one of the most impressive ones is probably the DH170 which features impressive options in a tiny 1.3-liter chassis. Now the Shuttle DH170 is officially available in the UK. The XPC Slim Series DH170 system is built upon the H170 chipset with support for the latest Skylake processors (up to 65W TDP) while only being 43m thick.

The Shuttle DH170 can be equipped with up to 32GB of dual-channel DDR3L 1600 RAM, but there is only one 2.5-inch SATA3 drive bay. Then again, there are limits to what fits inside such a small system so that’s an understandable limitation and one drive should still be plenty for most usage scenarios for this system. While I just said that it only had room for one drive, that’s technically incorrect as the DH170 also features an M.2 2260/2242 Type B M key socket and a Half-size Mini-PCIe socket.

You get an impressive external connectivity with the DH170 as it features four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, and two Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers (i211 and i219LM) that support teaming. It also features a Realtek ALC662 HD audio solution as well as triple monitor connection via two DisplayPort and one HDMI connector. A wireless antenna fixture, serial ports, and a card reader are also included in the DH170.

This tiny reliable system is rated for continues 24/7 usage in 50-degree environments without the smart fan having any trouble keeping everything cool. It’s also economical with its 90W power supply. The DH170 is available now for £194 (VAT excluded).

Key Features:

  • Intel H170 chipset supports the latest Intel Skylake processors
  • Compact 1.3-liter chassis only 43mm thick
  • Rugged design and construction for 24/7 stability and high-temperature environments
  • Supports three independent displays even at 4K resolution; two DisplayPorts and one HDMI
  • Ample connectivity; four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, two RS232; M.2., Mini PCI-E
  • VESA mount compatibility
  • Available at Entaonline.com for £194

Shuttle Announces SZ170R8 Skylake-Based Mini-PC

Small form factor computers are the future in many directions, but going too small also limits the options considerably. Shuttle has been in the Mini-PC business for a long time and they’ve found a good balance between upgradability and size with their XPC cubes. The newest family member to the Shuttle XPC series is the SZ170R8 which already gives away half of its specifications in the name: The system is a Skylake-based one with a Z170 chipset inside the new R8 chassis.

The XPS R8 chassis is only a third of the size that a traditional tower PC occupies and it still comes with plenty of space for your hardware. You can install up to four 3.5-inch hard disk drives or eight 2.5-inch drives with optional PHD3 adapter brackets.

The system features two expansion slots that allow you to install graphics cards and other adapters with a length up to 267mm. That coupled with the use of 6th generation Intel Core processors and support for up to 64GB DDR4 memory will give you a great base for almost any task.

You can install Skylake LGA1151 processors with a TDP up to 95W and use the built-in GPU units that support 4k/Ultra HD video playback, the system is well equipped for it with two DisplayPort and one HDMI port. There are plenty of USB connection, the network connection is handled by an Intel i219LM controller, and the audio by a Realtek ALC892 7.1 HD audio solution.

The SZ170R8 is equipped with Shuttle’s I.C.E 2 heat pipe technology and comes with an 80 Plus Silver certified 500W power supply to maintain long-term and high stability operation for various professional applications.

Next generation expansion modules can be installed too with the support for one M.2 and one half-size mini PCI-E expansion slots. So whether you want to install a super fast M.2 2280 SSD or a Wi-Fi module, the system is ready.

 

MSI Announces Cubi 2 Plus Mini-PC

MSI announced a new addition to their lineup of mini-PCs with the release of the new MSI Cubi 2 Plus. The new Cubi 2 Plus is built on the same principle as other mini-PCs where modern technology meets a space-saving design. This is also a system that will speak equally to normal consumers like you and me as well as businesses that want the benefits from a powerful system without the size restraints.

This new generation Cubi comes with the new mini-STX motherboard form factor that is about 29% smaller than a mini-ITX motherboard and making it the smallest motherboard with a socket design available. This is a new thing for miniPCs and it will allow you to easily upgrade the CPU should it be needed. You are still limited to the Skylake-S processors, but that in return makes the Cubi 2 Plus a very energy-efficient device that and uses less power.

The Intel H110 chipset used will allow you to install up to 32GB DDR4 memory to run at speeds up to 2133MHz. Internally you can attach one M.2 SSD and one 2.5-inch SATA drive which should be plenty local storage. Externally the Cubi 2 Plus offers both USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.1, and USB 2.0 with super charger function. It has normal Gigabit Ethernet LAN powered by an Intel i219LM controller and dual-band wireless support via an M.2 adapter.

Overall, this is a system that seems to have it all and the only weak point, if you could call it that, is the use of Intel HD graphics. You still get support for dual-monitor setup through the HDMI and DisplayPort connectors.

