Tranquil PC Abel H2-5
A sleek and colourful Windows 7 mini PC.
The Intel D54250WYK is a great mini PC kit.
It’s small, cheap and because it’s a DIY kit, you fit it with the memory, storage and wireless connections to suit your needs. If assembling your own mini PC isn’t your cup of tea. however, there’s now a ready-made alternative in the shape of Tranquil PC’s Abel H2-5.
This Windows 7 mini PC uses the same motherboard as the D54250WYK so there are definite similarities, but Tranquil PC has added a few modifications that give their PC the edge.
While the D54250WYK comes clad in a cheap and cheerful plastic casing, the Abel has sleek and rugged metallic bodywork. It’s available in a choice of shiny, attractive colours – black, red, blue and silver (the latter will cost you £15 extra). The metal casing isn’t just for looks – it’s used instead of a fan to keep the PC cool, which means it’s completely silent. The 112-5 is also compact – it’s no deeper than Intel’s PC and only slightly wider. You can mount it on the back of a VliSA-compatible monitor using the optional bracket (£17 extra) to save even more space.
The range of ports is almost identical to that found on the D54250WYK, with a pair of USB3 ports upfront and another pair round the back alongside Gigabit Ethernet, micro HDMI and Mini DisplayPort connectors. Where the H2-5 ups the ante is with a socket for connecting an external Wi-Fi antenna -useful if you’ll be using the PC in a room where Wi-Fi coverage is poor.
1.3GHz Intel Core i5 4250U dual-core processor
8CB memory, 120CB SSD, Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics, 37x162x112mm (HxWxD), Five-year warranty
The Abel is fast enough for use as your main PC. It’s equipped with 8GB of memory and a pacey 1.3 GHz
Intel Core i5 4250U processor. You’ll probably fill up the 120GB SSD quickly if you have lots of photos, videos, music and programs. However, unlike the D54250WYK you can order the Abel with a second SSD or a hard drive (a 1TB hard drive costs just £50 extra).
Alternatively, you can go without for now and easily fit a second drive – as well as up to 16GB of memory – when you need it. Unscrewing a panel at the bottom accesses the hard-drive bay. Prising off a second panel reveals the memory slots. This sounds and looks intimidating and you do need a steady hand, but it’s pretty straightforward.
The Abel costs £33 more than buying and assembling an equivalently equipped D54250WYK. but this is a small premium to pay for the ability to fit a second hard drive and the peace of mind of a lengthy five-year warranty.
The Abel is a great little PC and deservedly wins our Buy It! award.