Polywell B250G-i7 Reviewed – A Tiny Desktop Computer That Packs A Large Punch

Measuring only 2 inches by 8 inches this tiny small form factor desktop computer offers great performance.  Amazingly enough, as small as it is, this computer features four usb 3.0 slots, 2 usb 2.0 slots, and one usb 2.1 slot.  It also features two 3.5mm inputs, three outputs (including dedicated ones for a subwoofer and rear and center channels), and an SPDIF jack for digital audio signals which makes it also an excellent choice for a home theater system.  With a SSD Hard drive and plenty of RAM this system really has it all.  I agree with these guys on the negative factors that come along with this computer.  First of all, the power supply is external and also you have to take several screws out to open it up to add memory, etc.   Last, but not least, this computer comes installed with Windows 10.  We will not hold that against them though, lolView All 7 Photos in Gallery

The Polywell B250G-i7 (starts at $600; $799 as tested) is an eminently customizable anPolywell B250G-i7d affordable small form factor (SFF) desktop PC , which makes it an excellent choice for small businesses and consumers who don’t need enterprise IT features but want a lot of power in a small package.

There are a few disadvantages, such as an external power brick and a case that requires a screwdriver to open, but overall, the B250G is a capable machine and our new Editors’ Choice for SFF desktops.

No Nonsense The B250G features a no-nonsense design. It’s simply a square black box that measures 2.25 by 8 by 8 inches (HWD). It comes with four rubber feet mounted on the bottom of the chassis, so it’s designed to be installed horizontally.

As with other small systems, including the Dell Optiplex 5050 Micro , you can chose from an expanded range of installation configurations if you buy mounting accessories.

For example, the B250G is compatible with VESA mounts, and it can also be bolted to the wall or slipped into a 1U server rack using optional third-party hardware. The chassis itself is made of the same aluminum that Polywell has used for previous desktop designs, which means additional peace of mind when you’re installing it in a public location where the risk of damage is higher.

Unfortunately, there’s no built-in Kensington lock slot or any other form of physical anti-theft protection. The front of the case includes a power button and two USB 2.0 ports, an eyebrow-raising anachronism in 2017, when virtually all PCs have transitioned to USB 3.0. You will find four USB 3.0 ports on the robust I/O panel on the PC’s rear, along with a single USB 3.1 port and a USB-C port. Polywell has also placed two more USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel, likely for plugging in a keyboard and mouse, which don’t need the faster data transfer speeds that USB 3.0 offers.

In case you’re not counting, that adds up to a total of 10 USB ports, an impressive complement for such a small PC, even if four of them are USB 2.0 and only one is USB-C. Other ports include a single PS/2 port, in case you still have a keyboard or mouse that needs one, as well as Ethernet, DisplayPort, and HDMI connectors.

Polywell B250G-i7

Finally, you’ll find a connector for the included 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna as well as extensive audio connectivity options: two 3.5mm inputs, three outputs (including dedicated ones for a subwoofer and rear and center channels), and an SPDIF jack for digital audio signals. These extensive audio options make the B250G a good home theater PC, or perhaps the brains of a multimedia installation in a museum. Because it has two display outputs, it’s also a decent choice to power a dual-monitor setup, with support for resolutions up to 4K from both the HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.

Two significant drawbacks of Polywell’s case design could give some IT departments pause, however, especially when deploying many of them in a large organization: You must use a screwdriver to access the case’s internal components, and the B250G requires an external AC power adapter, much the same as you’d expect to plug into a laptop.

That means component upgrades will take an extra minute or so for each unit, and you’ll have to find a place for the adapter if you’re installing the PC anywhere other than a flat surface. The Asus VivoMini VC65-G042Z and the Dell Optiplex 5050 Micro both have internal power supplies, and the Dell also includes […]

 

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