Sunil Grewal, Director, GIGABYTE Technology (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Since the world today is increasingly looking at compact computing systems, after AIO (All-in-One) the next form factor introduced was the mini-PC. With a broad choice of processors covering the entire performance spectrum, Mini PCs can be use as a discreet HTPC / multimedia hub, an ultra-low power PC for the family, an office PC or as a digital signage unit, among other uses.
Today you find in the market, different categories of mini-PCs for different user segments. For example, there is even a wide range of models for the gaming segment. But most importantly, it can be configured as per end user requirement, while ensuring less power consumption while doing various activities.
As almost all technology products are getting smaller and sleeker, so is the PC. An increasing number of users nowadays prefer a mini-PC to a new desktop PC, to save on costs, space, and power consumption. This trend is common among institutional users who have been consistently bogged down by the tremendous costs and difficulties involved in maintaining an endless quantum of hardware. Thankfully for them, technology has evolved in such as way that the smaller sized PC does not render them any lesser performance.
Mini-PCs are mainly DiY (Do it Yourself) which mean the end-users can configure as per their requirement on RAM, storage, etc. It is compact in size and also fit behind the monitor which requires less footprint.
Most variants of the mini-PC are barebone kits and come in the shape of boxes, small enough to fit in your palm. This barebone kit features the motherboard and the processor, along with the case while you need to install the RAM and hard drive separately. The box comes pre-installed with USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and similar other features.
Trending with Institutional Users
There is an increasing demand from institutional users, for mostly for usages such as PoS (Point of Sales) terminals; kiosk at malls , airports or other public places to give information; hospitals; digital signage; thin client; HTPC (Home Theatre PC) for the home segment, labs at educational institutions, etc. It can be used for a number of commercial applications, such as factory testing machine, bank ATM systems, gaming equipment, vending machine, and security system, among others.
The Banking & Financial Services Industry (BFSI) organisations have been traditionally using a large number of PC hardware and peripherals for managing a massive amount of data round the clock. This requires extensive office space for installing desktops, resulting in mammoth expenditure for their installation and maintenance. These user segments are nowadays seeking easier-to-manage mini PCs, which also result in huge savings in space and office overheads.
Even in smaller cities, there’s a growing awareness of and demand for the mini-PC concept among institutional users. In several such cities, mini-PCs are being sought by educational institutions, which are always on the quest of saving space, power, space and IT expenses.
For small businesses, profit margins can be stiff and all the spending needs to be cautiously accounted for. For them, mini PCs can be of great value by ensuring savings with its low cost of operations. They can also make significant savings on manpower by installing the product in their premises.
There are a number of industries that are looking at going for mini PCs for digital signage technology or Internet kiosks, which are growing brand building trends in India. It opens up new possibilities for digital signage businesses that require a 4K display solution capable of delivering an ultra-realistic, high definition visual experience.
For those user organisations that are looking at upgrading their PC systems, the new, affordable option of customizable mini PCs would be difficult to ignore.
Rising Craze among the Tech-Savvy
The mini-PC offers them a simplistic and affordable option to play PC games, and to experience video and audio. It can function as an ultimate graphics powerhouse for playing the latest 3D games, for multimedia production, video editing, etc.
The end user needs a product which should be designed to provide the best possible video and audio, ensuring extremely efficient power consumption, offering sufficient cooling, and maintaining low noise levels. People want access to true entertainment and a stylish look in small size without compromising on performance for home and office.
The mini-PC comes as a smart solution especially because it optimizes power consumption, while offering a lot of processing power and connectivity in a form factor that is small enough to be placed anywhere – whether on your desk or even within your home entertainment setup. This affordable system can be made the vital machine of your home or office, and could also be adapted to function as a home theatre.
At the centre of this mini-PC buzz, emanating mostly from its large base of corporate users, is the GIGABYTE BRIX, GIGABYTE’s ultra-compact and versatile barebone PC kit. Though this smart solution is small enough to sit in your palm, it gives you a desirable combination of optimal CPU and GPU performance, peripheral connectivity options, power consumption, and of course, price.
Small Size, Big Performance
Thanks to its small size, you can mount it behind your monitor or even hide within your home entertainment setup. The BRIX also includes a mounting bracket that allows you to easily mount it behind an HDTV or monitor, so that it remains hidden away. This allows an effortless way to turn any VESA-compliant display or TV into a full-fledged PC.
It comes with a pre-installed Wi-Fi Mini PCIe module, a power adapter and cable which comply with local standards. You have the liberty to configure the system to your specific need by selecting your preferred system memory and digital storage option.
Another wow factor is the availability of different GIGABYTE BRIX models to suit the requirements of different user types. While the Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processor based models support dual display through HDMI plus Mini Display Port Outputs, the Intel Celeron processor-based models do so via a VGA and an HDMI port. Equipped with the Intel HD 5500 graphics, the Core i3 and i5 versions of the BRIX system deliver up to 20% more performance than the previous generation, as well as support for 4K resolution.
GIGABYTE BRIX includes a M.2 module offering IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi and the latest Bluetooth 4.2, providing connectivity for low power Bluetooth devices and peripherals, as well as allowing users to easily connect mobile devices.
Considering the Indian penchant for low-cost, high-result solutions, the compact mini-PC is here to stay. So stay tuned for more models of GIGABYTE BRIX catering to different user categories.
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