Lately, fruity companies as well as semiconductor analysts all talked about the "Post PC" era
and yet once more banged the "PC is Dead" drum. For a market growing at least 17-19% a year, this is just typical "load of" we have to hear about.
Sapphire Edge HD - Mini PC based on Intel Atom N510 CPU and nVidia ION 2 GPU
However, there is just one truth out there - technology improves and gadgets get smaller. The one area that this axiom has passed over for the most part is the desktop PC. Performance has consistently improved, however the overall size of desktops has remained fairly constant.
Sapphire would like to change that with the introduction of the Sapphire Mini PC Edge-HD
. As you might have guessed, the Edge is a small PC, in this case very small, and the HD addendum to the end of the name is there to highlight this little PC's High Definition display capabilities. Sapphire has also placed the Edge on a pretty strict power diet with claims that the PC tops out a 22W under load, an almost unbelievable feat in today's era of quadruple-digit PSU wattage ratings and video cards consuming somewhere in the 250W range.
Sapphire is quite proud of their diminutive offering, touting the Edge as the "smallest PC in the world" and calls it "one of the Greenest PC solutions available". Pretty strong claims for such a pint-sized product, but what else would we expect from PR and Marketing right? We plan to put the Edge through its paces and see how well it lives up to those claims, and also answer a few other questions, such as does anyone really need a PC this small?Unboxing
Sapphire Edge HD: Packaging comes with everything that you might need for connecting the computer with peripherals. We find the USB-DVD swap highly desirable, as the time of optical media is slowly coming to an end.
First things first, let's take a look at the packaging. The outer box is standard computer industry fare, full color imagery along with a boatload of product/technology logos. Upon opening the outer box it is quickly evident that Sapphire did their homework when it comes to the interior packaging. You remove a small cardboard sleeve filled with foam to find the Edge itself, nestled inside its antistatic bag in a custom cut soft foam block. Below the Edge and its protective foam we find the power brick, various connectors, USB Key, manual and system stand.
The Edge does not have an internal power supply; instead it receives its power from a laptop-style power brick. In the case of our review sample, our Edge arrived with a European plug which turned out to be a simple issue to rectify as I merely used the American plug from my own laptop's power brick and we were in business - these days, practically all the power supplies are all rated 100-240V
, and plugging a different connector is all that you need. Gone are the days of loud bangs, thankfully. The remaining two connectors in the accessory compartment are video connectors; an HDMI to DVI adapter
as well as an HDMI cable.
The manual is little more than a quick start guide, or as it's printed on the manual in Engrish
, "Quickly Install Guide"
. The included Sapphire-branded USB key contains necessary system drivers should you choose to install a Windows variant on the mini PC.
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