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Dell Optiplex 7060 Micro review: Size matters not

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £729

The small form factor has forced cuts to performance and connectivity, but both are fine for the price


  • Performs well enough for office work
  • Pleasingly quiet
  • Incredibly small


  • Bundled keyboard and mouse are poor quality
  • Basic SSD

The Optiplex 7060 Micro is both the cheapest and most compact member of Dell’s 7060 family, which also includes conventional tower and mini-tower form factors. Shrinking to the size of hardback book has forced a degree of lost capability, with there being fewer ports on this model as well as a lower-power Intel T-series chip, but the dimensions create opportunities as well.

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Dell Optiplex 7060 Micro review: Features

Chiefly, this is a small enough PC to be VESA-mounted on the back of a monitor, to a wall or on the underside of a desk, much like the Acer Chromebox CXI3. It’s nice to get the full Windows 10 Pro experience from such a tiny machine that, at 182 x 36 x 178mm, takes up a negligible footprint even if it sits unsecured on a desktop.

It’s easy to open, too. Simply loosen the thumbscrew at the back, and the left side panel slides off, taking the front panel cover with it. Some parts are easier to add (or swap) than others – for example, the empty 2.5in tray is instantly accessible – but to add more SO-DIMM RAM sticks you’ll need to remove the entire cooling system first. Still, the internal layout is as sensible as it could be for such a tightly packed PC.

Behind the plastic front panel is a single forward-firing speaker, although as is so often the case with integrated speakers, it sounds too muddled for anything more audibly complex than a voice or video call.

The exact specifications of our review unit aren’t one of the six defaults available on Dell’s website, but the £729 model comes closest, with the same Intel Core i5-8500T and 256GB of storage, the only difference being that it has 16GB of RAM compared to our 8GB.

Dell Optiplex 7060 Micro review: Performance

Despite this, and the Core i5-8500T having downgraded clock speeds from the standard Core i5-8500, the Optiplex 7060 Micro runs relatively quickly. By scoring 117 in the image test, 138 in the video test, 87 in the multitasking test and 109 overall, it comfortably beats the similarly priced Quiet PC UltraNUC Pro 8 Fanless.

If you don’t need the monster workstation power of the Asus ProArt PA90, this is therefore a good choice for everyday home office use. It’s not practically silent, like the UltraNUC Pro 8 Fanless – and isn’t nearly as nice to look at – but it’s still very quiet, even under load.

The Quiet PC system has better storage, however. Both use M.2 SSDs, but the Optiplex 7060 Micro’s only works via the SATA interface, resulting in slower speeds (and no more capacity) than the NVMe drive within the UltraNUC Pro 8 Fanless. Fortunately, it’s not slow per se: we measured a sequential read speed of 517MB/s and a sequential write speed of 441MB/s, the former in particular coming close to the limits of how fast a SATA SSD can shift files around.

Windows booting and application start-up speeds are also much faster than you’d get from any hard disk, so productivity isn’t hurt. If more capacity is needed, it’s simple to add a 2.5in drive, with the spare internal tray readily accessible, and the requisite SATA and power connectors being built into the motherboard, rather than needing separate cables.

Dell Optiplex 7060 Micro review: Design

As we mentioned, the dwindled dimensions have affected external connectivity: the larger 7060 variants have four full-size USB ports on the front, but the Micro model has just one USB3 connector, and it loses the SD card reader as well.

Otherwise, however, it’s not so bad. That USB3 port is joined by a USB Type-C connector, and just above that are separate mic and headphone 3.5mm jacks. On the rear, meanwhile, are an additional four USB3 ports – enough for a couple of wired peripherals and external storage drives – and two DisplayPort outputs, allowing for dual displays. You also get a choice of using the Gigabit Ethernet port or connecting via integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi; a single antenna socket is positioned on the rear, with the antenna itself packaged separately in the box. Bluetooth 5.0 is helpfully included, too.

The UltraNUC Pro 8 fanless has one additional USB3 port on the front, but fewer in total, and it only has a single HDMI output instead of dual DisplayPorts. You also only get a wired Ethernet connection, unless you add a USB Wi-Fi receiver.

Less useful to the Optiplex 7060 Micro, or at least less usable, are its bundled peripherals. These are as cheap and nasty as freebie mice and keyboards can get: the mouse is uncomfortably proportioned and of such poor build quality that it rattles when shaken, while the keyboard has mushy membrane switches and undersized keycaps.

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Dell Optiplex 7060 Micro review: Verdict

However, it’s easy to forgive a couple of unconvincing extras when they can be so easily replaced. In fact, with its slick design, quiet operation and range of connectivity even with size-induced compromises, the whole thing is a pretty good deal.

Diminished performance and a basic SSD are the only lingering concerns, but these don’t have to be deal-breakers, especially when the mini PC competition is mostly slower-running anyway. The Core i5-8500T is just fine for general office work, and if the 256GB drive does get filled, it’s fast and inexpensive to upgrade with a secondary SSD.

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