Those of us who work from home can sometimes feel lonely, and video conferencing is often the only time when remote workers will see and interact with fellow employees: that’s where a webcam comes into play.
Now, a hitherto unknown computer vendor, Coolfun (which seems to be a sister company to Minisforum), has come up with a mini PC with a built-in camera.
It is not the first to have one - Cenovo King Kong and T95 C1 led the way - but it is by far the most powerful and best looking attempt yet.
The MC560 costs less than $400 at Amazon and punches well above its weight thanks to a combination of clever component choices and unique features.
Minisforum HC560: A brief look
Let’s start with the components: there’s a 6-core/12-thread AMD Ryzen 5 5625U CPU, teamed up with 32GB DDR4 memory in dual channel configuration and a 512GB PCIe 3.0 SSD.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, a 2.5Gb Ethernet LAN port, a HDMI connector, an audio port, Bluetooth 5.2 and three USB ports and yes, it can run two 4K monitors. There’s no card reader and the PC itself is not upgradable. Windows 11 Pro helps power the MC 560 and is a welcomed surprise, positioning it clearly as a business PC.
Featurewise, the integrated 2.5K/5-megapixel HDR webcam steals the show. Not only does it have two microphones running alongside it, it also has a tiltable base, offering extra flexibility. A pair of 3W speakers complement this exciting multimedia offering.
The MC560 is honestly a very good PC, at least on paper. The brand doesn’t have the cachet of bigger names like Dell, Lenovo or HP and if after sales and support is what you’re after (especially if you are a prosumer, business, freelancer, hustler or someone with a side gig), it might be worth looking elsewhere.
It is small enough and well designed to adorn a contemporary office without looking out of place next to a business monitor. It is powerful enough for most end user business or professional tasks: from email to image editing, even when used as a thin client or budget workstation PC.
Alternatively, its webcam has a near 94 degrees viewing angle which makes it a great fit for meeting rooms and team huddles. As for swapping it for a laptop, you’d be hard pressed to find any notebook with this configuration and a high-res camera.
As we haven’t tested one, we have approached Minisforum for a review sample.
Lenovo ThinkCentre Neo 30a
A different proposition is an all-in-one PC; the Neo 30a retails for $469 at the time of writing and comes with Windows 11 Pro. We like the fact that it offers onsite warranty and features a retractable webcam for those business meetings.