Smaller form-factor PCs usually go one in every of two methods: First, you may prioritize the small a part of the equation. This leaves you with one thing superbly tiny, however at the price of future upgrades—space-saving comes with the caveat of proprietary and non-replaceable elements. (See: Alienware Alpha.) Or you may prioritize future upgrades, which usually means a bigger and fewer aesthetically pleasing machine.

The MSI Trident V3 is the uncommon machine that may do each—at the very least to some extent.

MSI Trident V3 vs. consoles

It truly is tiny. Scale might be robust to guage in images, however at 13.6 by 9.2 by 2.eight inches, the Trident is so small it’s arduous to imagine there’s a full-size PC inside. It’s smaller than my launch-version Xbox One as an illustration, and fairly almost smaller than the brand new Xbox One X. (It is smaller depth, however the Trident is about an inch longer and possibly half an inch taller.) The Trident sits comfortably in “console-sized” territory, in any case.

IDG / Adam Patrick Murray

The Xbox One X (left) and Trident (proper), as seen from above.

And it appears even smaller than it’s. The Xbox One’s blunt VCR-like chassis seems each inch its dimension. The Trident’s canted angles are needlessly flashy maybe, but in addition slimming.

Talking of flashy: I may do with out the RGB lighting. That’s the one facet I believe detracts from the design, if solely as a result of it’s distracting. Given the small dimension of the Trident I assume most individuals will place it on one thing, be it a media heart shelf, a desk, no matter. Having an RGB-lit “Y” form on the entrance panel ensures the Trident gained’t merely mix into the background, as an alternative blink-blink-blinking away at you all evening lengthy.

It gained’t hassle everybody, and it is also customizable—you may hop into MSI’s settings panel and switch the lighting off, “fixing” the issue. There’s simply not a lot level to it being there in any respect on a machine seemingly so suited to front room use, although.

MSI Trident V3 Arctic IDG / Adam Patrick Murray

It is not illuminated right here, however that odd “Y” form on the nook is the RGB LED zone.

I really like the selection of white for the chassis, although. Most of MSI’s Trident fashions come within the firm’s commonplace black-and-red shade scheme—as “generic gaming machine” as you will get. The mannequin we checked out is available in “Arctic White” although, with a pink MSI badge and pink labels on the entrance ports. It’s slick. I are likely to choose black packing containers—I really feel they maintain up higher over time—however there’s no denying that contemporary out of the field the white Trident is an eye-catcher. Bonus: Much less noticeable mud.

The entrance panel is laden with ports, which additionally behooves front room use. Most noteworthy is a front-facing HDMI port, which MSI intends for straightforward VR utilization. I haven’t had a lot purpose to make use of my HTC Vive with the Trident, however I admire the gesture. For the time being, plugging in a VR headset means crawling behind my tower PC. Entrance-facing I/O is definitely extra handy.

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