The new MSI Cubi 2 Plus is scheduled to be globally available by the beginning of March 2016. Next to the normal Cubi 2 Plus there also will be a vPro edition with support for Intel’s® vPro technology. With all the security benefits it now also features Intel Unite. Intel Unite lets you easily set up meetings with colleagues that are all around the world and supports sharing up to 4 screens at the same time.

Feature Highlights

  • Windows 10 Home
  • DDR4 2133HMz up to 32GB
  • 6th Intel® Skylake-S power saving processor
  • Equipped with USB3.1 Gen1 type C
  • Maximum to 1 x M.2 SSD and 1 x 2.5” SATA HDD or SSD
  • Supports 4K ultra-high definition resolution
  • Supports Dual monitors
  • Special USB2.0 port on the top of the case with supercharger
  • Supports Microsoft DirectX 12
  • Support 802.11ac Combo Card
  • Support standard VESA-mount

ZOTAC Announces ZBOX MI551 Skylake-Powered Mini PC

Zotac is pretty much the inventor of mini PCs as we know them and the ZBOX style is probably their most known series. The newest member of the ZBOX family is Skylake based and called the ZBOX  MI551.

The MI551 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-6400T quad-core processor that runs at a core speed of 2.2GHz and has a boost speed of up to 2.8GHz. The system allows for up to 16GB RAM to be installed in the two DDR3L-1600 SODIMM slots, so no DDR4 in this system.

The ZOTAC ZBOX MI551 uses the CPU built-in GPU in the form of an Intel HD Graphics 530 that supports the two DisplayPort connections for up to 4K UHD at 60Hz and the HDMI port with UHD resolutions at up to 24Hz in multi-screen mode and 60Hz with just one panel. So this tiny system is fully 4K ready.

Internally it has room for one 2.5-inch SATA SSD or HDD as well as one M.2 SATA SSD (42, 60, or 80mm length) and externally it features a combined card reader and USB 3.1 combo port for easy readout of memory cards.

Other than the previously mentioned connections you get stereo jacks for microphone and headphones, one USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 3.0, one USB B2.0 and two Gigabit Ethernet connections. The MI551 also features a built-in 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless card with external antenna.

There is an optional Plus model available as there usually is with the ZBOX systems where you, in this case, get 4GB memory and a 120GB M.2 SATA SSD pre-installed for out-of-the-box usage.

Raspberry Pi Zero Sold Out in Less Than 24 Hours

The newest member of the Raspberry Pi family, the diminutive Pi Zero, has already sold out, despite having been available for less than 24 hours.

The Raspberry Pi foundation reported that around 20,000 Raspberry Pi Zero units have been sold today alone, along with a further 10,000 that were included with the latest issue of the MagPi magazine. “You’d think we’d be used to it by now, but we’re always amazed by the level of interest in new Raspberry Pi products,” the founder of the foundation, Eben Upton told Wired “Right now it appears that we’ve sold every individual Zero we made… people are scouring the country for the last few Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Smiths branches that haven’t sold out [of the MagPi magazine].” And while the Pi producing factory in Pencoed, Wales is churning out more Pi Zeros as fast as it can, Upton was uncertain as to when the stock would be available.

For those still wanting to get their mitts on the £4 computer, not many options are available right now. Either subscribe to the MagPi magazine for 6 months, at a cost of £30, or give in to the eBay users that are reselling the device, generally at a large markup. The people at MagPi Magazine are doing their bit to help provide Pi to the masses, with a page dedicated to locations still stocking the 40th issue of the magazine.

Shuttle Announces DH170 Skylake Based 1-Liter Mini-PC

Shuttle is well known for their barebone systems and as all manufacturers, they are busy releasing Skylake based systems to work with Intel’s latest generation of processors. We’ve already met the XPC SH170R6 a few weeks ago, but the newest one is even smaller. The Shuttle DH170 Mini-PC is a 1-liter barebone and it comes with a surprising amount of connectivity options for the size.

Shuttle’s DH170 is built around the Intel H170 chipset and it supports Skylake Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors with a maximum TDP of 65W. You can equip it with up to 16GB DDR3L SO-DIMM memory in its two SO-DIMM slots, so you don’t even have to spring for DDR4 memory here. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, is up to you and your needs in the area.

You get four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, two Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers (i211 and i219LM) that support teaming. It features Realtek ALC662 HD audio as well as triple monitor connection via two DisplayPort and one HDMI connector. Wireless antenna fixture, serial ports, and a card reader are also included in the DH170. There is only one 2.5-inch SATA drive bay, but then again, there are limits to what fits inside such a small system. One drive should be plenty for most users of such a system. I just said that it only had room for one drive and that is technically correct, at least when we talk traditional drives. The DH170 also features an M.2 2260 Type B M key socket and a Half-size Mini-PCIe socket.

