At roughly the size of a year’s worth of Stuff magazines, the Dino PC is Gulliver in a land of Lilliputian mini-PCs. But don’t write it off yet.
The Mini Carnivore has the sober good looks of hi-fi audio equipment, meaning it fits in well in an office or lounge alike. Inside, it comes rocking a quad-core desktop CPU and decent graphics card that leave the others looking weedy, and it’s not too pricey given that power.
A Blu-ray drive hidden behind the front panel is a nice bonus, as is the fact that it’s very quiet when compared to its ultra-compact rivals. What’s more surprising is that it still only uses about 58W of power when running flat out. The real advantage to the Dino, though, is that it’s a proper PC in a (relatively) small body. While a bundled Wi-Fi dongle is needed to get online, games performance is more or less on a par with an Xbox 360.
And whereas most small PCs fail as media centres because they only come with very basic audio-out capabilities, the Mini Carnivore’s six analogue (and one digital audio) sockets reaffirm its credentials as part of a larger home cinema set up. If it wasn’t for its size, it would be a clear winner here; all the same, it’s still highly recommended.
Dino PC Mini Carnivore HTPC
Neither the smallest nor cheapest, but the mighty Dino makes a great media PC