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DinoPC Mini Carnivore review

The motherboard offers VGA, DVI and HDMI video output, which are supported by the graphics chip integrated in the Intel Core i3. However, as already mentioned Dino PC has installed a dedicated graphics card as an ATI / AMD Radeon HD 5570. Unfortunately, due to its low profile card that only offers DVI and DisplayPort, which means you’ll need an adapter to plug into the HDMI inputs on your TV, which is another drawback to its use as a HTPC.

DinoPC Mini Carnivore

Here in the office of TR, some of us dream of the ultimate small form factor (SFF) PCs: one that is powerful enough to play games with decent settings still small enough to carry under your arm while remaining attractive, affordable and quiet. The Dell Inspiron Zino HD Mesh Cute failed the element of games, while the Nano Freeze was still a little on the large side. The power of DinoPC Mini Carnivore be the candidate to devour all opposition?

For starters, the specifications of Carnivore Mini certainly impress. Somehow, DinoPC managed to cram a 2.9GHz Core i3, 4 GB of RAM, a motherboard compatible with USB 3.0 mini-ITX and an ATI / AMD Radeon HD 5570 in a frame measuring 328 x 222 x 96mm! While this is not a Mac Mini, but then this little beast has much more power and functionality, and cost much less elsewhere. Indeed, in addition to the above specifications DinoPC added a slimline DVD burner (which you can upgrade to a recordable Blu-ray for a mere 131 pounds), a 320GB 2.5 inch drive and a Wi-Fi dongle, and the whole package still cost you just under £ 550.

We were a little shocked by the size of our mini Carnivore box arrived at, but do not worry – it’s all padding. In the huge external box is a smaller containing all the extra bits, including a solid support instead of the vertical Carnivore. There is also an addon boxed (the brand name) 802.11g Wi-Fi USB. Obviously, we would have preferred to see 802.11n Wi-Fi dongle (or an integrated solution – Ed) Here by default, but the site DinoPC you can update for only £ 15.

Because it is housed in Antec snazzily-named (not) ISK 310-150 Mini-ITX case, smaller DinoPC PC is an exercise in contrasts. From the front, it looks great, thanks to a minimalist, silver faux-metal finish offset by a brushed metal button, blue backlight side but in matt black top and look decidedly dull, and are not really helped by the multitude of fan holes. Therefore, this PC will look best if you can hide everything but the front sight (in one AV cabinet, for example), although this could make it harder to get back at Carnivore Mini prodigious connectivity.



Back to the front, it sports an eSATA port, two USB connectors and headphone and microphone are discretely built and well spaced. The slim-line DVD-drive is hidden behind a panel flush clean water, but unfortunately, unlike most of these covers player we have seen, it does not open automatically with the player (either by being glued to the front of the drive tray or be suspended). Instead you must press the panel’s operating push the latch, then pull down and press the button to open the drive. This is a small referral – particularly with optical discs being used less often these days – but certainly if you use this system as a HTPC it could become frustrating.

In terms of connectivity of this system SFF PC comfortably eat much more important for breakfast, thanks to the use of the motherboard GA-H55N-USB3 Gigabyte. The ceremony, here is a pair of USB 3.0. They are supplemented by four USB 2.0 connectors and one eSATA port on the other hand, as well as a combined PS2 mouse / keyboard port Gigabit Ethernet socket. Audio outputs include six color jacks 3.5mm analog and optical digital connector for 7.1 surround sound.

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