You can mount it via default VESA system and the DH170 is only 43mm thick on its own. It is also approved for 24/7 non-stop operations thanks to the heat-pipe cooling technology and smart fan design together with the use of industrial solid capacitors.

Giada Unveiled the Compact and Fan-Less F210 Mini-PC

Giada’s newest mini-PC packs quite a punch in the specifications despite coming with a low price. The Giada F210 mini-PC is built with an efficient Intel Cherry Trail Processor making it a perfect thin-client. There are two models of the F210 that differentiate in onboard memory and eMMC storage. There is a small model with 1GB memory and 8GB eMMC storage and a bigger brother with 2GB memory and 32GB eMMC storage. Both come with Wi-Fi, but it is only the bigger of the two that also has Bluetooth. The F210 is compatible with both Windows, including Windows 10, and also Android for those who prefer to run that.

The Giada F210 comes in an all-metal chassis that provides better protection for the internal parts, both from damage as well as electromagnetic interference (EMI). The design also helps the unit when running as 24/7 units over long periods of time thanks to the improved heat dissipation and general low working temperature. It only measures 116.6 x 107.2 x 30 mm and it can be VESA mounted too.

The Giada F210 has plenty of connection abilities despite the tiny size. You get three USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port on the front next to the Microphone in and audio out connectors. On the side of the unit you’ll also find a COM port.

TheF210 also allows you to setup dual graphics output with both a VGA and HDMI connector. Gigabit Ethernet is also part of the deal so you don’t have to rely on the included WiFi ability.

Kangaroo: The Portable $99 Windows 10 PC

The Kangaroo, developed by InFocus, is a small $99 Windows 10 PC designed to be versatile and portable. While not as small as a Intel’s tiny Compute Stick, or even a Raspberry Pi, InFocus’ Kangaroo is small enough to fit in a pocket and includes an HDMI dock for easy connection to a TV or monitor, the idea being that multiple docks around your house allows you to move your PC to different rooms without fuss.

The Kangaroo runs on an Intel “Cherry Tail” Atom x5-Z8500 processor, the same chip contained within many popular tablets, and has 2GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage, a microSD slot, and a fingerprint reader. Its internal battery carries enough charge for up to 4 hours use, but also includes a MicroUSB charger. Ports include one USB 2.0, one USB 3.0, and an HDMI port.

While the Kangaroo runs Windows 10, it could be of some appeal to iOS users, thanks to its Lightning-to-USB cable, which allows the PC to use an iPhone or iPad as a touchscreen monitor.

Full Technical Specifications:

OS Windows 10 – 64bit Home
CPU Intel Atom x5-Z8500 Processor (2M Cache, up to 2.24 GHz)
Graphics Intel® Processor Graphics Gen8
Video Memory Sharing System Memory
Memory 2GB LPDDR3
Hard Drive 32GB eMMC
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 A/C (Dual Band) / Bluetooth 4.0
Expansion Slot microSD
Security Fingerprint reader
Battery Life Battery power for up to 4 hours (casual use)
Dimensions Computing module : 80.5 x 124 x 12.9mm / Base : 80.5 x 46.9 x 12.9mm
Weight 200g (without adapter & power cord) / 470g (including adapter & power cord)
Ports Computing module: microSD, Micro USB (charge only)
Base: USB 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 1, HDMI x 1, DC-IN
Audio Supported through HDMI
Cloud OneDrive
Power Adapter Input: 100V-220V ~ 1A, 50-60Hz / Output: 12V/3A
Accessories included Software – OSLinx (requires download & lightning to usb cable), AC Power Adapter, Kangaroo Dock
Warranty 1 Year Limited Warranty
Kangaroo Dock Ports USB 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 1, HDMI x 1, DC-IN
Kangaroo Dock 40-pin proprietary

The Kangaroo is currently only available from NewEgg, but VentureBeat reports that the Microsoft Store will be offering the mini-PC soon, too.

ASRock Releases Upgraded BeeBox NUC Mini-PC

ASRock released an upgraded version of their tiny NUC mini PC, the BeeBox. The BeeBox is now available with a quad-core processor, 32GB eMMC SSD and comes bundled with a free copy of Windows 10. The BeeBox is also available in a new silver coloured version now on top of the black, gold, and white versions.

The new quad-core CPU is an Intel N3150 SoC and the NUC comes with 2GB DDR3 1600MHz, upgradeable to 16G. You can add plenty of storage despite the small 0.6l volume of the NUC. You can add both an mSATA SSD and a 2.5-inch drive, allowing you to reach 3TB storage and beyond in the near future with newer and bigger drives.

Beebox is the world’s first mini PC with a Type-C USB port and it is the only one to support triple monitor, H.265 decoding and 4K video playback through two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort. The whole system has low power consumption and is extremely quiet while powered on. It is nearly silent when run in Eco mode where it could be used for light tasks such as torrent downloading. So bedrooms aren’t excluded from the possible locations to place it. Another added bonus is the included IR control so you can control it from the couch or bed.

