Mini PCs are not a new thing. Companies like Lenovo, HP, and Dell have been making pint-sized rigs for a long time, which are great for simple tasks like writing the 10-page bibliography to your masters thesis at 2 a.m. in the college library. (I know from experience.) There are entire lines of gaming hardware built to specifically fit inside small cases, and while pre-built mini gaming PCs like Intel’s NUC kits and Corsair’s One 160i. Mini PCs aren’t exactly in vogue, but they have gained traction over the years. I don’t have a need for one, but damn it if I don’t want this cute lil PC from Chinese tech giant Xiaomi.
Xiaomi has launched a crowdfunding campaign, spotted by TechRadar and which is now 213% funded, to bring its Ningmei Rubik’s Cube Mini to market. I mean, look at it! Look at it in all its teeny, tiny glory! At just 2.45 x 2.45 x 1.65 inches, it’s smaller than a ‘90s-era Polly Pocket. It can literally fit inside of my pocket. I could juggle two, maybe three at once, since it weighs only 0.32 pounds. (And, yes, it does look similar to the Chuwi Larkbox.)
The specs aren’t too bad for such a tiny machine. With 4 cores, 4 threads, and a 2.7 GHz boost clock, the Intel Celeron J4125 processor has the right amount of juice for everyday work tasks. The Ningmei Rubik’s Cube Mini also comes with up to 8GB DDR4-2400 RAM, and enough space for a single M.2 SSD, HDMI port for up to 4K 60 fps output, one USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, one micro SD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. If that doesn’t seem impressive enough, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity are also supported. The top-of-the-line Cube costs just $200, while the base model is $150.
To put that a little more into perspective, this PC meets Nvidia’s GeForce Now system requirements to play games via the cloud: a dual core x86-64 CPU with 2.0GHz or faster and Intel HD Graphics 2000 series or newer. As long as you have a good internet connection, this PC has the specs to play games like Control and Metro Exodus, which would normally need a traditional-sized rig or gaming laptop to play.
Right now, it looks like this mini PC will only be available to order from the official online Youpin store, but it doesn’t seem like there are country restrictions for ordering. According to the site, units are expected to ship before Nov. 28. If we get out hands on one, we’ll report back.