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The Acer Veriton Vero Mini, although the Intel NUC holds a special place in my heart, offers several advantages in terms of design, power, and expandability. Positioned between mini-PCs like the Intel NUC and traditional desktop PCs, the Veriton Vero Mini strikes a balance. It is perfect for space-constrained environments and can be conveniently mounted behind a display using VESA. It also provides the flexibility of landscape and portrait positioning, making it easier to access ports and buttons. Moreover, it offers superior expandability options both internally and externally.
Unlike the Intel NUC, the Veriton Vero Mini cannot be configured at the time of purchase. However, Acer allows users to customize it according to their preferences once they bring it home. What sets the Mini apart is its eco-friendly nature, emphasized by the unique speckled paint-like effect on the plastic front face. Acer has made commendable use of the available space, offering a variety of ports on both the front and back of the device, allowing for temporary and permanent expansion, respectively.
Internally, the Veriton Vero Mini comes in two pre-configured models. The first model features a 6-core Intel Core i5-1240T processor, Intel UHD 730 integrated graphics, 16 GB of DDR-4 RAM, and 512 GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The second model boasts a 12-core Intel Core i7-12700T processor, Intel UHD 770 integrated graphics, 16 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD storage. Although I tested the latter configuration, either model is suitable for typical productivity tasks. These models utilize T-series Intel Core processors specially designed for SFF PCs, offering a balance between performance and power management at a lower cost. They operate at 35 watts, compared to the more power-hungry desktop-class CPUs that require 65 to 125 watts. This places the Veriton Vero Mini above standard mobile chipsets found in NUCs and other mini-PCs. While I expected Acer to utilize newer 13th Gen Intel parts, the Mini performed exceptionally well for my productivity needs, remaining quiet and efficient.
Connectivity-wise, the Veriton Vero Mini offers gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.3, providing versatility in connection options. I personally used both Wi-Fi and Ethernet extensively, achieving speeds of over 600 Mbps on my gigabit Ethernet connection. The Mini’s range of ports on the front and back ensures convenient connectivity. Nonetheless, I would have appreciated Thunderbolt 4/USB4 connectivity, as well as clearer labeling of the USB ports.
The Veriton Vero Mini comes with a full-sized and wired keyboard and mouse. While these accessories are sufficient, I opted to use my preferred Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop set for added comfort. Utilizing the USB 2.0 ports for the included peripherals can be an effective solution, leaving the more capable expansion options free for other devices.
In terms of security, the Mini appeals to both managed enterprise environments and individuals/startups. It features TPM 2.0 circuitry, which is essential for Windows 11 compatibility, and Intel’s Opal2 technologies protect the SSD. Acer provides links to its Office Manager software, catering to small businesses interested in managed systems. However, I used the Mini as an individual without any issues.
Acer emphasizes sustainability with the Veriton Vero Mini. It is EPEAT Gold-rated and incorporates 56 percent post-consumer recycled plastics in its front panel, keyboard, and mouse. The packaging also consists of 100 percent recycled plastic and molded pulp. Despite the cramped innards, the Mini remains serviceable. The top panel is easily removable, allowing for the replacement or upgrade of RAM (two slots supporting up to two 128 GB total), the M.2-based SSD, and the wireless module. Additionally, the bundled VeroSense for DT app provides ecological-focused recommendations for power management.
The review unit of the Mini came with Windows 11 Pro, although Windows 10 Pro is also available. Acer includes a few branded utilities for documentation, product registration, system configuration, and VeroSense, as well as links for the Acer Office Manager app and agent, two Intel utilities, Realtek audio, and Evernote. While there are a few unwanted pre-installed items like Amazon.com, Booking.com, and Dropbox promotion, they can be easily removed.
Regarding pricing and configurations, the Core i5 version of the Veriton Vero Mini retails for $850, while the Core i7 version typically costs $1200. As of now, the latter is on sale for $1100, which seems reasonable for its mid-range desktop specifications.
In conclusion, the Acer Veriton Vero Mini offers a versatile and powerful option for those seeking a small form factor PC. Its design strikes a balance between mini-PCs and traditional desktops, providing the convenience of mounting, versatile positioning, and superior expandability options. With its pre-configured models and eco-friendly features, the Veriton Vero Mini caters to various productivity needs. Its range of ports and connectivity options ensures hassle-free connection to devices and networks. While there are a few minor drawbacks, such as the absence of Thunderbolt 4/USB4 connectivity and clarity in port capabilities, the Veriton Vero Mini provides a reliable and sustainable solution for individuals and businesses alike.