It’s not the size of the system, it’s the frames of the games.
The Zotac Mek Mini’s size means it takes up little space, and its powerful with up to an RTX 2070 Super and an Intel Core i7. But the two massive laptop-like power bricks disguise much of the system’s true bulk.
- Small size
- Good port selection for the size
- Two external power bricks
- Hard to upgrade
It’s not about the size of the system, but the frames of the games. The Zotac Mek Mini ( $1,299.99 to start, $1,699.99 as tested) is a compact gaming PC that’s small enough to fit many entertainment centers or a bookshelf. At the very least, the 9.2 liter chassis won’t take up much room on your desk. With up to an Intel Core i7-9700 and Nvidia RTX 2070 Super, the Mek Mini packs some power in spite of its small size. It’s not as easily upgradeable as other desktops, though, and the two external power bricks make it a bit larger and clunkier than it first seems.
The Mek Mini is adorable. As far as RGB-clad gaming machines go, it’s even aww-inducing. I swear, more than one person in our office walked up to it, asked what it was, and then proceeded to talk to it as if it was a puppy or a baby. And that’s because the Mek Mini is just that — really small.
The front panel is black with Zotac’s logo and two thick RGB stripes. The rest of the case on both sides is a dark gray, while the top is also black. Both sides have a Zotac Gaming logo, as well as grilles that allow for intake and exhaust. There is also ventilation up top.
At 10.3 x 10.2 x 5.4 inches, the Mek Mini can easily fit on most desks. It has a bigger footprint than the Corsair One i160’s 7.9 x 7-inch base, though the Corsair machine is taller at 15 inches. Of course, it’s still far smaller than conventional pre-built desktops like the HP Omen Obelisk 17.1 x 14.1 x 6.5 inches.
But what makes the Mek Mini larger than it seems is the fact that to get so tiny, there’s no internal power supply. Instead, the desktop touts a pair of external 330W laptop-style power bricks. The desktop itself is 8.9 pounds, and the pair of power bricks weigh another 6 pounds (and that’s without some rubberized casings that hold them together). If you’re buying this because it’s small and easy to carry around, consider the combined weight and all of those clunky, chunky cables.
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9700|
|Motherboard||Zotac Mek Mini U3E1|
|Memory||16GB DDR4-2666 (2x8GB) SODIMMs|
|Graphics||Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super (8GB GDDR6)|
|Storage||2TB 2.5-inch HDD, 240GB NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Networking||Killer AC 1550 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 5.0; Dual Ethernet|
|Ports||Front: 2x USB 3.0 (1 Type-A, 1 Type-C), Headphone, Microphone, SD card reader; Back: 4x USB 3.1 Type-A, Dual Ethernet|
|Video Output||3x DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b|
|Power Supply||2x 330W Power Adapters|
|Case||Zotac Mek Mini|
|Cooling||Air-cooled, Non-standard mobile fan;|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Extras||Zotac Spectra 2.0 Lighting, Zotac Firestorm|
|Dimensions||17.1 x 14.1 x 6.5 inches|
|Price As Configured||$1,699.99|
Ports and Upgradeability
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
There’s a fair number of ports on the top of the Mek, including separate headphone and mic jacks up front, along with two USB 3.0 ports (one Type-C and one Type-A) and a full-sized SD card slot — a rarity for gaming desktops.
On the back of the computer, there are four USB 3.1 Type-A ports, dual Ethernet jacks, the power jacks for the two 330W power adapters and connectors for the two Wi-Fi antennas. The back of Zotac’s RTX 2070 Super has three DisplayPorts and an HDMI output.
Unfortunately, one of the Wi-Fi antennas goes right below the power connector. This makes it all but impossible to have both antennas point up — you’ll need to have the bottom one point backwards or turned to an angle.
On the back of the system, there’s a switch to unlock the right side panel. When you pull that off, the RAM, storage and Wi-Fi card are revealed, as is a small laptop-sized fan for some airflow.
The RAM consists of two SODIMM sticks, each of which are immediately accessible. The HDD is held in with a small bracket, and the PCIe NVMe SSD is held in by the usuals screw. On the right side of the motherboard, there’s a second M.2 SSD slot if you want to expand your storage.
The left side is held on by clips. It’s easy enough to pry off if you’re careful, but it won’t lead to much. The GPU and the other side of the motherboard are blocked by a metal grate covered in screws. All but one are easily accessible, but that last one is stuck behind an overhang of the back panel, making it very hard to get to other components. Even if you could replace the GPU, you would need one that fits in the Mek Mini and works with a 330W power brick. The same power concerns go for upgrading the CPU, which again is hypothetical considering how hard it is to reach it.