November 28, 2020

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The Coming out of This Mini Host Gave You One More Choice of Living Room Computer

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Recently when I chatted with my friends, I mentioned the fact that the computer is getting smaller and smaller. Products like apple’s Mac Mini, Dell’s OptiPlex console, and Lenovo’s ThinkStation Tiny series are influential in this field, but they’re more or less scalable, especially the Mac Mini, which tends to be highly integrated.

In addition to these relatively complete branded products, a quasi-system that requires users to install their own memory and hard disk is also a major product for small hosts. In the field of the more famous than Intel NUC series products, and like the synthetic AsRock, gigabyte, and so on also launched their own brand of system equipment, although this kind of product have relatively strong extensibility, the partial products can even choose to install independent graphics card in order to enhance its display performance, but relatively high and the lack of legal system are the disadvantages of this kind of product.

Today we are going to talk about small mainframe with a volume of only about 1L – Lenovo ideacentre Mini 5i (mini 5i is all described below). The unique design of the small mainframe appears particularly lovely. In the following part we will discuss in detail the unique appearance of the small mainframe.

The braided top feels very nice

When I first saw this product, my first impression was that the top shell was really beautiful. Although the product description doesn’t say anything about the material, just the matte fabric top. It feels like the Alcantara Opillan material that’s often used on Surface keyboards.

The gray top shell is matched with the white color of the whole machine, so that it doesn’t look out of place. Although it is not as sophisticated as the Mac Mini in appearance, its compact appearance still provides a relatively excellent visual experience. However, it is still a desktop, and it will inevitably suffer from dust accumulation when placed in a certain position for a long time. If the equipment using the metal top shell only needs to be cleaned with a wet towel, it is more difficult to clean the dust of this product, which is also the disadvantage of the woven top shell.

While there are inevitable drawbacks to this material, it does feel great, much like the surface of a canvas bag to be specific. If you don’t like the fabric top, it can be removed to replace the top you like (3D printing is optional if possible), which can be said to be in full demand for customization.

We can now talk about the side design. As mentioned before, this Mini 5i is very suitable for use in the living room, which is mainly related to its overall design. The relatively simple appearance will not make people feel too abrupt even if it is placed in the corner of the living room. Here is the performance of the interface and configuration of this console.

Balanced configuration can meet the demand

Before talking about the configuration of this host, let’s talk about some of its interface features. This host interface focuses on the front side and the back side, and the front side from left to right is the power key, USB 3.2Gen1 Type-C, USB 3.2Gen1 and 3.5mm headset interface. It is a pity that lightning interface is provided. If there is lightning interface, it will be more cost-effective.

Although the front interface type is relatively small, but the rear interface can be said to be many enough. It is followed from left to right by RJ45 cable interface, safety lock interface, three USB 3.2Gen1, HDMI interface, USB 3.2Gen1, DP interface and power interface.

The following is the disassembly diagram of this host, it is not difficult to find from the motherboard part of this product has two memory slots, it is a pity that the official did not introduce its support for the maximum memory capacity. The two silicone pads next to it are parts of the SSD, which support the version of 2280 length. If you have a closer observation, it is not difficult to find that this hard disk can be installed with two SSDS, but for some reason only one interface is reserved. Of course, I think I can try to weld one interface by myself if are good at assembling.

The other side is the CPU and south Bridge chip components. Due to the influence of motherboard design and other aspects, it does not provide a separate graphics card component. The built-in UHD 630 graphics card has been able to meet the needs of most applications. For example, PS image processing, PR video editing, etc., but there is a certain gap in processing speed compared with the single display device. If MX450 is equipped in the later stage, it may be better.

If you look at the configuration information, it’s not hard to see that the machine also has a 2TB mechanical hard disk. It has a 2.5-inch hard drive instead of the standard 3.5-inch hard drive, which means you can only replace it with a laptop hard drive — in other words, a relatively limited amount of space.

It’s worth a special discussion about the main cloud storage feature of this product.

Unique homesick cloud, which is a good family assistant

Speaking of the homesick cloud equipped with this machine, we have to mention Lenovo personal cloud storage equipped with the data guardian. These two software can be understood as peeling tools, but the functions of both are to use the device as a cloud storage tool of NAS category. Below are several application interfaces of Homesick cloud.

For those of you who have used data guardians, homesick cloud has significantly fewer features than data guardians, but the basic features are both reserved. This also has something to do with the positioning of the two devices themselves. After all, the Tianyi 510S Mini is still a mini host rather than a cloud storage device.

In addition to this, the small host provides Intel Modern Standby support, with official standby power of only about 2W. At the same time, the addition of homesick cloud remote instantaneous wake-up function can also effectively improve the use experience of this small host.

Black Apple artifact, just need to change the hardware

This is a bit of an extra benefit, because the console uses Intel Cpus and doesn’t have a separate graphics card, making it the perfect device for the Black Apple. At present, a Chinese black Apple app has successfully cracked the host and installed macOS Catalina system. If there are difficulties in installing black Apple for this device, they are mainly in two aspects of hardware.

The first is the need to replace the pre-installed SSD, the host pre-installed SKhynix SSD does not support macOS system, so it is recommended to replace the SKhynix SSD with western Data SN750 and other supported devices. Apple does not currently support Samsung’S PM991/PM981(A) hard drives. It is recommended to decide which SSD drive to replace after searching.

The second is the need to replace the pre-installed wireless network card, the host is pre-installed Intel AX201 wireless network card. Although it is said that now black Apple has related driver support, but still cannot achieve full speed. So, it may be a better choice to switch to a wireless card that is already supported, and it is also very convenient to switch to a wireless card.

Living room assistant, suitable for family

Overall, Tianyi’s small host can be said to be one of the best living room computer products. Both the relatively simple appearance and balanced performance can highlight the advantages of this small host. It is a pity that this host is not equipped with lightning interface and independent graphics card, but relatively good heat dissipation performance and the addition of Homesick cloud function can enhance its use experience.

Briefly summarize the advantages and disadvantages of this mini-host:

Advantages:

Small body size;

Replaceable roof design;

CPU, memory, hard disk and other components can be replaced;

Modern Standby function can effectively balance power consumption;

Support of homesick cloud function;

You can install black Apple after changing the hardware.

Disadvantages:

2.5-inch mechanical hard disk;

Lack of lightning interface;

Only one SSD can be installed;

Lack of a separate graphics chip.

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