Have you made the switch to ultra compact systems somewhere in your home or do you still prefer the large systems with endless possibilities everywhere? Let us know in the comments.

Giada Introduces Compact and Fanless F103D Mini PC

Giada unveiled a new compact and completely silent Mini PC dubbed the F103D. The Giada F103D isn’t the average mini-PC, it is packed with the latest Intel Braswell N3150, N3050, or N3000 Processors with a max TDP of 6W as well as other great features.

The F103D is designed for digital signage and harsh environments, but I see completely different possibilities thanks to the features and specifications. Starting with the dual LAN, powered by two Realtek controllers, the F103D opens up for easy built custom routers and firewalls. This functionality is further increased by an optional upgrade with a WiFi module. It already has the antenna.

The system supports 4K video out at 30Hz via the onboard HDMI and it also comes with a D-Sub VGA connector. There are several COM ports as well as USB ports too. The unit also features 5.1 audio via the display out. You can mount one mSATA SSD as well as a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD in this mini PC.

It comes with 2GB memory onboard and that can be expanded with 2GB more with a DDR3L SO-DIMM slot. Further, you get an onboard IR module and IR sensor on the front, but the remote control is optional. The system is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 as well as Linux. Android support is planned for 2016.

ASRock Present the Beebox @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – The market for compact home computers is a relatively new one, but already the competition is fierce. ASRock has taken what it already knows from the motherboard sector and applied the same concepts to its new line of Mini PC’s, known as Beebox.

They are based on Intel’s Braswell SOC and support many of the standard features you would expect from a laptop or even desktop. USB 3.0, 3x graphical output, m.2 SSD and room for 1x 2.5″ storage drive and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. These are some great additions to the line-up and now make the choice even harder for potential customers.

We look forward to reviewing a Beebox in the future to see how it stacks up against the competition. We will update you with any news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

ECS Presents Nano PC’s @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – During the amazing show offered by ECS, they casually presented a small range of the Mini PC’s that the company offers.

The two main shown were offerings that we’ve previously covered at CeBit 2015, featuring the brand new Braswell Mobile processors based on 14nm technology. They both support M.2 SSD cards and offer WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity; some impressive specifications for pint-sized PC’s. Thanks to the new 14nm Braswell CPU’s, these Mini PC’s can run completely passive and stay cool to the touch.

These products were not only shown over a larger projector, but also shown to the audience by showgirls.


We are planning multiple reviews regarding the Mini PC’s in the future, so keep your eyes peeled. We will keep you updated with any more news and events from Computex 2015.

ZOTAC Announced New ZBOX R-Series Mini-PCs

ZOTAC has no shortage of available mini-PCs and the amount available has just grown two new models in the R-Series. The new ZBOX RI323 and ZBOX RI531 barebones are packed with more extension abilities than ever and come with both a serial port and RAID abilities.

“This is certainly a breakthrough for both the mini PC and personal computing,” explains Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. “We are adding more functions to elevate the mini PC to a whole new plane while keeping our signature space saving design and power efficiency. This new addition to the mini PC family will open new doors to even more functionalities.”

One of the main features is the ability to combine two storage devices into a RAID 0 or RAID 1 configuration. With these new mini-PCs, users will be able to fully utilize their storage devices and create a logical drive that either improves the performance or one that provides redundancy.

The R-Series isn’t just well suited for the office and home, the serial port allows it to be used for commercial and industrial purposes. You can connect a vast array of machinery and control it from these systems or use it for digital signage, entertainment, and kiosk controllers.

You can connect both DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 displays to the units and add two DDR3 1600MHz SO-DIMM modules. Processor wise they differentiate a bit between a Core i3 with 2.1GHz and a Celeron 2961Y with 1.1GHz, but both are dual-cores. 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 are also present.

Acer Announced New Revo One RL85 Mini Entertainment PC

Acer America announced that the Acer Revo One RL85 now is available in the United States. The Windows 8.1 PC offers a lot of power in a small and stylish form factor for enjoying movies, TV programs, slide shows and music as well as syncing devices to share data with the entire family.

“We’re excited to bring our newest and coolest media hub to home entertainment enthusiasts in the United States,” said Frank Chang, Acer America senior director of stationary product management. “Tiny in size, but big in capabilities, the Revo One RL85 offers powerful RAID storage capabilities, superb audio and dual monitor support in a compact, easy to use device.”

The almost cylinder formed PC will fit into any living environment including tight spaces with its small 4.19 x 4.19 x 6.1-inches size. It still packs plenty of features with dynamic 7.1 channel surround sound output and both HDMI and mini DisplayPort for up to 4K resolutions. The system comes in a variety of configurations outfitted with 5th generation Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processors and support for up to two additional hot swappable HDDs that can be configured to RAID 0, 1 and 5 for speed, excellent data protection or backup. That’s up to 6TB of storage in this tiny system.

