Phone-sized mini PC lets you take your computer and your work anywhere

Our smartphones have become so powerful that, in theory, they have hardware equivalent to entry-level laptops from a few years back. But despite all that silicon muscle, they can’t really replace our everyday PCs mostly because of the operating system that’s used on most of these computers: Windows. Small, portable, and inconspicuous computers have always been a dream for both users and business owners, whether it’s for working on the go or setting up kiosks, security systems, or space-efficient workstations. This small brick tries to deliver exactly that, giving you the flexibility you need for any kind of computing in almost any context in a size that’s no larger than high-capacity power banks.

Designer: Minisforum

With the popularity of the Apple Mac Mini and, now, the Mac Studio, mini PCs have become more visible in the market. These desktop alternatives, however, are still meant to sit on a table or even on a shelf despite their small sizes. But while these small computers do offer plenty of power to support even some content creation or light gaming, that hardware also closes the door on many possible use cases that would have required them to be less tied down to a table.

The Minisforum S100 is a small, sleek box that you might easily mistake for a power bank. Ironically, it doesn’t actually have its own battery but is a mini PC that you can bring along with you or install in the narrowest of spaces. Despite its small size, it actually boasts a complete set of standard connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 6.2, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, USB-A ports, HDMI, and 65W USB-C.

The latter two are what make this design so portable and flexible. On a typical desktop, you can connect it to a USB-C monitor that supports USB-C PowerDelivery so that you don’t even have to plug the S100 into an outlet. You can connect another monitor via HDMI to have a dual-screen setup for increased productivity. And when you’re done for the day, you can pick up the palm-sized mini PC and go, maybe even work or chill in a cafe by connecting an external display and a power bank. The Ethernet port also supports Power-over-Ethernet or PoE, so you can use the S100 as the brains behind a camera security system and not have it plugged in at all.

Despite the flexibility that the Minisforum S100 offers, its performance is hampered a bit by the quad-core Intel N100 processor that runs the show, definitely not the best among the chip maker’s “mobile” processors. Its lower-power operation, however, does allow the mini PC to sip rather than chug electricity and keep thermals equally low. You definitely won’t be running heavy applications, but for $189, a Windows 11 computer you can easily slip into your bag or even your pocket might actually be worth the price.

The post Phone-sized mini PC lets you take your computer and your work anywhere first appeared on Yanko Design.

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