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CyberPower Intel Mini PC review

Barry de la Rosa
16 Feb 2011
CyberPower Intel Mini PC
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

An ideal PC if you're short on space, but it's not powerful or upgradeable and, compared to full-size PCs, YOU get much less for your money.

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Specifications

1.8GHz Intel Atom D525, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

At such a low price, CyberPower can be forgiven for opting for an Atom-based processor for its Intel Mini PC. It's so small, it even comes with a VESA bracket so you can mount it on the rear of most monitors, which means it's ideal for cramped environments or if you don't want an unsightly PC tower ruining a tidy desk.

Despite its size, the Intel Mini PC manages to pack in 802.11n WiFi, a 320GB hard disk and 4GB of RAM. The 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 is unlike the Atom chip you'd find in a netbook: it's a dual-core model that also supports Hyper-Threading, so it appears as four cores in Windows. Sadly, its performance isn't that much better than a netbook's: its overall score of 28 is poor, and you'll notice this when running applications in Windows.

There's an alternative, however. The Intel Mini PC also comes with Jolicloud 1.1 OS, and when you turn on the PC you can choose to boot into either Windows or Jolicloud. Jolicloud is a Linux distribution, and feels more sprightly than Windows, but it isn't as versatile of course. You can buy the Intel Mini PC without Windows for just £270 - a saving of £80.

The downside of the Intel Mini PC's small size, apart from the cost of miniaturisation, is the lack of room for expansion. Only the memory can be upgraded, but with 4GB already installed you'd have to remove that first. On the outside, there are only five USB ports, two of which are used by the Logitech keyboard and mouse set. One doubles as an eSATA port, so if you use that for a fast external drive, you'll only have two spare ports to play with.

Opening up the case is - if anything - too easy. We found that when plugging a device into one of the ports, it's easy to grab the case in the wrong way and slide the cover open. The thin plastic feels fragile, and it also gets quite hot after a while in use. Mounting the case on the rear of your monitor may be a good way of keeping it out of harm's way as well as making it tidier.

CyberPower Intel Mini PC

If you need a monitor with the Intel Mini PC, CyberPower can add a 22in BenQ G2222HDL for an extra £149. While this is an excellent monitor - its LED backlight is bright and even, and it has vibrant colours and decent contrast - CyberPower's pricing means that it's almost £40 more expensive than if you were to buy it with OP3's Mars. Plus, you can buy a good 24in monitor for £150.

The Intel Mini PC isn't fast, but its size and included VESA bracket make it ideal if you lack room or want a PC hidden from sight. With Jolicloud installed, it's also a great alternative to a Windows PC, especially if you spend most of your time online using social networking. However, if you want a PC that you can upgrade in future, this isn't it, and compared to the OP3 Mars, it isn't very good value.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Atom D525
Processor external bus200MHz (800MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx9
Processor clock speed1.8GHz
Processor socketSocket 437
Memory4
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory8GB
Motherboard chipsetIntel NM10

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/3
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n

Internal Expansion

Casenettop
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Scorpio Blue (WD3200BPVT)
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity320GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Nvidia Ion II
Graphics/video portsDVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundC-Media CM108AH
Sound outputsshared stereo line out/coaxial S/PDIF, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC
Optical drive type(s)N/A

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelBenQ G2222HDL
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardLogitech K120
MouseLogitech B110

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB (plus two years labour only)
Price£350
Detailswww.cyberpowersystem.co.uk

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