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It seems like there’s an arms race among Chinese PC makers to cram the most features into the tiniest computers.

The latest contender for the crown? The Kingnovy M1 is a 3″ x 3″ x 2.1″ computer with an Intel Alder Lake-N processor, four 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports, up to 16GB of RAM and an M.2 2242 slot for a PCIe 3.0 SSD. It’s available from AliExpress for $238 and up.

The starting price gets you a model with an Intel N100 processor, 8GB of LPDDR5-4800 memory, and no storage. But there are a dizzying array of configuration options available.

You can opt for higher-performance Intel N200 or Intel Core i3-N305 processors and/or pay for an SSD and more memory.

The most expensive model currently available packs an 8-core Intel Core i3-N305 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD and sells for $477.

Since memory is soldered the mainboard, the little computer will never have more than it does when it ships out of the factory. But since the system has an M.2 slot with support for SATA or NVMe SSDs, you can bring your own storage or upgrade down the road.

The system has a copper heat sink and spinning fan for active cooling, and a set of ports that includes:

  • 4 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet (Intel i226-V)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (data and video)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio combo
  • 1 x microSD card reader
  • 1 x USB Type-C (12-19V power input with support for 55W or higher USB-PD chargers)

You can connect up to two displays, thanks to the HDMI and USB-C ports. And with up to a Core i3 processor, the Kingnovy M1 could make a decent general-purpose computer for lightweight tasks.

One thing the little computer doesn’t have is a wireless card. If you want to add support for WiFi or Bluetooth, you’ll need a USB wireless adapter. But the inclusion of four Ethernet ports in such a compact package could also make it a networking appliance that you can put nearly anywhere in your home or office… or a portable tool that you could easily unplug and take with you.

It’s hardly the only multi-port high-speed “soft router” we’ve seen come out of China in the past few years, but it’s certainly one of the smallest.

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  1. I believe this is a copycat version of the iKOOLCORE R1, as the only changes from the R1 seem to be the swapped positions of LAN3 and HDMI ports. It looks very similar.

  2. They missed an opportunity: 1) They need to add a second M.2 slot, then it can be a NAS and boot from a write protected uSD card. 2) Replace the M.2 2242 with M.2 2230. M.2 2242 are hard to find these days, especially in large sizes. This because as soon as they hit the street they get scooped up by people with cheap refurbished ex-corporate Lenovo ThinkPad laptops (and other brands like Dell) with a M.2 2242 slot which was previously used for a WWAN card that can now be used for a second bootable SSD instead. I know, I had to wait a month for a 1TB M.2 2242 PCIe 3.0 SSD to arrive for my ThinkPad T480.

  3. add external antena wifi (2-4 socket)
    add harware raid 10
    add emergency solar power input or usb c

      1. for power source? it working from powerbank in emergency situation?
        for example decrease cpu/ram speed etc?
        sorry no ;(

        1. Certainly it does if you have a massive power bank, perhaps better known as a UPS although non-uninteruptable versions are available. If you’re talking about the small kind that recharges phones, yeah, that’s not going to happen and they certainly weren’t planning for it. This is designed for a networking appliance; it’s not very useful in situations where you’re using such a power source.

  4. Just bought a Kingnovy firewall with an N200. They couldn’t source an N200 for me, upgraded it to an N305, for free. Am quite excited to get my hands on it. They seem keen to compete for my dollars. Kinda nice having a competitive market serving the consumer, when most of the markets have succumbed to supply management.

    1. Just wait for the “decoupling” to get completed and a competitive market will become an old memory…