Wireless connection is covered by 802.11ac networking and Bluetooth, but you’ll also find a wired RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connector. It features both USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, a card reader and can take up to 8GB DDR3 RAM.

The Revo One RL85 also supports Acer Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) that can give you full access to all your files from everywhere. As with all Acer devices currently shipping, the RL85 comes pre-loaded with everything customers need to use BYOC, and the data is secure and private in your own home.

The MSRP starts at $249.99 for the RL85-UR41 with a Celeron 2957U dual core CPU, 2GB RAM and 60GB SSD and go up to 579.99 for the Core i5-5200U dual-core featured RL85-UR45 model that comes with 8GB RAM and a 1TB HDD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bqLrhRR5Es

Zotac Announce Two New Broadwell Mini-PC

ZOTAC has announced two new nano sized mini-PCs based on the new Intel Broadwell processors in their M-series. The two new systems are the ZBOX MI522 nano and ZBOX MI542 nano, and they pack a lot of features and power in a very compact form factor thanks to ZOTAC’s years of experience in the field and Intel’s new 14nm chips.

“We are always forward looking and pleased to introduce the latest technology into our mini-PCs so our users can enjoy all the innovations that come with the times. By integrating the new Intel Broadwell CPUs into our new M-series, we are enabling users to get the best of both worlds in terms of speed and power efficiency,” reveals Jacky Huang, Director of Product Management, ZOTAC International.

The only difference between the two models is what processor they use. The ZBOX MI522 is using a Intel Core i3-5010U running at 2.1GHz and the ZBOX MI542 is using a Intel Core i5-2500U with a 2.2GHz core and 2.7GHz boost speed. They both feature two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots for a total of up to 16GB RAM and one 2.5-inch bay for a SATA3 HDD or SSD.

ZOTAC packed quite a few connections into this tiny 127mm x 127mm x 45mm unit. It comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, 3-in-1 card reader, 3.5mm stereo jacks for audio and HDMI and DisplayPort for up to 4K resolutions. The mini-PCs also feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

ZOTAC also created Plus models of both these mini-PCs, where you get them pre-packed with a 500GB drive and 4GB RAM, ready to use. Availability should be soon, but no word on pricing yet.

LIVA Mini PC at CeBIT 2015

Today at CeBIT, we met up with ECS. They presented us with their new line up of LIVA mini PC’s. The main focus of today’s talk was on the newest addition, the LIVA-X. The LIVA-X follows the new method of using a single piece of pressed aluminium to give it a very high-end premium feel and finish to the product. It’s a little bigger than some of the usual mini PC’s, but this packs a punch. It has enough power to display on 2 screens, using the VGA and HDMI ports.

We were also presented with 2 prototypes which are still unnamed. They followed a similar design process as the LIVA-X, but they had a great connectivity package and some sleeker cases, appealing a great market with a brushed gunmetal case with perspex top and a soft white case; these could typically appeal to the male and female market segments.

We are very excited to see what ECS has presented us and for what they have up their sleeves for the future in terms of both mini PC’s ad motherboards. Any news or events, we will keep you updated.


Latest Zotac ZBOX Systems @ CeBIT 2015

During our meeting with ZOTAC, we were presented with their ZBOX range, a very nice range indeed. Where they offer a comprehensive range, they have now categorised each ZBOX into 6 categories: Epic Gaming (E), Sphere (O), Pico (P), Passive Cooling (C), Multimedia (M) and Basic (B). These categories have pretty much every typical home user covered. A Very simple and small alternative to buying a mass produced tower computer from a high street retailer.

We loved seeing the vast range and diversity from ZOTAC today with all their products. I personally really liked the PICO box, I could use this to present my ideas in meetings, without having to rely on a comparatively bulky laptop and projector combination.

I look forward to seeing additional Mini PC’s added to the range from ZOTAC, possibly a detachable screen added to the top of the PICO box for “on the move” use. Any news or events, we will keep you updated.

BIOSTAR Announced the iDEQ-T1 Minicomputer, Home Entertainment & Karaoke Machine

BIOSTAR introduced us to the iDEQ-T1 concept a couple of months ago and now it’s been finalized and announced. The mini computer is built around a mITX motherboard but still features enough power for most office or media tasks, including a Karaoke function.

The 800gram heavy system is built around Intel’s Bay Trail Celeron N2940 quad-core processor with Intel Gen7 display which can pump out up to 2560×1440 resolution displays with DirectX 11. The system supports up to 16GB 1333MHz DDR3L memory and comes with built-in Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi, USB 3 and HDMI – anything you need to connect it.

