ASUS VM42-S075V Mini Desktop via Amazon
Asus VivoPC VM42-S075V is a stylish, good looking, compact and portable mini desktop PC with Windows 8.1 operating system, 4th generation Intel Celeron processor, built-in SonicMaster speakers, a good range of connectivity ports on its small body for home entertainment as a great home media centre except for advanced gaming at a rather low price. So it would be a great mini desktop to consider if you are not after high power and performance but need a low cost modern desktop that does the job. Asus VivoPC VM42-S075V comes with the Haswell dual core Intel Celeron 2957U processor (2MB cache) clocked at 1.4GHz without turbo boost or hyper threading functions, 4GB DDR3L SDRAM for sufficient multitasking and that can be upgraded to a max of 16GB, 500GB Serial ATA-600 hard drive storage at 7200rpm rotating speed (faster than the 5400rpm available on most budget machines) as well as 100GB Cloud based storage free of charge for 12 months and you can easily add extra storage such as SSD as it is offered with 2 x 2.5 inch drives for an SSD + HDD combo.
It doesn’t come with a monitor but a keyboard / mouse combo is included in the box, graphics card is the integrated Intel HD (Haswell) GPU and for sound it comes with the 2 x 2W built-in SonicMaster speakers and MaxxAudio tuning and AudioWizard sound utilities. With its Celeron CPU and Intel HD graphics chip it is not a gaming PC and you probably weren’t expecting it to be but there is no reason why you can’t play less demanding titles like World of Warcraft and Minecraft at acceptable frame rates. You can stream video comfortably and the faster wireless connection helps the quicker data transfers. Silver Asus VivoPC weighs 2.6 pounds and measures 7.48 x 2.21 x 7.48 inches- has a very small footprint and you can easily take it wherever you go on your travels and connect it to the TV in your hotel room, for example. It has no optical drive because of small size but the faster 802.11ac wireless with wider coverage, Gigabit Ethernet with RJ-45, Bluetooth 4.0, 4 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 Media Card Reader, an optical S/PDIF output, DP, an HDMI output, a DisplayPort output so you can comfortably connect a variety of peripherals and to your HDTV and external monitors (this PC supports dual monitors) and for the DVD drive you can easily connect a low-cost external DVD drive to one of the ports.
Conclusion: Celerons are not the most powerful of processors so you will find it on budget laptops and light desktops. Passmark benchmark score of a bit over 1500 for the Celeron 2957U is not too bad and puts it in the lower mid-range category of processors overall and you can easily perform your daily tasks (web browsing, song playing, video streaming, word processing, spreadsheets and more) on it and the fact that January 2014 release CPU is low cost you will not be paying for what you do not need. You’ll find the 30 day trial version of Microsoft Office and an anti-virus software on this system which you can choose to continue by paying for the full versions but for the virus program we find that the free AVG or Avast that you can download online is more than adequate. If you need more memory for better multitasking capabilities you can upgrade the existing 4GB to a max of 16GB on two DIMMs. Both the RAM and hard drive are easy to upgrade as it also has a dual storage design to have HDD and SSD at the same time easily. It is super portable for a desktop but you’ll still need to connect it to a power outlet as it doesn’t work on battery power like laptops and need a display as well, but it comes with a keyboard and mouse included in the box. Thermal Design Power of 15 watts helps with power efficiency and less electricity use but this is not a laptop so we can’t talk about a longer battery life. Operating system is Windows 8.1 (Windows 10 will be released very soon and you have a free upgrade within a year) so you may perhaps consider getting a touch display over a normal monitor, but is fine either way. Great value computer overall if it is along the lines of what you’re looking for.