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Chillblast Fusion Brix review

Katharine Byrne
31 Jan 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
585
inc VAT

A tiny but mighty mini PC with good graphics performance, but it’s a bit expensive compared to the competition

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Specifications

1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8.1

The Chillblast Fusion Brix is quite possibly the smallest PC we’ve ever tested. It's based on Gigabyte’s miniscule barebones Brix unit, and measures just 30x107x114mm, making it even smaller than PCs based on Intel’s NUC Kit chassis and motherboard, such as used in the PC Specialist NUC Lite. It’s so small, in fact, that you can quite comfortably hold it in the palm of your hand and still curve your fingers round the edges.

Chillblast Fusion Brix

Size isn’t the only thing that makes the Fusion Brix more convenient than the PC Specialist NUC Lite, as its full-size rather than mini HDMI output makes it easier to connect to your TV or monitor, without you having to buy an adaptor. Other outputs include a mini DisplayPort, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a combined headphone and S/PDIF optical audio output and two USB3 ports on the front and rear. This is particularly handy if you want to connect additional storage devices to the Fusion Brix, as its 120GB mSATA SSD doesn’t leave much room for large media collections.

Chillblast Fusion Brix

Upgrading the Fusion Brix is simple. It's sold as a complete unit, so only enthusiasts will ever need to open it up, but once you've unscrewed the base of the PC it's very easy to work in. You have easy access to its two laptop memory slots, its mSATA SSD and a mini PCIe slot, currently filled with a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combination card and tucked under the SSD.

Chillblast Fusion Brix

The Fusion Brix doesn’t sacrifice much power for its small size. As shown in our multimedia benchmarks, its 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U processor packs a surprising punch. It will struggle with several heavy-duty programs running simultaneously, but an overall score of 34 puts it ahead of larger mini PCs such as the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 and even a few Core i3-based all-in-one PCs we've tested such as the HP Envy Rove 20.