The iDEQ-T1 also comes with “Hi-Fi K-Bar” software that turns the system into a karaoke machine. The K-BAR software package is an easy-to-use interface that provides a “Karaoke Mode” so that you can sing along anytime, anywhere. Plus with the Magic Voice Mode you can produce multiple sound effects for lots of karaoke fun.

It has BIOSTAR’s BIOS Super Rescue Function as well as BIO-Remote 2 Technology and Charger Booster Technology.

No word on availability yet, but a few shops have started to list it as pre-order option starting at £119.90.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

ECS Launches LIVA-X Mini PC

ECS has launched their new LIVA-X mini PCs featuring Intel Bay Trail-M / Bay Trail-I SoC processors that boost 64-bit dual-core performance up to 2.25GHz. The LIVA-X comes with Windows 8.1 pre-loaded (optional) but also supports Windows 7 (via mSATA SSD). Linux and Ubuntu OS’ support are subject to version.

The LIVA-X comes with 2GB or 4GB DDR3L DRAM and 32GB or 64GB eMMC soldered onto the board. Expansions are covered internally by the mSATA slot for an SSD and externally with two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. It also supports dual monitors through the HDMI and VGA ports and comes with Realtek ALC283 Audio and RTL8111G Gigabit Ethernet as well as b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The palm-sized miniPC isn’t much bigger than a cellphone and support VESA mounting for complete hideaway. It also features a no noise thermal design, providing a complete silent PC.

Availability is still sparse, but Amazon is carrying starting from $250. Price depends on model choice.

Thanks to ECS for providing us with this information

GIGABYTE Announced BRIX with 5th Gen Intel Core Processors

GIGABYTE announced the launch of the next generation of BRIX and BRIX s powered with Intel’s 5th generation Core processors. The BRIX are designed to fit the palm of your hand, yet deliver great performance, and now more than ever before.

The new 14nm CPU processors featuring the latest HD 5500 Graphics from Intel give it an extra punch and the devices will be available with CPUs such as the 2.1GHz dual-core i3-5010U, the 2.2GHz dual-core i5-5200U, or the 2.4GHz dual-core i7-5500U.

The BRIX also have pretty good connectivity despite their size with dual display output via HDMI and DisplayPort, wireless through AC dual-band W-Lan and Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit LAN, four USB 3.0 ports and a combined audio jack.

The Core i7 version of the BRIX is also equipped with NFC technology with support for up to 8 profiles allow users to easily set any number of commands to be executed.

Thanks to GIGABYTE for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of GGIGABYTE 

Shuttle Released XH97V Barebone Mini-PC with 4k Support

The European subsidiary of Shuttle has released their latest and most powerful Mini-PC Barebone system, the Shuttle XH97V. Powered by the Intel H97 chipset and the LGA1150 socket for fourth and fifth generation Intel Core processors and having a volume of just 3.5 liters, make these new Barebones great for a multitude of scenarios.

Just because something is small, doesn’t mean that it can’t pack a punch. Shuttle is a master in this area and they’ve packed this tiny 240 x 200 x 72 mm slim X-type chassis with basic features and expansion options to meet both 4K media presentations, as well as office productivity. This is also the first Shuttle mini-PC barebone to support simultaneous use of up to three displays out of the box.

The front ports are hidden behind moveable panels to offer a better dust protection as well as giving the unit a cleaner look. Opening up the panels expose the two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, and there’s also two 3.5mm audio jacks for headphones and microphone. It has room for an optical disk drive (ODD) with a max height of 12.7mm, seen at the top of the photo.

Users who don’t need an optical drive can use the bay for an additional 2.5-inch drive. Speaking of 2.5-inch drives, the Shuttle XH97V can hold a 12.7 mm  and a 9.5mm drive beside the optional one in the ODD tray allowing you to install up to three SATA3 2.5-inch drives in this tiny unit.

The rear of the Barebone offers just as much connectivity as the front with two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. Shuttle also added an eSATA2 and an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. The Ethernet is powered by the Realtek 8111G Ethernet controller. The three 3.5mm jacks for the 5.1 surround sound are run by the Realtek ALC 662 HD Audio Codec.

There are two DisplayPort 1.2 and one HDMI 1.4 ports for up to three simultaneous display connections. The DisplayPorts can display 4k content in 60Hz while the HDMI port does it at half the refresh rate; 30Hz.

There is also a COM port, clear CMOS button and a DC IN for the power brick. The Kensington-style lock is cleverly placed to pass through both parts of the chassis, allowing Shuttle to use thumbscrews for the chassis and still being intrusion safe.

The motherboard inside is a standard mITX form-factor and it can handle up to 16GB memory over the two SO-DIMM slots. The maximum memory speed will depend on what CPU you use. The H97 chipset and LGA1150 (H3) socket gives you a wide variety of options from Core i3 / i5 / i7 processors as well as Pentium and Celeron models with a max TDP of 65W.

