Most people think of PCs as large tower desktops or laptops, but compact PCs like the Mac Mini and Zotac ZBOX C remain popular. Lenovo has just revealed its own updated option, the “IdeaCentre Mini (1L, 8)”.
The new PC is an updated version of the existing IdeaCentre compact desktop, with the same basic boxy shape and gray exterior, but the similarities end there. The new model is designed to sit horizontally, or with the included stand, vertically, a bit of a throwback to the Nintendo Wii. It’s also at least partially serviceable and upgradeable, with easy access to the cooling fan and memory, and no bulky external power supply. Lenovo says the case measures 7.68 x 7.52 x 1.53 inches, which is about the same size as the current Mac Mini (7.7 x 7.2 x 1.4 inches).
The IdeaCentre Mini has “up to next-generation Intel Core i7,” dual-channel DDR4 memory (8 or 16GB total), up to 1TB SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and Windows 11. The front has two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connector, and a combo audio jack. On the back there’s 2.5G Ethernet, another USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, a USB 2.0 Type-A connector, a Thunderbolt 4 Type-C port, DisplayPort 1.4b, and HDMI 2.1. Not bad.
Lenovo says the updated IdeaCentre Mini will start at $649.99 and should be available starting in Q2 2023. That could mean the “next-gen Intel Core” will be 14th-gen Intel chips, but it’s not. clear what CPU they will be. on the cheaper models. The current IdeaCentre Mini 5i starts at $399.99 with a Core i3-10100 CPU.