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Chinese PC makers started selling the first mini PCs with Alder Lake-N processors in January, just a few weeks after Intel unveiled the new low-power, low-cost chips. But most of that first wave of mini PCs were powered by Intel Processor N95 chips.

Now a new model with an Intel Processor N100 is available from AliExpress for $156 and up. The chip is more energy-efficient processor.

Both chips are 4-core, 4-thread processors with Gracemont CPU cores, support for CPU boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, and Intel UHD graphics.

But the N95 chip should deliver a little more CPU performance since it’s a 15-watt chip with higher base CPU frequencies than the 6-watt Intel N100. The N95 also feature Intel UHD graphics with 16 execution units and graphics speeds up to 1.2 GHz, compared with the N100’s 750 MHz, 24eu GPU.

The advantage to the N100 chip is that it’s more energy-efficient, which honestly makes it seem like it’s designed for fanless laptops, tablets, and mini desktop computers, which makes it a bit of an odd choice for this mini desktop that does have a fan inside. But I suppose low power consumption could still come in handy if you plan to use the computer for 24/7 operation as a file server, DIY firewall, or media center computer around the home or a digital signage, kiosk, or point-of-sales system in commercial applications.

The $156 starting price will get you a model with an Intel N100 chip and 8GB of LPDDR5-4800 memory, but no storage or operating system. You can pay a little more to get 64GB to 2TB of solid state storage and Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro pre-installed. But since the price doesn’t go up when you add Windows, I suspect you’ll need to pay for your own license if you want to activate Windows on the little PC. You could also probably install a GNU/Linux distro: the product page lists “Ubuntu etc” as supported operating systems.

The computer measures 126.5 x 124 x 62.5mm (5″ x 4.9″ x 2.5″) and features room inside for an M.2 2280 SATA SSD, and a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD. Since LPDDR5 memory is soldered to the motherboard it’s not likely to be user upgradeable.

Ports include:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 3 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x microSD card reader
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x power input (12V/3A power supply)

There are no USB Type-C or Thunderbolt ports. This is very much a budget computer. But it should support up to two displays and the inclusion of two Ethernet ports opens the possibility of using the little computer as firewall or other networking appliance. It also supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2.

via AndroidPC.es

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