Hands-on: A super cool (and cheap) mini desktop
Even if you never buy a mini desktop, they’re always a cool thing to see. The new HP Pavilion Mini Desktop, which is also available in blue as the even cheaper HP Stream Mini Desktop, proves that point. It’s small, stylish and surprisingly capable. As a first PC for kids, or living room PC plugged into the TV, it ticks all the right boxes.
HP Pavilion Mini Desktop Release Date and Price: Available in the US from 14th Jan from $319 (~£210). HP Stream Mini Desktop starts at $179.99 (~£120). There’s no confirmation on other regions yet.
So what do you get for such a small and cheap mini desktop? The base HP Pavilion Mini Desktop comes with an Intel Pentium 3558U processor, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Core i3 processors will be available as well, but this seems sufficient for most people.
The cheaper HP Stream Mini Desktop PC, meanwhile, comes with just 2GB, a 32GB SSD and a slower Intel Celeron processor. Like the laptops that bear the same name, the focus here is on the use of cloud storage and OneDrive for storage and you get 200GB for two years on purchase.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in and the basic connectivity is solid enough. There are four USB 3.0 ports, two on the front and two at the back. An SD card slot on the side is easy to access, too, while an HDMI output at the rear serves as your video output.
The design, meanwhile, is charming. It’s so small it fits in the palm of your hand and smart, two-tone finish looks classier than the price suggests. A keyboard and mouse are included, though they’re pretty basic affairs.
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In truth that’s all the there is to it, here. The Mini Desktop line isn’t complicated or flashy, but I can see it winning many fans. It does the basics well and looks good doing it. It would make a great living room PC, perhaps running a Plex client, but could easily serve as a mini workhorse for the family. It’s a tentative thumbs up.