Tablets have revolutionized portable computing, but sacrifices need to be made for mobile convenience. Most only have one physical connectivity port, for example, and simple storage expansion can be problematic. And if you want to run a full Windows operating system you may be left wanting. Currently raising production funds on Indiegogo, the Mi MiniPC palm-sized computer rocks three flavors of USB connectivity, a built-in battery, a 720p touch display and the option to run Windows or Android.
The MiniPC is actually pitched as being pocket-sized, though its somewhat chunky girth might be a bit of a tight squeeze in your skinny fit jeans so we're going with palm-sized to describe its 135 x 90 x 16 mm (5.3 x 3.5 x 0.6 in) dimensions.
We've seen a number of similarly teeny computers over the years that run Windows or Android operating systems. This one runs a desktop version of Windows 10 and ticks the mobile system box with Android 5.1 – though not at the same time, users are given a choice at boot up.
It has its own 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 resolution touchscreen display up top, is powered by a 2.56 GHz Atom x7-Z8750 processor supported by 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD storage, and offers a good selection of ports around its edges, including USB-C, USB 3.0 and 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI. There's a microSD (TF) slot for storage expansion, too. Wireless connectivity shapes up as Bluetooth 4.2 and dual-band Wi-Fi, and a 6,000 mAh battery is reported good for up to 6 hours of usage per charge.
The fanless design makes for silent operation, aluminum housing should be cool to the touch as well as lending a stylish look, and the MiniPC comes with a folding Bluetooth keyboard to make typing easier than sacrificing precious display real estate to an onscreen virtual keyboard. The unit does have front-facing stereo speakers, though users will likely need to make use of the audio output jack to enjoy decent sound.
The MiniPC project is already funded on Indiegogo with 22 days left to run. Pledges start at US$149, with add-ons including a more recent flavor of Android, more storage and an extra battery also available. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in September. The pitch video below has more.
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