At only 115x108x30mm and weighing only 400g, this Chillblast system is the mini-est of the mini PCs we've seen - but it delivers superb performance, thanks to its speedy CPU and solid state storage. The Chillblast Fusion Brix is available now for £549 inc VAT and delivery.
The glossy black and gun metal grey casing is beautifully constructed: An illuminated silver power button sits alone on the top of the case with a single USB 3.0 connected provided at the front for easy access.
The rear provides HDMI and Mini DisplayPort sockets along with Gigabit ethernet and an additional USB 3.0 port. It's a highly pocketable device, so you'll be glad of the Kensington Security slot provided which sits next to the connector for a small external power supply – which is still around half the size of the PC itself.
Resting on its four rubber feet, the Chillblast Fusion Brix will sit inconspicuously on your desk, and could be easily mistaken for a paperweight. Alternatively, you can use the VESA mounting bracket provided to attach it to the back of your monitor and hide it from sight entirely. See also: Group test: What's the best Mini PC?
Chillblast Fusion Brix: specification and performance
Based on Gigabyte's Brix GB-XM12-3227 barebones Ultra Compact PC kit, the Fusion Brix comes with a 1.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i3-3227U processor with Hyper-Threading support and a 120GB Intel 525 Series mSATA SSD. Of the mini PCs we've tested its PCMark 7 score of 4094 points is bested only by the Intel NUC with its faster, Haswell processor. The Fusion Brix is at least 50 per cent faster than anything else of this size we've tested. (See also: Intel NUC D54250WYK mini PC review.)
The Ivy Bridge processor provides Intel HD 4000 Graphics, which help the PC to achieve some of the best graphics scores of the group too.
Despite its stellar performance, the Fusion Brix does have its drawbacks, mainly as a result of its ultra-compact size. Connectivity is somewhat limited, as there simply isn't room for many more ports. Two USB ports aren't really enough unless you want to use an external hub. Furthermore, the mini DisplayPort connector doesn't support Thunderbolt, unlike the Intel NUC which is only a tiny bit larger and also offers twice as many USB ports. See all budget PCs reviews.