Giada promises to give consumers a slim and compact mini PC that packs a punch with the i53 mini PC. It packs an Intel i5 processor for a faster computing power. We are here to check if the i53 is worthy enough to replace your big bulky computers or just another piece of paperweight to your desk.
Before we proceed, let’s take a look at the specs and features of the i53:
- Ultra-compact footprint –7.6” H x 6” D x 1” W
- Near-silent operation
- Ultra-low power consumption of only 30 watts
- Intel 3rd Generation Corei5 CPU (formerly code named Ivy Bridge)
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- Intel HD 4000 GPU
- 500GB 2.5” 5,400rpm Hard Drive
- Networking: built-in Wireless 802.11n, Wired Gigabit LAN (x1 RJ45 port)
- I/O: USB 3.0 (x1), USB 2.0 (x4 rear), HDMI (x1), VGA, MIC input (x1), Line-Out/SPDIF (x1)
- Multi-format card reader
- Remote Control
- Microsoft Windows 7 ready out of the box, Windows 8 compliant
As you can see, the i53 is really small and slim, compared to the typical mini PC that is one-fourth the size of a standard desktop PC, the i53 is just a size of a book, and a bit larger than DVD/Ps3 CD case. What I don’t like with the unit is the glossy finish, the whole unit can easy be smudge with your fingerprints. There is an included stand so you can place the mini PC vertically. You can notice that the i53 has a lot of USB ports (4 at the rear and 1 USB 3.0 hidden on the top) despite having a small size, you can plug any external hard drive, mouse, keyboard and any other devices. It also has a multi-format card reader so you can upload your pictures from your camera and/or videos from your camcorder. You can even connect to the internet or to a local network wired or wireless thanks to its built-in WLAN and Gigabit LAN, it has even a Bluetooth connectivity so you can sync with your wireless peripherals.
Accessories included in the package are the power supply, HDMI cable, vertical stand, driver CD and remote control. We were hoping that the remote control has more controls for navigating to your OS rather than just focused more on multimedia functions, and it could be better it they include a wireless keyboard and mouse to the package. It also includes a CD driver but it would be a hassle if you don’t have an external CD/DVD drive, good thing the drivers are available online on Giada’s website. It’s really great that they include an HDMI cable so you can plug the mini PC to your big screen LED TV or Monitor (you can also plug it to a monitor via VGA cable as well).
What really great with i53 is that it packs a powerhouse, boasting a 3rd Gen (Ivy Bridge) Core i5 processor (an i7 version is also available) 4 GB of RAM, Intel HD 4000 graphic card and 500 GB 5,400 RPM hard drive. Despite having an i5 processor, the mini PC only uses 30 watts of power, plus the i53 does not overheat even when running on heavy ad high memory eating programs. We tried conducting some benchmark tests and the results was really good. On starting up the mini PC, it’ll take some time before it can boot up the OS and loads all of the components, but once after loading everything, the process time of opening programs is very fast. You can open a ton of tabs on your internet browser and open some word documents and play your favorite songs and the i53 shows no sign of sluggishness. with the included remote control, you can convert the mini PC into a multimedia center, with the press of a button you can launch the Windows Media Center, or you can even set it to launch every time you boot up the mini PC.
We were a bit worried with the Intel HD 4000 at first, but after testing some HD videos, ranging from 720p to 1080p, we didn’t encounter any slowdowns or artifacts during the video playback . Games, on the other hand, is quite limited. You won’t be able to play the latest games on the i53 with good frame rate but some games, we tried play testing Torchlight and tweak the settings into medium and we were able to get an almost smooth gameplay (around 30-35 FPS).
the 500 GB on the hard disk is already big that won’t be needing an additional external drive for a while, but having 5,400 rpm can be a let down on the reading and writing speed when opening and transferring files.
Overall, the Giada i53 is really impressive for it’s compact size, it consumes less power and it does not overheat that fast, plus you can transform this into a multimedia system for your living room. Although some may be turned off on the $520 (PhP 21300) price tag, but with a Ivy Bridge processor, 500 GB of storage, 4 GB of RAM in a small compact unit is already a great deal. The only drawback here is the on board graphic card which can limit the kinds of games you can only play. But regardless of the graphic card, we still recommend this mini PC to everyone who wants a fast PC in a small size.
Gadget Rating: 8.5 out of 10