By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO
It’s been a long time since I wanted to purchase a new computer. I am pretty frugal – OK, cheap, and didn’t want to spend a lot of money. But I also wanted a computer with decent specifications. It had to have more than 4GB RAM and at least 128GB drive space. The processor also had to be decent. A bonus would be that the computer could run Windows 11.
I like to keep up on the latest in computer equipment, software and operating systems. I can’t really test an OS without running it and finding the peculiarities. Windows 11 is new and testing it is part of my job as a part-time computer guru. I wanted to do it as inexpensively as possible.
After much searching and comparison I found a Minisforum or COOFUN mini-computer with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a four core Celeron J4125 2.00 GHz (Turbo to 2.7 Ghz) processor and a TPM 2.0 chip that is running Windows 10 Professional, but capable of running Windows 11. The computer also has 4 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort and a SD card port for up to 128GB of additional storage. The price for all this is just under $200 with tax. I purchased the computer from Amazon because they sell many types of mini-computers. Here is a link to the computer:
Note: Since I purchased the computer it has gone up another $10. That’s inflation for you. It’s now $220 with $20 off for Prime members. Still quite the bargain for a new computer.
A Rose by Any Other Name
It’s interesting to note that the MINISFORUM computer shipped to me had the COOFUN name all over the box and on the computer. It’s the same company, but neither is a recognized brand name and, of course, it is made in China. The company, however, is based in Taiwan.
Here are some pictures of the unpackaging comparing the size to a Reader’s Digest magazine:
The box arrived at my home in a plastic bag from Amazon. Not to worry, because the computer was well packed with plenty of addons. It came with short cables to connect to DisplayPorts and HDMI, extra rubber feet and a VESA mount for the back of a monitor or small TV.
The computer case is plastic with honeycomb openings for heat dissipation. A plethora of ports are on three sides of the case as shown in these images:
Yes, that is two ethernet ports. Some people have used this computer as an open source firewall and/or router. The pin button at the top of the second picture is for resetting the BIOS.
There is a WIFI chip in the computer, but I used one of the ethernet ports and the HDMI cable to hook up to my monitor. The power supply is 12 volts and 3 amps. I use a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.
Upon startup the computer began installing Windows 10 professional. After Windows was installed it detected the computer was eligible for Windows 11 and asked whether I wanted to upgrade. I assented and the computer began the upgrade process:
This concludes part one of my three part series on my new COOFUN mini-computer. A future article will refer to Windows 11 and dual booting another operating system. In the last part of the series I will open the case and explore any hardware upgrades to the system.