The XH97V doesn’t stop there and offers another two mini PCI Express expansion slots, one half-sized and one full-sized. The half-sized supports PCIe 2.0 and USB 2.0 and is intended for use with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards. The full-sized also supports SATA3 and can be used for mSATA drives as well.

Shuttle only used solid capacitors in this system and the processor cooling uses an integrated heat-pipe system with two 60mm fans. It also has an Always-On jumper that when set will make the system automatically boot after power loss.

The new Shuttle Barebone XH97V is available at retailers across Europe now or very soon and it has an MSRP €193,00 exclusive VAT. At some retailers, it’s already down to €186.47 inclusive VAT before it even has arrived in their storage.

Thanks to Shuttle for providing us with this information

Images and video courtesy of Shuttle

 

BIOSTAR Introduces iDEQ-T1 Mini-PCs

Biostar has introduced us to their latest products, the iDEQ-T1 Mini-PC designed to subvert the conventional desktop PC by being smaller, lighter and more mobile while still having similar features and capabilities. By using a motherboard that is based on the mITX form-factor, these miniPCs are only about two-thirds of an A4 sheet of paper in size and weigh just 800 grams.

The Biostar iDEQ-T1 comes in two versions, one with Karaoke support and one without. The Karaoke version has a C-Media CM108AH Audio chip whereas the non-karaoke version has a Realtek ALC662 Codec instead. Inside these tiny machines, we find a quad-core Intel Celeron N2940 processor with 2MB cache and a boost speed up to 2.25 GHz. Intel’s Bay Trail processor provides the Gen7 display chip which can run a 2560×1440 resolution and has DirectX 11 support while maintaining a very low power consumption.

Using dual-channel DDR3 SO-DIMM memory with speeds up to 1333 MHz, the miniPCs can have up to 16 GB RAM over the two memory slots. For additional expansions it features a mini PCI-E slot that can be covered with the optional WiFi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n module, or anything else you can find that fits. You can add a 2.5-inch storage drive up to 9.5mm thickness and it will connect to an SATA2 port.

Wired network is performed by the Realtek RTL8111G Gigabit Ethernet controller and the system has three USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports. Monitors can be connected via the HDMI or VGA port and both can be used simultaneous for multi-screen setups. While speaking of monitors, the iDEQ-T1 is VESA compliant and can be mounted with optional 75/100 VESA brackets if the foot-stand isn’t to your liking.

This clearly isn’t a gaming machine, but I can see many scenarios where it would be a great system. The processor can pull any normal office or HTPC task with ease. The karaoke version might be a hit for some people, where others might just laugh a bit and move on.

As any device from any manufacturer, these mini-PCs feature a row of exclusive in-house features. We have the Magic BIOS that is able to install the LAN driver for you after you installed your operating system, a minor but great function. The BIOS also supports Rescue BIOS that automatically can load a working and error-free version if you’d ever run into a BIOS crash. For the more every-day usage, it has support for BIO-Remote 2 and Charger Booster technology.

Thank you Biostar for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Biostar

Shuttle Launches XPC Barebone SH81R4 for LGA1150 Processors

Shuttle is a well-known brand for their barebones and compact systems and they’ve strengthened their portfolio once again with the cube formatted SH81R4 model; a 19 cm tall barebone for the fourth generation of Intel Core processors using the LGA1150 socket.

“With the SH81R4 we now have an entry-level machine in cube format based on Intel’s latest generation of Core processors,” says Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR at Shuttle. “The SH81R4 is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the SH61R4, and offers high performance and flexibility at an attractive price.”

The new barebones system is built around an aluminium case with a customisable front panel. It has a speed-controlled heatpipe cooling system with a 92 mm fan to keep everything running smoothly and the power comes from the built-in 300W bronze certified mini power supply.

The motherboard is based on the Intel H81 chipset and has two 240-pin memory slots that support up to 16 GB dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory. It has two SATA-3 ports for high-speed SSDs and a SATA-2 port for a 5.25″ optical drive or hard disk. It further has a PCI-Express x16 Gen3 slot for dual-slot high-powered graphic cards as well as a PCI-Express x1 slot for additional expansion cards. As additional expansion slots the system provides two Mini-PCI-Express slots, one of which also accepts mSATA-SSDs.

The connectivity on the SH81R4 looks pretty great as well with two USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0 ports. Network is provided by a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and it has HDMI and DVI connections for processors with built-in GPU . It has three 3.5mm audio jacks for a 5.1 channel audio setup as well as S/PDIF. It also has a CMOS button on the back.

Shuttle’s new XPC Barebone SH81R4 is only measuring 32.5 x 21.5 x 19cm (DWH) and has a MSRP of just €179,00 excl. VAT and is now available from specialist retailers around Europe.

