This Tiny PC Might Just Be The Bargain Of 2023

If you were looking for a powerful desktop PC, you would normally expect to come home with a hulking great tower with cooling fans blowing like a jet engine. The Geekom Mini IT 13 packs plenty of power into a device that can sit on the palm of your hand—and does so at a ridiculously low price.

The Geekom Mini IT 13 comes in a variety of configurations, but the one I was sent for review is the top-of-the-range spec. It has a punchy Intel Core i9-13900H processor, a generous 32GB of RAM and there’s plenty of storage space for games and other apps with a 2TB SSD. All of this costs only $789.

To put that price into context, if you wanted to purchase an Apple Mac mini with 32GB of unified memory and a 2TB SSD you would be looking at $2,299. The Geekom Mini IT 13 is astonishingly cheap.

Geekom Mini IT 13 Benchmarks

To be clear, the Intel Core i9 processor inside the Geekom Mini IT 13 is a mobile processor, the kind you would normally find in laptops. It’s not as powerful as a full-blown Core-i9 desktop chip that you would typically see in one of those giant tower cases.

That said, the Mini IT 13 definitely doesn’t lack grunt. In the Geekbench 6.1 benchmark, it scored 2,445 in the single core tests and 11,453 in the multi-core scores. That’s roughly equivalent to the scores from the 2021 M1 MacBook Pro (2,350/12,248), which cost $2,500 new. It’s more than powerful enough for any day-to-day computing activity you might throw at it.

Graphics wise, it relies on Intel’s Iris Xe graphics. They’re a lot better than they used to be, but not exactly the pinnacle of gaming performance either. In Fortnite, I was averaging between 30-60 frames per second, when playing at 4K resolution with low quality settings. It was playable, but glitchy. Dropping to Full HD made the frame rate much smoother.

In general, it will be fine for casual gaming and just about playable with demanding 3D action titles, but if you’re looking for a dedicated gaming rig, look elsewhere. Geekom’s AMD-based AS 6 Mini PC, which I reviewed earlier this year, offers better graphics performance if you’re determined to play games on a small form-factor PC.

Size Matters

Packing this much power into a device as small and unobtrusive as the Mini IT 13 is impressive. It has a smaller footprint than the Mac mini, measuring 117 x 112 x49.2mm. It’s small enough to sit on my monitor stand, taking up no extra desk space at all. Geekom provides a plate to mount it to the back of compatible monitors, meaning you could keep it completely out of eyeshot.

There’s no shortage of connectivity here, either. There are 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 x USB 4 ports and another USB 2 port. For connecting displays, there are 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports. In theory you can connect up to four displays using a combination of the USB 4 and HDMI sockets, but that would be a big stretch for the Iris Xe graphics.

What’s more, there’s an SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a 2.5Gbit Ethernet socket. If you’re not close enough to the router for a wired internet connection, there’s a Wi-Fi 6E chip inside the box, meaning you can take advantage of the superfast 6GHz Wi-Fi band if you have a bang-up-to-date router.

Given all the components that are packed inside this thing, you might imagine the fans would be working overtime, but they’re not. There is frequent fan noise—something you’d seldom hear from a recent Mac mini—but it never reaches a level where it becomes an irritant.

How Is It So Cheap?

Given all the high-end components in the Mini IT 13, not to mention a copy of Windows 11 Pro pre-loaded on the device, it’s a head scratcher how Geekom are making money on this machine.

And let’s be clear—there is an element of risk when buying equipment from a little-known brand such as Geekom compared to the mutlinational giants such as Apple, Dell and Lenovo. It has no long track record to speak of, the company is based out of Shenzen in China, and getting support if something goes wrong might be trickier than it is from the big players. Support is offered via email or WhatsApp, and it’s only available weekdays between 9am and 7pm CST.

If you’re willing to take that chance, however, you might well land the PC bargain of the year.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *