Skylake in a little box

MSI Cubi 2 Plus

We’re seeing a growing number of mini PCs emerge, and with good reason—technology has evolved to the point where you can have a fairly potent (or at least serviceable) setup in a small space. So it goes with MSI’s new Cubi 2 Plus, a handheld-size PC with Skylake inside.

Inside the Cubi 2 Plus is a new mini STX (5×5) form factor motherboard. It’s the smallest mobo available with a socket design that allows users to swap out or upgrade the CPU.

There are three processor options available, all Skylake. They include the Intel Core i5-6100T, Core i5-6500T, and Core i7-6700T, each with Intel HD Graphics 530.

The Cubi 2 Plus sports a pair of DDR4 DIMM slots with support for up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 memory. There’s also an M.2 SATA slot with support for up to a 256GB SSD and a 2.5-inch bay for a slim-size HDD or regular SSD.

Other features include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, four USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.1 ports (one of which is of the Type-C variety), GbE LAN, HDMI and DisplayPort output, and a 3.5mm mic/audio combo port.

MSI isn’t really targeting home consumers with this one. Instead, it’s taking aim at businesses and kiosks. As such, MSI points out that the many USB ports on the Cubi 2 Plus can be used for things like connecting barcode scanners, credit card readers, receipt printers, and so forth.

Whatever the application, the Cubi 2 Plus can be put out of sight—you can mount it to the back of a monitor using the VESA standard.

MSI didn’t say how much the Cubi 2 Plus costs or when it will be available.

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