The form factor of a desktop PC has been ever changing with new categories being introduced onto the market from time to time. While many form factors have come and gone, a few have stuck around due to the efficiency and convenience they offer. One such form factor is the Mini PC.
There are many players in the Mini PC arena and one of the trusted names is MSI. The company recently announced the launch of the MSI Cubi 5 10M Mini PC onto the regional market and they sent us a unit for review.
The Cubi 5 10M measures 124-by-124-by-53.7 mm and weighs around 550 grams, thus making it one of the most compact PCs available on the market, justifying the “palm-sized” form factor. The overall design and build quality is pretty good – the device is built using a mix of metal and hard plastic.
In terms of connectivity, you get a boat load! On the front edge, you get dedicated headphones and microphone jacks, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A connector, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, an LED indicator that indicates disk activity, and the power button.
On the right edge, you get an external power button switch connector, in case you want to have an easy access for switching the device on and off, if the device is VESA mounted to the back of a display. There is also a Kensington Lock right next to it on the right edge to secure the Mini PC in its place.
On the back of the device, you get an HDMI 1.4 port, a DisplayPort 1.2, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a RJ45 GbE (Intel WGI219V) port, and the power port. Inside the box, you get the MSI Cubi 5 10M, a 65 W external power brick, an external power switch and the user manuals.
Under the hood, the MSI Cubi 5 10M is powered by Intel’s 10th Generation Core i processors – you can choose from i3, i5 or i7. Our review unit came with an i5 processor and Intel’s UHD 630 Graphics. The CPU is cooled down using an active cooling system, so the processors should be able to turbo fairly often.
The MSI Cubi 5 10M supports up to 64 GB of DDR4-2666 memory through its two SO-DIMM memory slots. You also get an M.2 slot for an SSD, and a 2.5-inch bay for additional storage. Our review unit already came kitted with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.
To gauge real world performance, we used the MSI Cubi 5 10M as our primary PC for our day to day work. That included productivity, photo editing, design, video editing, and multimedia playback. Unlike most mini PCs on the market that are powered by low-performance based processors to keep costs low, the MSI Cubi 5 10M packs in the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor.
As such, the overall performance was very good. The Mini PC was able to handle almost all the tasks we threw at it with aplomb. It was even able to handle graphics-intensive workloads such as video rendering for example and the occasional gaming sessions.
For a price of around AED 2000, the MSI Cubi 5 10M Mini PC offers top-notch performance for day to day office work and occasional graphics-intensive workloads, offers all the latest connectivity options, supports dual monitor setup through its HDMI and DP ports, and is easy to upgrade its storage and memory options. If you are looking for a Mini PC that is almost invisible on the desk and can offer good performance, you should consider the MSI Cubi 5 10M Mini PC.
Price: AED 2000 (approx.)
Acer’s ebii E-bike and Computer Products Honoured in 2023 Good Design Awards
A mix of Acer products received the 2023 Good Design Awards, headlined by its sustainability-focused products in the Acer ebii e-bike and several devices from the eco-conscious Vero line which include monitors, a set of peripherals, and an energy-saving projector. Awards were also handed to the Acer TravelMate P6 14 business laptop, Predator Triton 17 X gaming laptop, Acer Aspire S Series all-in-one desktop, Acer Revo Box mini-PC, and the Acer Connect Enduro M3 Mobile Wi-Fi. This year’s list of winning products highlights the company’s design innovation in serving multiple segments and lifestyles.
Since 1957, the Good Design Awards from Japan has sought to recognize companies and creators who develop “empowering designs” that bring about social contributions and push the boundaries of design possibilities. This year’s entries were assessed by a jury of experts based on the criteria of human, industrial, social, and time perspectives. The chosen winners have embodied this year’s theme of “design and outcomes”, emphasizing the creators’ diverse perspectives and growing awareness of various issues through their ideas and the actions done for their works to take shape.
