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VeryPC Broadleaf BL5320h review

Chris Finnamore
18 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
579
inc VAT

A pricey but beautifully-made low-power compact PC

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Specifications

3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

VeryPC makes low-power PCs for education, business and the home. The Broadleaf is their latest compact base unit, and as it has an Intel Sandy Bridge processor, it's not short of performance.

The Broadleaf is tiny, if not quite as miniature as a Mac Mini. It's as wide as a magazine and only 3/4 the length, so will happily sit on your desk. It's also quiet, only making an unobtrusive low hum. It's a lightweight yet very well made PC - the case is made entirely from aluminium with a matte black finish, and the PC feels like a quality item.

VeryPC Broadleaf BL5320h

The front panel has a slimline DVD writer, a couple of USB2 ports and headphone and microphone sockets. The rear has four further USB2 ports and a couple of USB3. You'll need the USB ports for expansion, as there's no room inside the case and opening up the PC will invalidate your warranty. There is a free memory slot to add to the PC's 4GB RAM, but VeryPC will have to fit the memory for you.

You'll have no problems connecting the Broadleaf to a monitor, as the rear panel has DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and a DVI to VGA adaptor is in the box. You could also use it as a media centre PC, as you have 7.1 surround sound outputs for PC speakers and an optical S/PDIF to connect to speakers or amplifiers that don’t support HDMI audio.

Even though we'd have liked to see 1TB of hard disk space at this price, the 500GB disk still provides a fair amount of storage and is the same size as you'd get in a Mac Mini. The PC's Intel Core i3-2100 processor is only a dual-core model, but an overall score of 60 in our benchmarks shows the Broadleaf has no problem with everyday tasks and could handle more demanding applications; it's also the same score as the Mac Mini managed. The processor's integrated graphics couldn't run our Dirt 3 benchmark, so you'll have to stick with older games or put up with very low resolutions and detail levels.

VeryPC Broadleaf BL5320h

The PC makes good on its low-power promises. It draws just 19W at idle and 59W under load, which is half that of even the least power-hungry PCs we saw in last month's Labs. If you leave it in standby it will draw just 4W. Again, these power consumption figures are almost identical to those of the Mac Mini.

VeryPC's Broadleaf is expensive for a PC base unit, but its low noise levels and high-quality construction mean you can see where the money has gone. While not as stylish, it’s also a fair rival for the higher-end 2.5GHz Mac Mini, matching it for 2D (but not 3D) performance, noise and power consumption, while being £120 cheaper and with the advantage of an optical drive. VeryPC also gives you a huge five-year RTB warranty, so if you're after a well-made PC and peace of mind, it's a good buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-2100
Processor external bus100MHz
Processor multiplierx31
Processor clock speed3.1GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardIntel DH67CF
Motherboard chipsetIntel H67 Express

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)none
PCI-E x16 slots (free)none
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots1
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)WD WD5000BPKT-00PK4T0
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics/video portsDVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputsoptical S/PDIF. 5x analogue
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includedOpenOffice 3.3
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyfive years RTB
Price£579
Supplierhttp://www.morecomputers.com
Detailswww.very-pc.co.uk

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