Sapphire Edge VS8 Review: The $500 Mini PC

By on April 23, 2013, 12:26 AM

While full-sized desktop computers are still around, tablets and smartphones have proven that technology has come far enough to essentially cram a fully capable computer into a space that is suitable for your pants pocket, a purse, or a small backpack. This idea of shrinking hardware hasn’t been overlooked by manufacturers as several now feature space-saving designs based on mobile hardware.

Such is the case with Sapphire’s new Edge VS8 mini-PC powered by AMD’s A8 APU. The system is hardly any larger than an external optical, measuring 19.7 x 18.2 x 3.1 cms. Net weight for the mini PC is just 660g.

The Edge VS8 ships with AMD’s quad-core A8-4555M clocked at 1.6GHz, 4GB of DDR3 memory, AMD Radeon HD 7600G graphics and a 500GB 2.5-inch SATA hard drive. The Edge VS8 comes with built-in support for Bluetooth 3.0 as well as 802.11 b/g/n wireless and a bevy of rear I/O connections.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 19

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

In that configuration it is worth about $150 in components. Charging the extra $350 for the R&D and the assembly is probably pushing it. For the extra $350 one can beef it up to at least 8-16GB of RAM, a much faster CPU and a decent SSD.

Bluetooth 3.0 instead of 4.0 - failure!

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Costs too much for what it is and it gets crushed by everything they compare it with.

1 person liked this | Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

In that configuration it is worth about $150 in components. Charging the extra $350 for the R&D and the assembly is probably pushing it. For the extra $350 one can beef it up to at least 8-16GB of RAM, a much faster CPU and a decent SSD.

Bluetooth 3.0 instead of 4.0 - failure!

Just the hard drive + ram are US$80, you are going to tell me that the notebook size mobo with built in bluetooth and wifi + the proc are under $70?

The cheapest desktop A8 is around $100, you are going to tell me they also sell the mobos for real cheap with integrated bluetooth and wifi...

You are also going to tell me that you need 16gb of ram in a 1,4ghz proc...

Do the maths, $150? lol! Sure, you could make a better desktop pc buying the pieces for $500 but you are not going to get to that small factor size, nor to those energy savings.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Just the hard drive + ram are US$80, you are going to tell me that the notebook size mobo with built in bluetooth and wifi + the proc are under $70?

The cheapest desktop A8 is around $100, you are going to tell me they also sell the mobos for real cheap with integrated bluetooth and wifi...

Do the maths, $150? lol! Sure, you could make a better desktop pc buying the pieces for $500 but you are not going to get to that small factor size, nor to those energy savings.

Here's your HDD + RAM in a shop:

[link]

[link]

Those are retail prices that include VAT and other add-ons. OEM companies get those for much less, and one thing about them building such systems, they always go for absolute the cheapest, just as long as it works.

You are also going to tell me that you need 16gb of ram in a 1,4ghz proc...

Read my post again, it was saying what you can bring it up to, to justify the price, which included a better CPU.

The cheapest desktop A8 is around $100

- Really? [link]

That's again with VAT, price add-ons and no OEM discount. An APU that's much more powerful than the one offered in that box, by the way.

So yes, I believe the components cost them roughly about $150, with $200 being the absolute maximum. That still makes a $300 surcharge a bit too much.

Or do you think that a platform like Rasberry Pi that sells with mobo+memory+CPU for $25 is made out of thin air? It does generate a profit from that price.

Edited: All things considered, the price should be around $350, pending the warranty and the OS supplied, but if none, then it shouldn't be more than $300.

Guest said:

Windows 7? I'm buying 2 right now. :)

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Windows 7? I'm buying 2 right now.

I hope you meant it ironically, because one thing that does go for Windows 8 is that it works much faster on low-spec computers like this one.

gamoniac said:

Windows 7? I'm buying 2 right now.

I hope you meant it ironically, because one thing that does go for Windows 8 is that it works much faster on low-spec computers like this one.

Yep. I upgraded my wife's Zotac from win7 to win8 for that reason. It does work more efficiently, especially Netflix in Metro mode. Not that I am big on Metro, but the CPU usage went down from tremendously on that tiny PC. Note: running Netflix in IE10 does not yield the same efficiency.

gamoniac said:

This is a good but otherwise unfair review. The systems you compared this unit to all run on SSD and are much more expensive. You should included the current prices to make the comparison more meaningful. Here are the prices on Amazon as of 4/23/2013:

Sapphire Edge VS8: $500 (Unit reviewed)

Aspire S7: $1078

Lenovo Yoga 13: $997

Aspire S5: $815

Now, if you spend $100 and swap in a $128GB SSD, I would call it a much fairer review.

Guest said:

Slick little package.

JC713 JC713 said:

I can build a $500 PC easily that will kick this things butt.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

I can build a $500 PC easily that will kick this things butt.

Thats NOT THE POINT.

Can you tape your 500 dollar PC to the bottom of your desk and not even realize its there? Does your 500 dollar PC have a 65W PSU?

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Thats NOT THE POINT.

Can you tape your 500 dollar PC to the bottom of your desk and not even realize its there? Does your 500 dollar PC have a 65W PSU?

I am sorry Mr. Grumpy.

Carleton Wu Carleton Wu said:

Definitely worth it. Look at that small size! Try rolling your own with a $500 budget including OS. You cannot make that kind of size. I do agree that this thing should have Win8 instead.

howzz1854 said:

This thing will not sell well. consider those Zotac Media center PCs cost $189 street price, they come with everyone one would need to operate plus a remote. this thing isn't cheap enough to compete with those tiny Zotac media center pcs, and yet, not powerful enough to compete with the rest of conventional PC. no one in their right mind would buy this for a media pc, nor a conventional pc. someone in their marketing department isn't doing their job.

JC713 JC713 said:

This thing will not sell well. consider those Zotac Media center PCs cost $189 street price, they come with everyone one would need to operate plus a remote. this thing isn't cheap enough to compete with those tiny Zotac media center pcs, and yet, not powerful enough to compete with the rest of conventional PC. no one in their right mind would buy this for a media pc, nor a conventional pc. someone in their marketing department isn't doing their job.

Yeah, those Zotac mini PCs are failing.

howzz1854 said:

Yeah, those Zotac mini PCs are failing.

in what way

JC713 JC713 said:

in what way

Never mind, I was thinking of something else.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

Not bad at all, I would agree that the system seems a bit over priced you can get a A8 Laptop (since this is all laptop parts) for around $400-500, but that has a screen and optical drive and would seems to cost a bit more form the extra parts included. Something tells me that Sapphire ended up paying a lot of money to have this mobo designed and fabricated. I wish they would have used non Low Voltage AMD APU's you can pick up a A10-4600m off Ebay for like $50-80, that would have added some kick to the performance. Windows 8 truly does do well on these low end systems, with the whole concept between the apps trying to be light and run fast it helps speed up these little buggers and make them seem a lot faster then they are, I can live without the SSD, this system seems like it would be a good media system so having the 500 GB available seems better then 128gb.

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