Acer’s Good Design Award 2023 Winners
- Acer ebii e-Bike: Designed to provide urban commuters with a convenient, safe, and greener transportation option, the Acer ebii e-bike leverages AI-driven technology that adapts to power usage, riding conditions, and user preferences for effortless riding. Its long-lasting, swappable, and portable battery can be fast charged up to 100% power in just 2.5 hours to support worry-free journeys throughout the day. It also features a sturdy aluminium alloy frame and single-fork design, marked by smooth edges and a white matte finish, giving the Acer ebii’s clean and modern appearance. The ebike’s airless tires made from closed-loop recyclable materials are also flat-free and help minimize carbon footprint in the environment.
- Acer Vero B277U D3 Monitor: Made ideal for professional workers and teleconferencing, it showcases a WQHD resolution, AI noise-cancelling capabilities, a 5M-IR webcam, and a range of colour-enhancing technologies. To further uplift viewing experiences, the Acer Vero B277U D3 monitor’s flexible ErgoStand design lets users adjust tilt, swivel, pivot, and height with ease and is equipped with eye protection features such as Acer VisionCare 2.0 and TÜV/EyeSafe certification. The eco-display is also made with 85% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials and 5% ocean-bound plastic (OBP), is shipped with 100% recyclable packaging, and comes with loads of energy-efficient certifications such as TCO and ENERGY STAR, and EPEAT registration.
- Acer Vero B278K Monitor: To further support the growing needs of business and the remote work culture, the Acer Vero B278K commercial monitor features a 4K UHD display, built-in 5M-IR webcam and microphone that can detect multiple voices all at once, and a docking display to help minimize the need for external devices and workspace clutter. Providing added protection and flexibility for users, the monitor is equipped with Acer’s Vision Care 3.0 which helps reduce eye strain, multi-stream technology with ZeroFrame design, and daisy chain feature allowing it to connect multiple monitors side-by-side for extended viewing. The Acer Vero B278K monitor also utilizes recycled materials in its components and packaging and has earned its own share of eco-friendly certifications.
- Acer Vero XL2530 Projector: The Acer Vero XL2530 projector is great for environment-conscious consumers looking for a high-performance, yet low-maintenance projection solution. Its mercury-free light source does not require any replacements and offers up to a 30,000-hour lifespan from its high-efficiency laser light technology. With an IP6X protection-rated optical engine and 360-degree projection capabilities, the Acer Vero XL2530 gives added flexibility for various purposes within different environments. The projector’s space-saving exterior is also composed of 50% PCR plastic and 100% recyclable paper packaging, ultimately reducing overall cost and environmental impact.
- Acer Vero Peripherals Combo Set: A set of sustainable wireless peripherals composed of a keyboard and mouse, the devices are constructed from 65% PCR plastic and include OBP components, presenting an attractive earthy look and feel while leaving a lighter touch on the environment. Professionals and everyday users can maximise the keyboard’s silent switches when typing and the mouse’s 10-meter operating range, making it easy to work from any location or surrounding. What sets it apart is that they are made with one of the highest percentages of recycled plastics in the industry, combining practicality, sustainability, and ergonomic product designs in these eco-conscious devices.
- Acer TravelMate P6 14 Laptop: Users can enjoy elevated viewing experiences on the business laptop’s large 2.8K OLED display with 100% DCI-P3 colour space coverage. The thin-and-light device is packed with an FHD IR webcam, upward-facing speakers, and Acer’s AI-powered technology specialized for high-quality videoconferencing. Workers stay connected to fast internet speeds with Wi-Fi 6E and 5G wireless connectivity and a 65 W fast-charging battery. The secure-cored PC protects sensitive data with security features such as IR facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, user sensing technology, and Privacy Panel. The TravelMate P6 14 also keeps sustainability in mind as it incorporates PCR and OBP plastic, uses 100% recyclable packaging, and comes with military-grade durability, EPEAT registration, and TCO certification.
- Predator Triton 17 X Gaming Laptop: A 17-inch gaming laptop tailored for hardcore gamers and content creators who value performance, durability, reliability, and aesthetics all in one device. Its metal CNC unibody chassis is crafted to maintain a sleek and sophisticated look while housing an advanced cooling system with Acer’s 5th Gen Aeroblade 3D fans, vapour chamber, Vortex flow technology, and liquid metal thermal grease on the CPU. The laptop features a large WQXGA mini-LED display with a 250 Hz refresh rate and meets DisplayHDR requirements to offer wider viewing angles, higher resolutions, and improved multi-tasking capabilities. The Predator Triton 17 X’s screen is also Eyesafe Certified to help minimize blue light exposure when gaming or creating.
