REVIEW: MSI Mini Cubi PC Perfect For COVID-19 Computing & Video Calls
As video conferencing becomes the new norm and people look for more space on their desks PC manufacturer MSI, who are known for their cutting-edge gaming laptops have come up with the Cubi 5 mini-PC which reminds me of the early days of thin client computing, the only difference is that this tiny box houses an Intel i5 processor and has a lot of grunt for the size.The Cubi is based on Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPU, which is a 14nm process and because it is small it can be tucked away or as we did attach to a TV eliminating the need for a notebook in our conference room to manage video calls. It not only delivers excellent cloud computing capability from acce2ss to Office 365, Teams or Zoom it also allows for easy access to files stored on OneDrive or Dropbox.
The shoebox-sized form factor packs a fair amount of technology including a HDMI port a full-size DisplayPort connector, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port via Intel WGI219V, four USB ports and a proprietary power port.
What we did was attach a 2 terabyte Western Digital Drive to the cube along with a Logitech video conferencing system. This not only eliminated the need for a notebook, but it delivered a means by which staff could log in and access the applications and files they have configured in their Office 365 account.
Costing $899 at Mwave the device comes with a 64bit Windows 10 OS.
Another big plus with the Cube is that all you need to set it up is a keyboard and mouse and if you are using it in a conference room, I recommend a Logitech keyboard designed for TV’s that has a touchpad mouse built into the keyboard.
At 4.41 x 4.57 x 1.75-inch for a weight of just over 544 kilograms, it is surprisingly compact and feels solid, as for Graphics the Intel UHD Graphics was okay for video calls but it is not designed for high end gaming or video editing.
On board is 8GB of Samsung RAM and a 512 GB hard drive which when hooked up to a portable drive of over 1 terabyte is more than adequate.
The Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, is basically a quad-core laptop processor with a 15W TDP and a base speed of 1.6GHz.
There’s no microphone, or external antenna or speakers which is why this is best hooked up to a TV or monitor as this allows one to plug in external speakers if needed.
The embedded Intel UHD graphics subsystem can power two 4K monitors side by side.
The 2.5Gb Ethernet port allows for fast processing of data.
This is a small package PC that does a lot of work. While it’s not a big grunt notebook the combination of size and performance does deliver a lot of benefits especially if space is a premium either on a desktop or in a conference room. I also see it as an ideal PC to take to an offsite conference where it can easily be plugged into a projector or TV.
I would have liked to have seen a better graphics card and a small handle box so that the power supply and cables can be packed away for remote use.