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first_img Raspberry Pi 4 Is the Most Powerful Yet and It’s Still Just $35Intel ‘Twin River’ Prototype Teases Our Dual-Screen Tablet F… ECS Liva1/11The first wave of tiny computers was primarily intended for the electronics hobbyist market — take the Raspberry Pi as an example. While that kit initially had fairly sparse functionality, machines like the ECS Liva deliver a lot more oomph. This unassembled computer is light on the wallet at just $169, but delivers a remarkable amount of power for a box about the size of a can of soda. Inside is a dual-core 1.6GHz processor that is completely passively cooled through a small heatsink, and power comes through a micro USB port in the back of the machine. One cool thing about the Liva is that it supports both HDMI and VGA output and can be used to run dual monitors.<><> Stay on target One of the most famous maxims in hardware construction is Moore’s law, which holds that for every two years, the amount of transistors on a chip will double. That means that computers get stronger and smaller at about the same pace. A computing task that would take a wheezing behemoth of a supercomputer to accomplish in the 1980s can now be performed by something that fits in the palm of your hand.One piece of hardware that hasn’t really kept pace with this trend is the desktop PC. Home computers have been stuck in the same tower form factor for the better part of two decades, and they’re really an eyesore. Even though physical media like DVDdrives are barely necessary, desktop boxes still have slots for them, and lots of other cruft besides. There is a new trend in hardware, however, taking inspiration from Apple’s 2005 Mac Mini (which was way ahead of its time, and also way underpowered) and packing a ton of power into a very small footprint. These boxes are designed to give you all the functionality of a desktop tower while remaining unobtrusive, and are great as media centers too. These 11 computers prove that size doesn’t matter, and how you use your hardware is what really counts. For tiny spaces, or carrying around in your pocket for emergencies, these tiny computers are powerful enough to get the job done — whatever that job may be.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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