- Acer Aspire S All-in-one Desktop PC: Crafted to enhance everyday productivity and minimize workspace clutter with its slim and modern aluminium body design. Users can enjoy brilliant images when working or browsing on the Acer Aspire S AIO’s near-borderless WQHD IPS ergonomic display, with surround sound audio capabilities for truly immersive viewing. The addition of a magnetically mounted 1440p QHD webcam with ring light helps capture the best images and videos, while the options for an active stylus pen and detachable OceanGlass touchpad, made from ocean-bound plastic, further support user experiences and Acer’s mission of minimizing its carbon footprint within its product portfolio.
- Acer Revo Box Mini PC: The Acer Revo has been revamped to deliver upgraded performance in a more compact and versatile form factor. The mini-PC’s design allows it to be easily set up with an option for Acer’s patented rotatable VESA mount and adapter holder, helping save valuable desk space within homes or office work setups. Powered by the latest processors and large memory storage, the Acer Revo Box is capable of handling demanding applications with ease and possesses multiple display support (up to 3) along with a wide range of port options for added convenience.
- Acer Connect Enduro M3: The mobile hotspot device’s rugged yet sleek exterior features elevated lines on the chassis for added grip and is made from high-grade materials that conform with military-grade standards and IP54 protection rating, making it the perfect connectivity companion to stay online no matter the location or environment. The intuitive touchscreen shows simplified menu options and a QR code that makes it easier to set up hotspot connections. With vSim technology embedded, users can connect to over 200 5G network carriers across 135+ countries around the world without the need for any SIM card. It also carries a high-capacity 6500 mAh battery that can double as a power bank, making it a handy mobile device for fast internet and portable charging.
Lenovo Launches Devices for the New Hybrid Work World
Lenovo has launched its latest ThinkStation and ThinkPad workstation solutions designed to provide the high levels of power and performance needed to run sophisticated workloads with ISV certifications. Lenovo workstations are engineered to push the boundaries of performance that help unleash users’ potential while maintaining the reliability, usability, and configurability needed across a variety of industries. End users can configure tailor-made workstations built using state-of-the-art components such as 13th Generation Intel Core processors and professional NVIDIA RTX GPUs and support the industry’s latest operating systems including Windows 11 and several distributions of Linux.
ThinkStation P3 series desktop workstations provide the value users need without compromising on performance or versatility. An all-new Tower form factor built for mission-critical tasks is an ideal solution for value-conscious designers, engineers, and students who seek flexibility and expandability without compromising on computing power. The ThinkStation P3 Tower with its expanded chassis supports larger power supplies up to 1100W to handle more demanding configurations and multiple storage options up to 26TB for data-heavy applications. ThinkStation P3 Ultra enhances a revolutionary form factor that packs power and performance in a space-saving chassis that is less than four liters in volume. An intelligently compact workstation, P3 Ultra is designed to handle demanding workflows and easily adapt to changing hybrid workspaces. ThinkStation P3 Tiny is engineered to go where other workstations can’t. Its class-leading size of one liter allows the P3 Tiny to fit into virtually any location.
ThinkPad mobile workstations are synonymous with power, premium design, and durability. The latest ThinkPad P Series models deliver human-centric innovations designed for hybrid work and foster positive employee experiences while providing high levels of power and performance allowing users to do more on the move. ThinkPad P14s i Gen 4 and P16s i Gen 2 will delight highly mobile professionals, educators, and students who seek an ideal mix of performance and power at a comfortable price point without compromising security or durability.
ThinkPad P16v i is designed to close the gap between entry-level and high-end workstations. Built for creators who require more power to handle large workloads and multitask with ease, it includes Intel Core H-Series processors, advanced graphics, and the latest security features to protect valuable data and identity on the move. Extreme levels of mobile workstation performance are delivered by ThinkPad P16 Gen 2 and ThinkPad P1 Gen 6 allowing users to do complex workflows such as high-definition rendering and high-end VR on the go. P16 Gen 2 is focused on raw performance approaching that of some desktop workstations, with the highest-class mobile CPUs, professional NVIDIA RTX GPUs, and Lenovo’s highest-ever memory capacity in a mobile workstation with as much as 192GB. ThinkPad P1 now in its sixth generation focuses on producing top performance in a thin and light form factor without compromising on power or durability.
