Lenovo IdeaCentre Mini 5i Review
Center mini definitely mini 5i, so this is a mini pc sort of like a nook or like a mac mini in a way. This lenovo’s created new liner products. Here i call them. The rug tops notice, it has a textile finish. The idea is it’s supposed to look nice in your home and, yes, you can actually rip the top off. I think it would be fun if they actually offered different kind of textile finishes and stuff that you could put on here. Do that lenovo go ahead, but anyway it is upgradable. This is step one to getting inside if you want to upgrade the internals and it’s for those of you who say are working from home or schooling from home, or anybody who needs a small pc that doesn’t take up a lot of space and also isn’t a Lot expensive, for example, lenovo, has to think center products from the think line or business computers that are more expensive intel makes knocks, and we review quite a few of those and we’ll review some more that are, generally speaking, considerably more expensive. But this one kind of hits that sweet spot of it doesn’t hurt too too much starting just under 500 or the higher end mile that we have here for 629 dollars. Look at it now, so the appeal of the idea center other than relatively speaking, the lower price, is the fact that it’s fairly upgradable and it has a fairly powerful processor.
A lot of these mini pcs and nox have the laptop low end, equivalent cpus inside lower power, so this one actually has desktop cpus core i3 and core i5 we’ll talk about the differences between those two and also it’s. For those who already you want to use a bigger monitor, a lot of people, especially if they’re doing work from home in school from home, are tired of looking at little laptop displays. Maybe you don’t want to spend the money for a big all in one or you already have a monitor available, and most of us have extra, keyboards and mice sitting around. So there becomes an interesting proposition these days. Who has the time to learn? But there are things that you really want to learn right, that’s all about our sponsor blinkist. Who brings you thousands of the best non fiction books in over 27 categories. So for me, i want to learn about cryptocurrency, because, oh my god, you just can’t, walk two feet without tripping over a new news story about cryptocurrency these days. So if you want to read, they have things like crypto assets by chris bernsky and jack tater, and if you want to listen instead, there are audio books too, like crypto cowboys rounding up your money. So you hear all this about crypto. Should you invest here’s? Some things you can learn, but maybe that’s not your thing at all, so they have 27 different categories to choose from.
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You might think that some of it was soldered on board that memory, but it’s, not so yeah anyway. Obviously, two slots, you can upgrade that if you want 16 gigs, maybe even 32, you should be able to do that. With this we have one m.2 ssd slot. It’S not the fastest in ours and by the way the base model is 128 gig boot ssd, the more expensive core i5 model has a 256 gig boot ssd, but it’s a decent pcie ssd inside again upgradable one slot only and we have a hard drive a One terabyte 5400 rpm hard drive for both configurations, so that’s your mass storage for all of your files and all that sort of thing, it’s, a fairly conventional architecture in terms of performance and heat and noise. Well, heat’s. Not! This is not a laptop you’re not going to care about it that much it doesn’t get that hot to the touch it’s a fairly decent sized enclosure. Obviously, in terms of noise, you’ll hear the fan, but it doesn’t get roaring loud. Even when i push it harder and was running benchmarks, it’s, nothing, that’s obtrusive, if you’re doing zoom calls or something like that people aren’t going to say what are you doing boiling water or something like that not loud at all in terms of what it can do, Because it’s, a kind of a mid range computer, it’s, fine for home and office work if you’re looking to replace your office computer but be at home while you’re doing your office work, your zoom calls doing two things at once: streaming your zoom call, while maybe even Streaming some youtube and the other window.
You know that sort of thing it can handle that it can do a bit more too. If you want to do some photo editing, that’s, absolutely fine. This is not meant for you. Budding professionals in adobe, premiere, video, editing or for professional photographers. You probably want something even more performant for that, if you’re doing it day in day out eight hours a day that sort of thing but it’s competent enough for most people’s everyday uses – and i hooked it up to a 4k monitor running at 4k resolution, didn’t phase, It at all, it has intel uhd, 630 graphics. This is a desktop processor. We don’t see that intel iris, xc graphics, that we’ve seen on mobile platforms and again it’s, not a gaming pc but it’s competent for daily tasks and that’s, actually suitable enough for hobbyist and home photoshop use ports on this are plentiful. Five usb a 3.2 ports, including one front facing there’s a usbc 3.2 front facing port no thunderbolt 3. Here, though, however, headphone jacks on the front and on the rear, you have full size, hdmi, full, slides, display, port and you’ve got ethernet onboard and also you have intel wireless wi, fi 6 on board with bluetooth 5.1, so good connectivity, uh, no speaker built in so Obviously, you’re going to want to plug in some speakers or some headphones or something like that, but good connectivity all right to get inside. There are two levels of disassembly, almost literally levels and the first one is the easier, less complicated one just rip off the rug top right here to get to this compartment which houses the two ram slots and the m.
2 ssd slot. So three screws that’s all it is, and this plate comes off. Okay, so we’ve unscrewed our three screws and then this plate. Well it just lifts right up here are two ram slots here is the m.2 ssd slot? Obviously they have a half height drive here, but there’s room for a full height drive and there you can see where there would have been a slot for a second ssd, but they have not actually installed the connector for that. So that’s your basics and we’ll go on to the advanced next, which involves only four more screws in each four corner. There are phillips head screws, just unscrew those and we can get to the other side of things. So after we’ve unscrewed those four screws we just separate over here, you might want to use a guitar pick or something to make it easier. There’S a couple of clips it’s not too hard turn it upside down. By the way you see what the ventilation is like under here and there’s, our cover comes right off, so here’s the rest of the internals. Obviously this is the hard drive bay here’s. The fan and underneath here is the socket. Is cpu they’ve done a nice job? Here so you have a quick release right here, so you can take that hard drive out, be careful, the cable that connects it mind. You, though, so you can see that stuff’s conveniently done, and if you want to remove the fan and heat sink cover assembly, then you just push in these two levers over here and lift up, and i would suggest unplugging the fan connector, because it kind of hinges Forward and latches into the grill area in the back so there’s the whole fan ventilation assembly, and this is the processor and you can see it’s your typical desktop styles socketed processor.
So if you wish to upgrade and replace it in the future, you could do that. Since the core i3 is a 65 watt, you should be able to go up to a 65 watt core i5. I don’t know about a core i7, though, because the power supply might not be sufficient. You do get again a 135 watt charger with the core i3, but only a 90 watt charger or really power adapter for the core i5. So you might need something a little more beefy if you were going to try to upgrade this particularly far along and by the way your wi fi card is socketed, as you would hope. So you could upgrade that in the future. If you wish to do so. So that’s the lenovo idea center mini 5i, again it’s sort of like you know, the windows version of a mac mini no and one chip inside but hey anyway, it’s perfectly competent and capable it’s kind of nice. Looking i do wish they would offer alternative textile tops for the future. A lot of supports and good mid range performance for those who need an everyday kind of pc, whether it’s for homework school work or as a kind of media center that we can just tuck. In there, near your tv, without being too obtrusive, i’m lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech, videos and thumbs up.