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WHEN IT COMES TO COMPUTERS, SIZE MATTERS

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WEBWATCH

My in-tray is full of announcements about mini PC computers. Before you Apple, er, devotees chorus about how these are all ripoffs of the Mac Mini, just remember that a range of Windows computers of mini dimensions was on the market long before Steve Jobs announced the Mac model of titchy Ives-designed minimalist perfection. No marks for innovation; full marks for hype.

But what all these tiny computers share, because they have to pack a lot into very little space, is extremely average performance, no chance of an upgrade and bags full of associated physical kit to make them function - plus the usual rats' nest of cabling. There is not a lot of point in small if the desktop acreage of kit is, politely, sprawling and your kids can't play World of Warcraft in anything but very low resolution, very slowly.

And that's not to mention the unfeasibility of slipping a mini PC/Mac in a pocket and cycling off to see a client. Has anyone ever seen a spare keyboard, mouse and monitor all lying around at the same time?

And then there are the squawks when your client's office manager catches you - ddling with them.

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