In my latest review, I explored the Lenovo Ideacentre Mini, a new offering in the realm of mini PCs. This compact yet powerful device is reminiscent of the Mac Mini but runs on Windows and offers a more budget-friendly price point. You can find it at Best Buy and directly at Lenovo (compensated affiliate links).
The Ideacentre Mini I reviewed came with an Intel i7-13700H processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of NVMe storage. Its design facilitates easy upgrades; the RAM is expandable, and there are two NVMe slots with one empty for additional storage. A noteworthy feature is the integrated power supply, eliminating the need for a separate power brick.
Physically, the Mini offers a versatile setup. It can stand vertically or lie horizontally, though it lacks a VESA mount. The front hosts a USB 3 port with a USB-A connector, a USB-C port (non-Thunderbolt), and a headphone/microphone jack. The rear panel is more generous, offering a Thunderbolt port (ideal for external GPUs), two USB 3 ports, a USB 2 port, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet jack. The Ideacentre can output to multiple 4K output 60 Hz displays.
In terms of performance, it excels at basic tasks and web browsing, thanks to its robust Intel processor. Video playback on platforms like Netflix and YouTube runs smoothly, although I noticed a few dropped frames in 4K 60fps content.
I also tested the Ideacentre Mini for video editing with DaVinci Resolve, doing some basic 4K 60fps edits without noticeable lag or stuttering. It will struggle with more advanced tasks like color grading and other more strenuous editing tasks unless paired with an external GPU.
Gaming performance is respectable for a mini PC and on par with what we’ve seen from other current-gen Intel-based PCs that lack a separate GPU. Running Red Dead Redemption 2 and Doom Eternal at 720p on low settings, the device managed playable frame rates. However, for more intensive gaming, a mini PC with an AMD Ryzen processor might be a better choice.
One notable downside is the fan noise. While idle, the device is quiet, but under load, the fan becomes noticeably louder. It’s not excessively disruptive but could be an issue for those preferring a silent work environment.
For those interested in running Linux, the Ideacentre Mini supports alternative operating systems. I tested it with the latest version of Ubuntu and found all major functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and audio working correctly. The dual NVMe slots also make it convenient for dual-boot setups with Windows and Linux.
The Lenovo Ideacentre Mini is a solid, affordable option in the mini PC market. It offers good performance, upgradeability, and support from a renowned brand like Lenovo. The only compromise is the fan noise under load, but otherwise, it stands as a competent and versatile choice for both professional and personal use.