A home run for working from home

When you’re looking for a new computer to work from home, you probably think of a laptop. But why? Portable PCs are designed for, well, portability, not desk work. They’re ergonomically flawed, with tiny screens that force you to bend over because they’re not at eye level. And if you’re working from home anyway, why pay for a battery that just dies while it’s there? Allow me to make the case for a mini PC, the modern alternative to the colossal desktop towers of yesteryear.

GEEKOM

Geekom Mini IT11 Intel Core i5 PC

$420$600

Save $180 with discount coupon and promotional code

Size doesn’t matter: the Mini IT11 packs a lot of power into its compact body. Unless you’re a gamer, this should cover all your home and office computing needs.

$420 at Amazon

For a very reasonable price, you can get a powerful machine that works with the monitor, mouse, and keyboard of your choice — peripherals that provide the comfort that’s so crucial when you’re stuck at your desk. I’ve tested one such system, the Geekom IT11 Mini PC, and let me just proceed with the verdict: it’s great. I’ll explain why below, but first there’s a deal to mention: for a limited time, the Geekom IT11 Mini PC drops to $420 when you clip the $40 coupon on the page and then apply the promo code DN69ISFX at checkout. That’s for an Intel Core i5 final configuration with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD). Regular Price: $500. (Note that other configurations are available on the same page, with slightly higher or lower prices.)

Geekom IT11 Mini PC Design and Features

Preloaded with Windows 11 Pro, the IT11 packs a significant amount of hardware into its 4×6 x 4.4 x 1.8-inch frame – which, I should mention, mounts to the back of most monitors using an included VESA bracket. That’s a great option because it keeps the system out of sight and reduces desktop clutter. It also makes the ports more difficult to access, but the IT11 is easy to snap on and off the cradle when needed.

This is the IT11 shown next to a monitor and keyboard.

The Geekom IT11 is small but powerful. Pair it with your favorite monitor and keyboard for an ideal home working setup. (Photo: Geekom)

The configuration I tested includes an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and, as mentioned above, 16 GB of RAM and a roomy SSD. Amazingly, there’s room inside for additional RAM (up to 32 GB in total) and even a traditional 2.5-inch SATA hard drive, in case you want more storage. Opening the case is as easy as removing four screws.

While I didn’t run any benchmarks on the system (I test with real-world situations), the system booted up in an instant and ran my software at a healthy clip. If you’re someone who likes to keep more than a dozen browser tabs open, the IT11 can get through that without breaking a sweat.

In terms of graphics, the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics subsystem can handle a screen resolution of up to 4K. It can get stuck if you’re doing really complicated image or video editing work, but I found I could play the classic PC game Borderlands in Full HD resolution. In other words, this may not be a graphics powerhouse, but it handles the basics just fine. The system even supports up to four separate displays, using a combination of HDMI, mini-DisplayPort and USB-C ports.

Front and back view of the Geekom IT11 Mini PC.

Despite its “mini” size, the Geekom IT11 has plenty of ports for expansion. There is also an SD slot on the side. (Photo: Geekom)

I paired it with just one, the excellent Innocn 27C1U 27-inch monitor, along with a wireless mouse/keyboard combo. The latter relies on a small USB dongle, but that wasn’t a problem as the IT11 has three Type-A and two Type-C USB ports. It also has an SD memory card slot and a headphone jack.

The IT11 even excels in Wi-Fi: it’s packed with dual-band Wi-Fi 6, so it should offer the fastest speed and strongest connectivity home users can get right now. Also on board: Bluetooth 5.2, another latest and greatest wireless implementation.

However, the system doesn’t have a built-in speaker, so you’ll have to look at an external option (monitor, headphones, Bluetooth speakers, etc).

Geekom IT11 Mini PC: Worth Buying?

If your work doesn’t require mobility, you probably don’t need a laptop – in which case I definitely recommend the Geekom IT11. Yes, you must have a BYO monitor and keyboard, but that’s a good thing: you can choose larger, more comfortable ones that better suit your work-from-home setup.

Honestly, I struggled to find anything wrong with this PC. It is well equipped right out of the box, but has room for expansion. It’s powerful enough for everyday computing tasks and even some gaming. And it’s refreshingly small, posing no threat to even the busiest of desks.

GEEKOM

Geekom Mini IT11 Intel Core i5 PC

$420$600

Save $180 with discount coupon and promotional code

Size doesn’t matter: the Mini IT11 packs a lot of power into its compact body. Unless you’re a gamer, this should cover all your home and office computing needs.

$420 at Amazon

Originally published

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