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Tranquil PC Abel H2 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £726
inc VAT

This attractive, silent mini PC could make a great media centre system, but it’s a little expensive


1.3GHz Intel Core i5-4250U, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The Tranquil PC Abel H2-5 is a NUC, which is a small PC built to a specification dictated by Intel. The entire PC is no bigger than a house brick, with a ridged metal block of a chassis that’s built to keep the system’s insides cool. It’s by far the best looking NUC chassis we’ve seen, with a metal exterior that’s been polished to a gleaming finish. It’s available in red, black, blue and the limited edition “Diamond” gun-metal grey version shown here, which puts an extra £15 on the price.

Tranquil PC Abel H2

The Abel H2-5 is the Core i5 version, equipped with a dual core Haswell Core i5-4250U processor running at 1.3GHz. The processor is somewhat underpowered, with the emphasis being on low-power consumption rather than brute performance. Even so, this fanless PC’s chassis becomes almost too hot to touch when its processor is under heavy load.

The CPU’s performance proved to be surprisingly good, however, and the Abel H2-5 scored 47 overall in our application benchmarks. That’s on par with what we’d expect from a mid-range laptop, and although it’s not as powerful as a similarly priced full-size desktop PC, this compact computer is perfectly capable of carrying out common desktop tasks. Have no problem browsing the web, creating documents, watching videos and even occasional light image editing.

Tranquil PC Abel H2

You’re largely out of luck if you want to play 3D games, though, due to the processor’s on-chip Intel HD Graphics 5000 graphics processor. In our standard Dirt Showdown laptop test, at a resolution of 1,280×720, and with 4x anti-aliasing and graphics quality set to High, the Abel H2-5 provided an average frame rate of 19.9fps. Reducing the graphics quality to Ultra Low brought that up to a smoothly playable 43fps. While older 3D titles such as Portal will work without much trouble, more recent 3D titles will be restricted to their lowest settings and reduced resolutions. We expected a slightly better performance from Intel HD Graphics 5000 graphics chip, but repeated tests failed to improve on our initial results.

The Abel H2-5 is best suited to life as a compact desktop workstation or, due to its attractive looks, as a media centre PC connected to your TV. The configuration we reviewed has a fair bit of fast internal storage in the form of a 120GB SATA SSD and a 128GB mSATA SSD. There’s no more room for further storage expansion, but you can specify higher-capacity drives at the time of purchase. That fully loads the internal storage connections and mounting points for this little PC, but alternative disks can be specified if you need extra capacity.

Tranquil PC Abel H2

If you open up the Abel H2-5, you’ll find the SSD screwed to the bottom cover. Between that and the main bay is a heat diffusion plate and beneath the latter are the guts of the PC. The CPU is soldered in place, so the main removable components are an 8GB DIMM of Kingston ValueRAM and an mSATA disk. There are actually two RAM slots and only one is occupied with an 8GB module running at 1,600MHz. This means you can boost the PC’s memory capacity to 16GB at a later date.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i5-4250U
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x13
Processor clock speed 1.3GHz
Processor socket N/A
Memory 8
Memory type PC3-12800
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Intel D54250WYK


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/2
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n

Internal Expansion

Case mini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free) N/A
PCI-E x16 slots (free) N/A
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Toshiba THNSNH128GMCT + Kingston SV300S37A120G
Interface SATA3


Graphics card(s) integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000
Graphics/video ports HDMI, mini DisplayPort


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs 3.5mm stereo headset port
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) none


Screen model N/A
Native resolution N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Keyboard none
Mouse none


Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty two years RTB
Price £726

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