This latest generation of desktop workstations become Lenovo’s most powerful entry-level workstation offerings and offers form factor size options that can scale across a variety of industries, hybrid workspaces, and their respective workflows. Users in engineering and architecture, finance, advanced education, and in medical applications, can customize and configure the new ThinkStation P3 according to their specific requirements. Highlights include:
- ThinkStation P3 Tower: Experience the power and expandability of a tower workstation at a more affordable price-point, including 13th Generation Intel Core processors and supporting up to NVIDIA RTX A5500 graphics to breeze through mission-critical tasks with the reliability, performance, and expansion capability required across a variety of industries. P3 Tower can support up to 128GB DDR5 memory and a total of six storage drives, with four PCIe expansion slots and a power supply of up to 1100W.
- ThinkStation P3 Ultra: Packing an exceptional level of performance in a chassis of fewer than four liters, the P3 Ultra is ideal for demanding workflows in hybrid, remote, or less accessible locations. The intelligent compact design features up to NVIDIA RTX A5500 graphics and an optional BMC (baseboard management controller) to be released later this year, that enables advanced remote monitoring and systems management.
- ThinkStation P3 Tiny: Lenovo’s Tiny form factor is engineered to go where others can’t. The new P3 Tiny, at just one liter in total volume, is small but mighty. With a versatile array of mounting options, ISV certifications, and up to NVIDIA T1000 graphics that support up to six displays, ThinkStation P3 Tiny can empower architects and engineers, financial analysts, health professionals, and STEM education, virtually anywhere.
Adaptable and multipurpose mobile workstations don’t need to compromise on performance as illustrated by the new ThinkPad P series that provide ISV-certified solutions across a variety of price points.
Furthermore, along with the rest of the ThinkPad portfolio announced earlier this year, the latest ThinkPad mobile workstations are also increasing the use of more recycled materials and post-consumer content (PCC) plastic in select components that is in line with Lenovo’s continued focus on supporting a circular economy and Lenovo’s goal to integrate post-consumer recycled content into 100% of PC products by 2025.
- ThinkPad P16 Gen 2: Lenovo’s most powerful 16-inch mobile workstation ever, built for users who need the highest levels of performance on the go, the latest P16 Gen 2 features up to 13th Generation Intel Core HX-series processors with professional graphics up to the NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada Generation GPU for mobile workstations that provide breakthroughs in speed, performance, and efficiency. PCIe Gen 5 offers blazing storage and I/O support and up to 192GB DDR5 ensures even the most complex data inputs will not create a bottleneck.
- ThinkPad P1 Gen 6: Powerful, mobile, and an ultra-light sleek design at just 3.92 pounds (1.78kg) epitomizes ThinkPad P1. Ideal for content creators and packed with innovative features including a liquid metal thermal design for advanced cooling performance, the ThinkPad P1 can be configured with a new 16-inch OLED touch screen with a 5MP camera or low blue light display to ease eye strain. Factory color calibration delivers crisp, clear images, and excellent mobility is enhanced by WiFi-6E and optional 4G LTE to maintain connectivity in more remote environments. High-performance graphics are delivered by up to the NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada Generation GPU for mobile workstations or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090.
- ThinkPad P16v i Gen 1: Designed to narrow the value gap between entry and high-end workstations, the new P16v handles large complex workloads with ease thanks to 13th gen Intel Core H series processors, up to the NVIDIA RTX 2000 Ada Generation GPU for mobile workstations, and a dual thermal outflow that maximizes cooling, allowing users to push demanding and multitasking applications to the full.
- ThinkPad P14s i Gen 4 and P16s i Gen 2: Respectively to Lenovo’s 14-inch and 16-inch mobile workstations with the longest battery life, the latest models, available in black or storm grey, are designed for high-performance productivity and collaboration in remote and hybrid working environments, with several display options including OLED and low blue light displays, optional 5MP camera and up to the NVIDIA RTX A500 GPU for mobile workstations.
