Logic Supply's ML300 is a bit of an oddity in our round-up because it's not aimed at the same audience as the other contenders, although there are some client applications that could benefit from its unique selling points. While Logic Supply will build your system for you, you can also purchase the ML300 enclosure on its own for $129.
This chassis differentiates itself by being a dust-proof, vent-less industrial case. No fans and no vents mean no active cooling, so you also don't have to sweat a fan failure. See the ribs on the top of the chassis? The entire exterior serves as a passive heat sink for the processor; this works surprisingly well.
Logic Supply configures systems to order. Our review sample came with an Intel Core i5-3427U sporting 3 MB of shared L3 cache. Its 1.8 GHz base clock rate scales as high as 2.8 GHz under the right thermal conditions. Intel's on-die HD Graphics 4000 engine can handle very mainstream gaming, but that's about it. The machine we're looking at sells for $1245.65, making it the most expensive entry in our round-up. But remember that it's also armed with 16 GB of DDR3-1600, has the only bundled mSATA-based SSD, and includes an operating system.
Of course, if you're content to build your own passively-cooled mini-PC, you can save some money by buying the ML300 and platform components separately.
Bundle And First Impression
In the plain cardboard box you'll find Logic Supply's ML300, an AC adapter, a power cord, an HDMI-to-VGA adapter, wall, VESA, and DIN rail mounting hardware, and Windows. A lack of fancy packaging suggests this product's industrial focus.
The front of this compact system features a power button and two USB ports. Measuring 7.72" x 1.45" x 5.17", the enclosure is roughly equivalent to one and a half NUCs. More surface area is necessary to cool the internally-housed processor passively, and to accommodate more I/O.
The back plays host to a power plug, two more USB ports, a pair of mini-DP outputs, an HDMI connector, and a GbE interface. Cutouts for other connections exist, but are not populated.
Open the chassis up and you'll see all of its extra expansion space. Our review unit doesn't have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support, but there is a mini-PCIe slot under the mSATA-based SSD, though. Logic Supply uses an Emphase 128 GB model, along with two 8 GB DDR3-1600 SO-DIMMs with 11-11-11-28 timings.
Special Features And Livability
An ultra-compact form factor is ideal for commercial applications, and a fan-less enclosure with nothing but solid-state components is ideal for ruggedness. With a wide range of mounting options and room for expansion, the ML300 chassis works well for its target market; it's a specialized piece of equipment that effective satisfies a specific need.
|Chipset||Intel QS77 Express|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-3427U, Dual-Core, Hyper-Threaded, 1.8 GHz (2.8 GHz Peak Turbo Boost), 3 MB Shared L3 Cache|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 4000, 350 MHz - 1.15 GHz|
|Graphics Memory||Shared with system memory|
|System Memory||2 x 8 GB Transcend PC3-12800, 1600 MT/s DDR3, 11-11-11-28-1T|
|Hard Drive||Emphase Enterprise 128 GB SSD, mSATA|
|Operating System||Windows 7 Professional x64|
|Included Peripherals||Not Included|
|Memory Support||Dual-Channel, 2 x DDR3/L/-RS SO-DIMM slots, 1.35/1.5 V, 1333/1600 MT/s, 16 GB Max|
|Mass Storage Controllers|
|Chipset SATA||1 x mSATA 6Gb/s|
|I/O Panel Connectors|
|MHSL Input||Not Included|
|USB||2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0|
|Memory Card Reader||Not Included|
|Digital Audio out||HDMI|
|Analog Audio||Not Included|
|IR Sensor||Not Included|
|Ethernet & Wireless|
|HD Audio Codec||HDMI: Intel Display Audio|
|Audio Channels||HDMI 7.1 Digital Audio|
|Size||196 x 36.75 x 131.20 mm|
(7.72" x 1.45" x 5.17")
|Weight||1111 g (2.45 lbs)|
|As Tested: $1245.65 (with Windows 7 Ultimate x64; tested with Windows 8.1 Professional)|
Case Only: $129 (Logicsupply)
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