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Last week Liliputing reported that the first mini PCs powered by Intel Processor N95 chips were available from AliExpress with starting prices under $200 for a barebones model. But now there are more options for folks who might not want to order from a Chinese marketplace.
A handful of mini PCs with the same processor are now available from Amazon for under $300.
The Intel Processor N95 is a 15-watt, chip with four Intel Gracemont CPU cores and support for CPU speeds up to 3.4 GHz and Intel UHD graphics with support for speeds up to 1.2 GHz. It’s part of the new Intel Alder Lake-N line of low-cost, low-power chips that are basically what you get when you build a 12th-gen Intel Core processor using only Efficiency cores (there are no Performance cores).
This particular chip has higher power consumption and lower CPU and graphics performance than some other members of the lineup, suggesting that it may be a binned part that Intel decided to offer as a cheaper option for PC makers. And that would help explain why it’s becoming popular with Chinese PC makers who are cranking out cheap small desktop computers.
Here are a few of the models available from Amazon so far:
- SIMODEWA mini PC w/Intel N95/8GB/256GB/Win11 Pro for $190 (clip on-page coupon)
- ACEMAGICIAN mini PC w/Intel N95/8GB/256GB/Win11 Pro for $219 (or w/16GB/512GB for $320)
- KAMRUI GK3 Plus w/Intel N95/16GB/512G/Win11 Pro for $260 (clip on-page coupon)
The cheapest model is the SIMODEWA mini PC, which appears to be based on the same design as the mini PC I reported on last week. But the KAMRUI and ACEMAGICIAN models have a different port layout and support for an optional 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD in addition to an M.2 SSD. The ACEMAGICIAN model also has dual Ethernet jacks (other models have just one).
Beelink has also announced plans to sell a Beelink Mini S12 mini PC with an Intel Processor N95 chip soon. That will be the company’s first model powered by an Alder Lake-N processor, and it’s expected to be a 4.25″ x 4″ x 1.5″ computer with support for up to 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory and room for an M.2 2280 SSD and 2.5 inch drive.
While it’s still worth proceeding with caution when buying a computer from a small Chinese brand like the companies that make these mini PCs, they’re all covered by Amazon’s return policy which allows customers to return a product in its original condition within 30 days of receipt for a refund or replacement.
I’d be interested to see how they are doing compared to the 4 core celerons, pentium golds and older core i3s
Given the same price and same SSD size, what are advantages of buying n95 8GB Ram vs. N5105 16GB Ram? What kind of usage will benefit a certain combination more than another?
I would avoid these; pretty much all of these have limited or non-existent support for firmware/BIOS updates, including for patching security vulnerabilities! 🙁 Considering the attack surface of modern BIOS/firmware components, you don’t want to run these unpatched. Spend a bit more on much higher quality product, like an Intel NUC, if you need a mini PC.
For example, check out the changelog on the Intel gen 5 NUC, which was released way back in 2014 but got tons of firmware updates all the way through 2022: https://downloadmirror.intel.com/738978/RY_0386_ReleaseNotes.pdf
NUCs also have 3 years of warranty…
I don’t think these units will be used for anything other than browsing the internet, and watching streamed movies.
I’m pretty sure you will be forced to create a Windows recovery flash drive at first boot, and if some hacker hacked your machine it’ll take about 30 min to 1 hour to recover the os (max).
I doubt anyone will be using this for sensitive information.
It sounds like making low cost product for people is guilty. You have choice to buy other product but you made the decision not to. These are simply companies which simply want to help their employees to get bread for their family. You are telling your friend the food leftover in dustbin is discusting, in the other hand you are eating those leftover. You don’t understand the truth that you pay what you get. Try to learn how to make use of low cost product to make more money so you can afford apple.
You dumb bro.
I’ve bought one of these (well, an older version of course) off Amazon that was the exact same cheap plastic case as the “Kamrui” unit pictured above, I believe it was branded something like “TerryZa” or similar. It was nothing but hot garbage. The case was misaligned, the screws were ultra-cheap coarse thread self tapping ones that bit directly into the case plastic instead of machine screws going into a threaded brass insert. It had the world’s tiniest fan that wouldn’t keep a Raspberry Pi Zero cool, and as a result it would overheat and shut down with any web browsing or other light work.
I ended up returning it and building out a slightly larger system based on the AsRock DeskMini case for just $100 more. The whole point in getting a mini PC at that time was to not have to DIY it and also not pay Intel NUC prices for my wife’s new computer.
This. The same machines get sold under 10 different names with 10 different price points. I went through three “Aerofara” machines, each of which featured variable usb performance and a network adapter that’d periodically disappear. And after writing a review, they started offering me a free computer to change it to a 5 star review.
“Chuwi” was up next. They managed to fit a cpu cooler for a quad core onto an octocore machine with twice the TDP that the platform was built for. It managed to live for an entire six months.
Intel NUC now, and despite the price, every bit of it works, works well, and I have no reason to expect that I won’t still be using it 4-5 years from now.
You really believe your one person experience will identify a whole batch? Or if intel would allow this to happen in usa? Lol.
Chinese computers sold by Amazon. You may not be ordering from a Chinese website, but you are still buying a Chinese machine. I’m sure these are also equipped with the same spy chips found in the Cisco servers manufactured in China.
Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo and most other computers are also made in China. Should we avoid buying them as well?
Yeah, it’s terrible to get spied by the Chinese instead of being spied just by our old friend, Uncle Sam, right? I’m totally in favour of exposing everything I do the NSA, but the Chinese? Of course not.
They don’t need to any more. It’s all controlled by the IME in the firmware which is why you should only buy PCs from companies that have a legal presence in your country. That way you can at least open a class-action lawsuit against them.