“ThinkStation and ThinkPad workstations power industries in such broad areas including research and design, engineering and finance, media and entertainment, healthcare, and education, “said Rob Herman, VP and GM, Worldwide Workstation and Client AI Business at Lenovo. “Our latest workstations demonstrate our dedication to pursuing human-centric innovations that empower our customers to make a difference and drive a positive long-lasting impact in their respective fields.”
ASUS Announces ExpertCenter PN64-E1 Mini PC
ASUS today announced the ExpertCenter PN64-E1, a mini PC powered by up to a 13th Gen Intel Core processor with up to DDR5-4800 memory and Intel Iris Xe Graphics. The PN64-E1 features two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, five USB ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports with DisplayPort 1.4 support, two HDMI, plus a configurable port for flexibility. In addition, the chassis provides quick access to the storage and memory modules for easy upgrades.
Compared to the previous generation, the 13th Gen Intel Core processor that powers the PN64-E1 delivers up to 9% faster performance to enable smooth and efficient processing of intensive business applications. DDR5 memory offers considerably faster data speeds over DDR4, ensuring efficient productivity.
Thunderbolt 4 brings Thunderbolt connectivity to USB-C at speeds of up to 40 Gbps, along with DisplayPort 1.4 support. It’s even compatible with USB4 to create one compact port that does it all — delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data storage device. In addition, the rear Thunderbolt port supports Power Delivery input, allowing the PN64-E1 to draw power from a Power Delivery-compatible monitor.
The PN64-E1 can support a single 8K display at 60 Hz, or up to four 4K monitors at 60 Hz via a combination of two HDMI ports, Thunderbolt 4, and the configurable port if its HDMI option has been chosen. If HDMI 2.1 is chosen for the configurable port, it can separately support up to 8K or 4K at 60 Hz. Quad-display support is ideal for multi-display setups in stores, restaurants, hotels, or video walls in public spaces; and it’s ideal for extending office workspace setups.
The 13th Gen Intel Core processor that powers the PN64-E1 is supported by next-gen DDR5 4800 MHz memory that’s 1.5X faster and 8% more energy-efficient than DDR4 3200 MHz RAM, providing users with exceptional performance for daily computing. A new thermal module with a special heat pipe allows for better heat dissipation, while an aluminum heatsink enables more efficient conductivity to allow the compact PN64-E1 to deliver desktop-grade performance.
Exclusive smart fan control technology enables users to tailor fan modes to suit their requirements via a user-friendly interface. Quiet mode delivers low operational noise and Performance mode is able to support sustained intensive data processing loads. The rear Thunderbolt port supports Power Delivery input and output, so users can provide power to the PN64-E1 via a Power Delivery-compatible monitor, simplifying workspaces by eliminating a power cable. Alternatively, this port can deliver power to other devices, such as mobile phones.
“Integrated AI-powered noise-cancelation technology includes both input and output noise cancelation for crystal-clear communication. It’s ideal for users in educational, office, or small office/home office settings. We strive to make a positive impact on the planet through all that we do. The exterior housing of the PN64-E1 features post-consumer recycled plastic, and its green packaging is sourced from responsible FSC-certified forests. The PN64-E1 is also ENERGY STAR certified,” the company said.
ASUS Expert Center PN64-E1 is available in the Middle East.
Review: Huawei MatePad 11-inch PaperMatte Edition
Huawei has long been a prominent player in the tech industry, consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation. The Huawei MatePad...
Review: Lexar Jumpdrive Fingerprint F35
In the fast-paced world of data storage, security is paramount. Lexar, a well-known player in the storage solutions market, has...
Review: Corsair MP700 Pro PCIe Gen5 X4 NVMe M.2 SSD with Cooler
Corsair has launched the new MP700 Pro PCIe Gen5 X4 NVMe M.2 SSD with a Cooler that stands out as...
Review: Razer Kishi V2 Pro
Many companies make mobile game controllers designed for both Android phones and iPhones, with Razer being one of the top...
Review: Linksys Velop Pro 6E
In today’s fast-paced world, a speedy internet connection is non-negotiable. However, the harsh reality is that many of us find...