The Mailman Has Arrived: Four Mini-PCs on the Test Bench

The First Car: A Motorized Carriage

As technology freaks will recall, the first car and its subsequent advances were, at best, motorized carriages as far as design was concerned. Even decades later, the form still did not fit the function. Real innovations in this field first took place in the thirties, when the so-called package got some attention for the first time. Nowadays the placement and arrangement of all of the equipment is planned, virtually down to the last millimeter. As passenger demands for space and comfort increase, pieces of equipment in the front and rear get moved closer and closer together. A thermal concept for the engine is also imperative if the emphasis is on performance.

A similar trend is emerging in the world of Mini-PCs: at the moment, we are still talking about miniature desktops that achieve a compact circuit board layout by reducing extension slots. Components are arranged to take up minimum of space, but without special consideration being given to issues such as heat build-up and air circulation. So far so good - at least this was our observation in past tests. One thing is for sure: the initial euphoria about the chic and compact minis has died down somewhat; for the purchaser of a barebone system, all that counts now is the facts.

The MSI Mega PC is a Mini-PC in audio-system design.