Evesham Mini PC review
This isn’t quite a Mac mini killer, though. Sat on a desk, the Mini PC looks smart enough to be on full display. Put a Mac mini next to it, though, and it’s obvious which is the ugly sister: the silver-metallic plastic finish simply can’t compete with the Apple; the glaringly bright neon blue power light, pulsating wildly during access, looks a little overblown; even the button to eject optical discs looks superfluous on something so wee. There’s also the price to compare: £595 exc VAT for a system without a screen, keyboard or mouse is a sizeable blow to its appeal – you can get a Mac mini for about £320, albeit one with a significantly lower specification. As a second computer, that’s extremely tempting, even for die-hard Windows users. To compete with the Mini PC’s specifications, you’ll need to spend more like £500 on a Mac mini, but that’s still a hefty saving. However, it’s worth noting that Evesham will also be offering a Celeron M 360-based version of the Mini PC, with 256MB of RAM and a 40GB hard disk, for £425.
But looking in the context of other Windows PCs, it’s equally true of the Mini PC that there’s nothing in the Windows world to touch it – at least not yet. As such, if you’re after something a bit different, it’s a perfectly good purchase. But what the Mini PC has really done is to show what’s possible. Next to this, a Shuttle system looks bulky, and a standard desktop tower simply ridiculous. It raises the standard of what we should be expecting from manufacturers and is the advance guard of a form-factor revolution – yes, another one. With the release of Intel’s Viiv PCs just around the corner, expect to see a good deal more like it.
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