Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

The Xulu XR1 Professional with a normal USB flash drive for scale.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Nano PCs are a vital piece of the know-how puzzle. You might need a desk with very restricted house. Or possibly you wish to create a kiosk the place you must tuck the pc away from sight. You may even wish to have a “neighborhood” PC in your house (or possibly your Airbnb), the place visitors can get on-line and do what they should do. 

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Regardless of the necessity, these tiny PCs are right here to serve. I’ve used many small type issue PCs and most of what I’ve used pales compared to the Xulu XR1 Professional. This system isn’t solely the smallest of the tiny PCs I’ve tried, but it surely’s additionally essentially the most highly effective.

The system itself measures a scant 3.5 x 3.5 inches and is barely 2.5 inches tall, making it the smallest AMD Ryzen 7-powered PC ever constructed. Sure, it is tiny. Nevertheless it additionally presents six USB ports, one USB Sort C port, two HDMI ports, and a headphone jack.

The specs

After all, you are in all probability questioning what the complete specs are. This is the record:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 8 cores/16 threads.GPU: Radeon 8.Communicate/mic jack combo with built-in twin mics.RAM: As much as 64 GB (mine has 16 GB), which is upgradeable.Storage: As much as 2 TB M.2 SSD (mine has 512 GB), which can be upgradeable.Giant-volume turbine fan.OLED standing show.Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6e, gigabit ethernet, and Bluetooth 5.2.HDMI cable and energy cable are included. 

My Xulu XR1 shipped with Home windows 7, however the {hardware} additionally helps Linux, so you possibly can set up any distribution you need. My regular inclination could be to instantly set up Linux, however I opted to see how effectively the machine would energy a useful resource hog like Home windows 11.

There are many ports on the again facet (with extra on the entrance).

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I used to be pleasantly shocked. I anticipated the Xulu XR1 Professional to wrestle below the burden of Home windows 11, but it surely seems the machine has loads of energy to just do that. Though I am not a fan of the Home windows OS, I used to be impressed at how effectively the OS carried out on such a small unit. I am used to how effectively Linux runs on small type issue PCs, however my Home windows expertise with these machines tends to veer towards the disappointing.

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So, think about how effectively the XR1 would carry out with Ubuntu or Linux Mint. My objective was to check that concept, so I inserted a USB drive with Ubuntu Budgie, entered the boot menu, chosen the USB drive as the first boot system, and booted into Ubuntu Budgie. The consequence was that the Xulu XR1 Professional carried out nearly in addition to my common desktop PC, a System76 Thelio. My major desktop did have the benefit of 32 GB of RAM, so it wasn’t precisely an apples-to-apples comparability. Even so, the XR1 Professional did a exceptional job operating a dwell model of Linux.

This tiny machine is right for work, leisure, faculty, and even some gaming. The very best factor about these tiny type issue PCs is that they are often put in wherever. And regardless that the XR1 Professional does have a large-volume fan, I by no means heard it operating. I may really feel it spinning and shifting air, however the sound was so minimal I needed to get very shut to listen to the fan.

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So far as worth is anxious, the Xulu XR1 Professional will begin at round $299 and max out at round $399. So not solely does this tiny machine punch above its weight, but it surely’s additionally at a worth level that makes it much more interesting. Having an AMD Ryzen 7 desktop machine at that worth is a discount…irrespective of the scale.

Though I do not anticipate tiny type issue PCs will ever supplant the usual desktop or laptop computer market, these small gadgets actually serve a lot of functions and accomplish that very effectively. 

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