[youtube width=”700″ height=”470″]http://youtu.be/ioqS_mX8WyQ[/youtube]

The list of optional accessories include a 500W PSU, a H-RS232 serial interface, a mounting frame for 2.5″ drives and a WiFi kit. With all its features and compatibility, the XPC Barebone SH81R4 can suit a whole list of operations from tiny gaming PC to workstation or mobile data processor.

Thank you Shuttle for providing us with these information

Images and video courtesy of Shuttle

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches the GR8 Gaming mini-PC

ASUS has launched their newest addition to the gaming scene in form of the Republic of Gamers branded GR8 Gaming Mini-PC. This tiny PC has a volume of just 2.5 liters while packing an Intel Core i7-4510U Haswell processor and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti Maxwell graphics card. Asus packed some mighty performance into the form-factor of a gaming console and it comes with Windows 8.1 pre-installed.

It supports up to 16GB DDR3 memory on its two SO-DIMM slots and comes with either a 1 TB 7200 RPM hard disk or a 256 GB solid state drive. For the wireless pleasures it has dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. There are plenty of connection options on this gaming PC with two USB 2.0 ports on the front where one of them features extra charging power. There are two 3.5 mm audio jacks for microphone and headphone connections and of course of a power button.

On the rear of the PC we find four USB 3.0 ports for high-speed connections and a RJ45 connector for the Intel Gigabit Ethernet. It has tree 3.5 mm audio jacks on the back for line-in, line-out and microphone as well as a S/PDIF optical out. You can connect up to two monitors to this gaming PC with the built-in HDMI and DisplayPort connections that both support Ultra HD 4K resolution. There’s also a Kensington lock to prevent sticky fingers from running away with your little treasure.

The GR8 Gaming mini-PC is built with easy access to memory and storage for convenience while upgrading or just doing the ordinary maintenance. This isn’t just a tiny form factor PC, it’s also tiny on the power consumption. It comes with a 19Volt DC adapter with 6.32A and 120W power output and the system itself is rated to 0.4 watts when off, 13 watts at idle and 70 to 77 watts when running with full 3D loads.

This wouldn’t be a Republic of Gamers product without a long-range of exclusive features. This Gaming mini-PC features the SupremeFX Audio, Sonic SoundStage, Sonic SenseAmp, Sonic Studio, Sonic Radar II, GameFirst III and can work as Miracast receiver. It also gives you access to 100 GB of Asus HomeCloud storage for 12 months.

The mini-PC is whisper-quiet at just 20dB when idle or low loads and 28dB when running at full capacity. The optional bundle version comes with a ROG Gladius optical gaming mouse and a M801 compact mechanical keyboard. The Asus Republic of Gamers GR8 Gaming Mini-PC will be available this month but there isn’t any word on pricing yet.

[youtube width=”700″ height=”470″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYrDLZ5L80c[/youtube]

Thank you ASUS for providing us with these information

Images and video courtesy of ASUS

Shipping of ZOTAC ZBOX plus with Windows 8.1 and Bing Has Started

Zotac is most known for their great Nvidia graphic cards and barebone mini PCs. Listening to their users feedback, they’re now venturing into ready-to-use system as well.

In a press release today, Zotac announced that the new “Perfect everyday computing mini-PCs with Windows 8.1 with Bing in four different flavours” have started shipping.

“Users requested we include Microsoft Windows with the ZBOX mini-PCs so the system is ready to use right off the shelf,” says Tony Wong, CEO of ZOTAC International. “We’ve been listening and thanks to Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8.1 with Bing, we’re able to give buyers the full Windows experience in a mini-PC form factor at an excellent value.”

The quartet of ZOTAC ZBOX Plus mini-PCs will ship with 2GB of DDR3 memory and Windows 8.1 with Bing x64 pre-installed on a 64GB SSD.

The ZOTAC ZBOX C-series nano Plus mini-PCs provide silent PC aficionados with snappy performance and noiseless passive cooling in Intel and AMD flavors. The ZBOX CI320 nano combines the performance and energy efficiency of a quad-core Intel Celeron N2930 processor while the ZBOX CA320 nano takes advantage of a quad-core AMD A6-1450 APU with Radeon HD 8250 graphics.

ZOTAC ZBOX BI320 and ID18 mini-PCs deliver a good computing experience for daily web browsing and productivity tasks with dual-core Intel Celeron processors and Intel HD Graphics. A classic ZOTAC ZBOX chassis provides the ZBOX BI320 and ID18 with vast external expansion and flexible placement capabilities.

Availability has started at the different retailers, but most are estimating the arrival in 1-2 days. The cheapest price for the four devices as of writing is €124, €165,  €120 and $102 respectively.

Thank you Zotac for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Zotac