Downsizing My Computer

By Joe Callison
2 November 2022

Downsizing My Computer

I am getting ready to replace my old full-sized tower-type computer that I built over 13 years ago and have replaced parts and upgraded over the years. Having that capability was the primary reason I wanted a full-sized tower.

Things are different now. The operating systems and the hardware to support them have a much shorter life cycle than in the past. The need to upgrade during the typical life before obsolescence is much less likely now. At most, it might mean replacing the data storage or increasing RAM memory, neither of which is even possible in many of the popular laptop computers these days as they are often soldered to the logic board.

I like the space-saving concept of the all-in-one computers but just can’t trust that the monitor will not fail and be unreasonably costly to repair. My preferred alternative is a large stand-alone monitor and a micro or mini PC. There are several versions of so-called 1L (one liter) sized computers available now that have everything I need or want in a new computer. For example, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M70Q has the following range of options:

Processor: Intel Pentium Gold up to 10th generation i9

RAM Memory: 4GB (DDR4) up to 64GB

SSD Storage: 256GB up to 1TB

HDD Storage: 1TB 7200 RPM

Ports: 2 USB 3.1, 1 USB-C 3.2, 1 Video (VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort)

I am leaning toward the pre-configured, ready-to-ship i7 option with 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD. This tiny PC can easily be hidden on the back side of a computer monitor using Velcro strips to have the appearance of an all-in-one. I would probably opt to buy a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse instead of using the provided wired ones. A video review of a similar configuration can be seen at Lenovo ThinkCentre M70q Tiny Gen 2 Review with Benchmarks and a Look Inside.

There are similar offerings from Dell, HP, and others. Lenovo also has several other models available with up to 12th-generation Intel processors. For Apple Mac users, the Mac mini is available. For a small desk space or a minimalistic aesthetic, a tiny PC may be the right choice.

Posted by Joe Callison

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