A PC rarely catches my eye when scrolling social media. These devices have become more of an appliance that may not push the WOW factor. This wasn’t the case when I came across SundaePC last year with its miniature computer with a splash of color and personality.
I reached out to the PR team at Sundae and they’ve allowed me around a month with this tiny powerhouse and I’ve come away impressed.
The main casing of the SundaePC is a small enclosure with a mix of plastic and metal components. The front is flanked with an LED-lit power button, a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-A port, and a USB-C port. The rear of the computer houses the power jack, DisplayPort, 2X USB-A, ethernet, and a USB-C input/output.
The internals of my review unit include the latest Intel i5-1235U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVME solid-state storage. Graphics are handled by the Iris Xe integrated card and you have WiFi 6 on the modem for wireless connections as well.
Thankfully, SundaePC didn’t forget about function as well as form. The bottom panel can be easily removed for accessing the internals. This should make upgrading components like the SSD and RAM a breeze for those who like to tinker. In theory, it could also allow the company to use a Framework-like approach of allowing users to replace the motherboard itself as it ages.
The key standout other than size for the SundaePC, are silicone sleeves used to allow users to add a splash of color. These covers can be pulled off and changed in just a few seconds. It’s an easy solution to add some personality to a desktop PC I haven’t seen before that reminds me of how you’d toss a case immediately on a new phone.
Our unit included the default black and an optional white jacket for us to test. This comes with a few caveats, however. The first is that the darker colors look like they are straight-up lint and dirt magnets. Our black model almost instantly looked a little icky.
Second, the covering can offer some interference when accessing the ports. The rear ports specifically are already cramped between the USB-A inputs and the DisplayPort. The cover adds just a smidge more material that increases the likelihood of having a larger USB or DisplayPort not fitting in tandem.
Packing a big punch in a welterweight body is heavily promised on the SudaePC website, and I’m happy to report that they’ve succeeded. During normal web browsing and office work, the SundaePC performs very well. You should have no issues in average use cases.
But what about pushing it a little harder? This was also surprisingly good thanks to the Intel 12th-generation CPU and Iris graphics. I was able to even get Steam up and running playing games with no settings changes. This makes the SundaePC more than capable in my eyes for any user short of hardcore gamers who are going to push machines to their limits for hours on end.
The SundaePC runs Windows 11 out of the box. While it’s not my normal OS, I have to say the 11th iteration of Microsoft’s operating system is by far the most modern and snappy version I’ve used. Transitions and general navigation have been fine.
I’m also happy to report that the Linux kernel running Fedora and Ubuntu seemed to pick up all the necessary drivers as well. I wouldn’t see much conflict for Linux nerds with this machine as it generally runs well on Intel-based machines. I did run this within a live USB build and using F12 at boot to get to the BIOS, but installations tend to perform similarly to this virtual environment.
This is my biggest con of the SundaePC. While the engineering impresses me, especially in such a small package, the price could seem too steep to some buyers. At $850, I can snag a pretty powerful alternative from the big boys on the block like Apple, Dell, and Lenovo. All of these are brands that are readily recognized and may run off consumers of SundaePC.
The customization is nice and I like the easy removable lid to access components, but many consumers will be hesitant of a brand they’ve never heard of before. Despite this, if a buyer can overlook the name, the SundaePC is still competitive for the specs you get here. I still think it’s worth it, but could make some take a second look.
SundaePC has created a unique way to express yourself in the PC market and packed it into a tiny footprint. Internally, it’s brimming with powerful and modern hardware. The combination makes for a great package that could fit into any workspace.
Hit the link below to snag your SundaePC now if our review has swayed you into a purchase.