Steam – Michmutters

This Small Computer Is A Great First Step Into PC Gaming For Families

I’m often on the look out for new computer solutions for the family. Whether it’s gaming, homework or socializing there’s always something to get tech ready for.

In particular my son has wanted to dip his toe into the world of PC gaming. More specifically, indie games. He likes the idea of ​​getting access to the big new thing all his friends are talking about in the playground (most recently Loop Hero and Vampire Survivors). I like the idea of ​​him playing a wider range of games, and also having a way to do his homework without tying up the main computer.

For the past couple of months we have been trying out the Geekom Mini IT8. It’s a small footprint device that promises to punch above its weight in terms of performance. Getting it out of the box and seeing how small it was, I was a little skeptical it would be up to the gaming spec he needed.

There are a few configurations. We went for the 16GB/256GB that comes in around $519. The device itself is, as I mentioned, pretty small. But it has all the ports and connectors a larger computer would have. We plugged in a keyboard, mouse, HDMI monitor and power, and were all set.

By the time my son had started to download some games I had read a few other reviews decrying the performance for gaming. This is true if you are going to be running a high spec game that is graphically intensive. But the games my son wanted to play were actually pretty light on the visuals.

Working through a range of games from a list he had compiled, most of them ran fine. It’s worth saying that it did mean the fan revved up to maximum and emitted a dull hum. I asked him about this and he said it wasn’t a problem as he played with a headset.

The most graphically intensive game we ran was Counter-Strike. We did need to fiddle with the settings a bit, but soon had it running smoothly. It was great to see him be able to give this a go. Not only on a machine that didn’t cost the earth, but also didn’t take up a huge amount of desk space.

Since then the Geekom Mini IT8 has meant that we have explore loads of PC games. In fact it’s become a regular father-son thing. He’ll appear at the living room door clutching the little computer, ready to plug it into the TV for an hour of playing together.

If you don’t have a PC and are looking for a way to step into some light PC gaming, the Geekom Mini IT8 is a great way to do it. It’s also pretty good for homework too.



Steam Adds Feature Users Have Requested for Years

Valve appears to have quietly added a Steam feature that people have been asking about for a long time now: the ability to add a game to your library without having to download it. That may seem like a small thing (and it is, really), but it’s something players have only been able to do in the past via workarounds that didn’t make for the most convenient methods. It’s a feature that’s pretty much only useful whenever you’re downloading free-to-play games, but it does seem to have a few uses outside of that, too.

This new Steam feature wasn’t publicized in any sort of patch notes for Steam this week, so this stealthy feature was only noticed by people who shared news of it online after their discoveries. Twitter user RobotBrush, for example, screenshotted the option in the image below (which you may have to expand) that shows the usual “Play Game” button besides a new one that says “Add to Library.” Fellow Twitter user Morwul contextualized this for those who might not have understood what was going on from the first tweet alone.

As others pointed out in the replies there and in other threads where this feature was discussed, this Add to Library option was already available to a degree. There wasn’t a dedicated button for this action, and to achieve a similar effect, players could end the download of a game at the first confirmation window that pops up to have the game added to your library but not downloaded at that time. That workaround has essentially been condensed now into the one button you see pictured above.

For paid games, this won’t really be helpful seeing how you’d have to purchase the game anyway before adding it to your library. But considering the prevalence of free-to-play games nowadays with no end to that monetization method in sight, this feature will only be more useful as additional free-to-play games release. It’ll also be useful when claiming free DLC for a game you already own.

One caveat to this is that it doesn’t appear to be an option available on the Steam site at this time and is only found within the Steam app itself. It’s also unclear if this Add to Library button is present on games that are temporarily free-to-play or free-to-own seeing how there aren’t any games being promoted that way on Steam at this time, but those offers are never far apart from one another, so we’ll see soon if the button does indeed work that way, too.