Over the past few years we’ve seen a growing number of tiny PCs hit the streets that are small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, but powerful enough to function as media centers, lightweight game systems, or general purpose computers (if you don’t need that much from a PC).
But the Xulu XR1 is the most powerful and versatile to date. It’s also a little larger than some of the other models we’ve seen, measuring 3.8″ x 3.5″ x 2.5″. But the extra size is easily forgiven when you realize that not only does this system come with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor and at least 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but both the memory and storage are user-upgradeable. There’s also a tiny OLED display on the front of some models that can show system information.
The Xulu XR1 is up for pre-order for $299 and up through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and while there’s always some risk involved in crowdfunding, the little computer seems to be a real thing: several websites including Android Central and ZDNet have already posted real-world reviews of working hardware.
Under the hood the little computer has two SODIMM slots with support for up to 64GB of total DDR4 memory and an M.2 slot with support for up to 2TB of storage. So while the company is taking orders for models with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, you can perform your own upgrades if you need more than that.
The computer’s Ryzen 7 5800U chip is a 15-watt processor with 8 Zen 3 CPU cores, 16 threads, support for CPU speeds up to 4.4 GHz, and Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics. First released in 2021, it’s still a pretty decent laptop-class processor, which makes it a pretty good fit for a compact computer like the Xulu XR1. It’s also more powerful than the low-power chips that are used for many of the other smaller-than-4-inch mini PCs we’ve seen in recent years.
Other features include support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, two built-in mics, and a set of ports that includes:
- 2 x HDMI 2.1
- 1 x USB Type-C (with DisplayPort Alt Mode)
- 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A
- 3 x USB 2.0 Type-A
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
- 1 x 12V DC power input
The system should support up to three displays if you use both HDMI ports and the USB-C port. And while the integrated GPU aren’t exactly designed for gaming, it should be able to handle video playback across all three of those screens.
The small OLED display on the front of the device shows information about things like the speed the internal fan is spinning at and the CPU temperature, helping you keep an eye on performance metrics for the little computer. This display is included in higher-end Xulu XR1 Max and Pro configurations, but not the entry-level Lite model.
According to the crowdfunding page, the Xulu XR1 should begin shipping to backers in August, 2023. The campaign has already surpassed its modest goal of raising $7,657.