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    Asus Vivo Mini PC

    Arguably the hottest trend in PC use these days is going small. The big, impressive, desk cracking rigs that people used to proudly show off (and break their backs transporting) are soon going to be a thing of the past. Desk space is premium these days, and portability is not far behind. And so we are seeing a host of mini PC products hit the shelves, for a variety of price points.

    One pocket-friendly option is Asus’ new VivoMini. Measuring a scant 4.9 x 4.9 x 1.7 inches, it really is a small box, and will fit easily onto the back of a monitor or screen thanks to VESA mount compatibility. However, there is a catch the price is simply too nice for there not to be. Like Intel’s NUC range, the VivoMini is a barebones system.

    That means it comes with some components built in, but the user will have to purchase and populate others. In the case of the VivoMini, we’re talking storage, memory and a wireless network card (although it does have a LAN port if you’re looking at a wired connection). That adds a pretty penny to the price, of course, but it does allow the user to make use of its versatility. For example, the user will be able to decide on their RAM amount, up to 16GB, which interfaces with the VivoMini via 2 SODIMM ports.

    AT entry level, the Vivo Mini is fited with an Intel Celeron 2957U Haswell CPU, which clocks in at around 1.4GHz. Asus have announced they there will be i3 and i5 varieties available in the future, too.

    Port-wise, the Vivo Mini is well apportioned. It features four USB 3.0 ports, as well as HDMI and DisplayPort outputs for screen connections. It has a LAN port and well as a multi-card reader, and a single stereo 3.5mm audio output. It also has internal half and full sized PCIe slots, and m.SATA connections for storage and wireless cards.

    One thing that the Vivo Mini won't do or any of the current crop of mini PCs out there, for that matter is play the latest games. It simply doesn’t have the needed power and, aside from that lacks the 3D acceleration provided by a bigger GPU. However, some older titles may still manage to get along fine on this miniscule PC. And with products like the relatively small G20 (which we reviewed last month) and the even smaller G8 forming part of Asus’ gaming oriented ROG line, we’re pretty sure
    that there will be gaming capable solutions of this size before long.

    In the meantime, the VivoMini fills many gaps, from a small household computer through to a very capable media player. It shows great ideas, and even if it needs to be populated with certain components, it’s a solid bet for those that are in need for a PC that can fit into a handbag.

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