MSI announces Cubi 2 Mini-PCs with Intel Kaby Lake-U chips

Taiwanese systems and components maker MSI has announced a refresh for its Cubi Mini-PC range. The new MSI Cubi 2 is built upon the same philosophy as its successor but brings several modern accoutrements such as Intel Kaby Lake-U processors, a USB3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, and 4K sensibilities. As you might expect, the MSI Cubi 2 Mini-PCs are ideal for many uses in homes and offices, or even for commercial projects.

Like the Gigabyte Brix Kaby Lake update models we saw last week, MSI is offering a choice of 7th gen Intel Core i3 7100U / i5 7200U / i7 7500U processor in one of two compact form factors. The so-called ‘SSD SKU’ can fit 1x M.2 SSD and measures 115.2 x 112.2 x 32.6mm (390g), the slightly taller ‘HDD SKU’ can accommodate both an M.2 SSD and a 2.5-inch SATA HDD (or SSD) and measures 115.2 x 112.2 x 42.7mm (510g). Both MSI SKUs are a little smaller than the Gigabyte BRIX rivals, and it claims they are the smallest of their kind.

Even opting for the ‘SSD SKU’ doesn’t preclude the option to add a high capacity HDD at a later date,
thanks to MSI’s modular options of an HDD base expansion.

MSI’s design provides front access to a USB 3.1 Gen1 port, a USB Type-C port, headphone and microphone ports, a storage activity light, and the power/reset switch. The Cubi 2 facilitates 4K content consumption and, with its HDMI and DP ports, can support dual-monitor setups. You can mount the Cubi 2 on the back of a monitor or TV with its standard VESA mounting holes. Users should also benefit from a “quiet as a forest” system, as the Cubi 2 only emits 23.7dB of noise in operation, partly down to its two-ball Fan Heatsink design.

The MSI Cubi 2 uses Intel’s H110 chipset and users can install up to 32GB of DDR4 2133HMz RAM. The full list of I/O options is as follows: 3 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 1 x mic in, 1 x headphone out, 1 x HDMI out, 1 x mini DP out, 1 x RJ45 (Realtek RTL8111H GigaLan 10/100/1000), 1 x DC jack. A 65W AC adaptor is supplied. MSI says that Windows 10 is the recommended OS for these barebones systems.

MSI will be releasing the Cubi 2 in a choice of black and white chassis globally, very shortly.

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