Author: Bob Buskirk
I think that Sapphire really hit the nail on the head with the Edge HD2, and it is somewhat of a surprise because Sapphire is mainly known for video cards, not all-in-one PC’s. Let’s first talk about the size of the Edge HD2. It is the smalled mini PC that I have seen! The 19.3 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm (L / W / H) dimensions make it smaller than the Zotac ZBOX and the Western Digital Live TV Hub; and the Live TV Hub is just a HD Media player. It is very impressive that Sapphire is able to fit everything in to that small form factor.
This small size makes the Edge HD2 perfect for the home theater crowd. The small footprint enables you to put the device pretty much anywhere in your home theater setup. The stand also looks really cool. If you do not want to use the stand it also comes with a VESA mount that you can use the mount the Edge HD2 to the back of your display. This really turns it in to an all-in-one PC. Talking about the HTPC crowd you have HDMI out which is perfect for connecting the Edge HD2 to your TV. The 320GB hard drive is sizable considering the overall size of the Edge HD2, but if you want more storage you have the 4 USB ports for that.
I was quite impressed with the performance of the Nvidia ION 2 graphics. Being able to play Counter-Strike: Source at 1920 x 1080 at almost 60 frames per second is very good. So you won’t have any issues with this system being able to play older games, or your browser-based games like say Farmville.
If we put the Edge HD2 up against the Zotac ZBOX AD02 Plus performance is similar, actually extremely close. It really comes down to what you like better AMD or Intel. The ZBOX has the AMD / Radeon combo whereas the Edge HD2 has the Intel / Nvidia combo. The ZBOX does have faster memory, eSATA and USB 3.0 connectivity and optical audio. The Edge HD2 has a larger hard drive, has Windows 7 included and is much smaller. The ZBOX sells for $319 at my favorite online retailer. I was unable to find the Edge HD2 for sale anywhere online, but according to Sapphire the MSRP is $399. So if you take in to consideration that Windows 7 is included with the Edge HD2 prices are pretty much the same.
In my opinion I like the Edge HD2 just a little bit more than the ZBOX. The main reason is the size and I am partial to Intel. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Sapphire Edge HD2 Mini PC a 10 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award!
- Smallest mini PC we have seen!
- HDMI out
- VESA mount included
- Windows 7 included
- Impressive Nvidia ION 2 performance
- None that I found