Within the last decade, a fantastic, ultimately portable form of computers was invented, mini PCs. A mini PC allows you to have a pocket-sized, fully functional, and portable computer. You can navigate to the web, play games, stream, and do much more. There is a mini PC for everyone, yet you have to choose the best for you between many options.
Mini PCs are great for both businesses and personal use. If you need a compact build and portable machine for your company and/or your everyday life, we will help you check its pros and cons and decide what is best for your needs.
We decided to create a list of the five best mini PCs. Our list will include budget ones, mid-tier and top-tier. So no matter if you are a mother, a kid, or a professional, by the end of this article, you will have everything you need to know for mini PCs, their pros and cons, how to make a choice, and if you should purchase one.
The Pros and Cons of Mini PCs
Mini PCs have designed with style and the best size for a machine, but when it comes to making the best choice, you have to think about the hardware specifications. Your very first question has to be how and where I am planning on using it? Once you figure out the answer, you will be ready to check the pros and cons and make the best selection.
- Portable and extremely light
- Small in size
- Everyday use (basic office tasks like writing and presenting, stream videos, and listening to music)
- Connectivity sufficiency (USB, HDMI, audio outputs ports, and ethernet connection)
- Sufficient for basic gaming
- Basic, integrated GPU
- Limited internal storage and Ram (not able to play advanced games)
- Most of the times not upgradable
Windows, Linux, or Chrome as an operating system?
When it comes to which operating system to choose, then the answer is simple, it’s really up to you! For example, if you are more familiar with Windows, you can select a Windows mini PC. In any case, if you cannot make up your mind, we will help you examine what each operating system could offer you.
Windows could be the perfect choice for a mini gaming PC, according to us and gamers. In any case, all three of the operating systems provide options for games. Thus windows are more familiar and have other advantages as well, like better graphics and faster performance.
Linux operating system is an excellent choice for streaming movies, music, and TV. If you are not familiar, the learning curve is kind of steep, but it’s worth trying to learn how to use it.
Chrome OS is an easy and straightforward operating system. It is built on Linux, but it is much easier to learn how to use it. It is recommended for productivity and streaming, mainly if you already use Google docs, Gmail, and other Chrome features.
To wrap up, the best selection always depends on your needs. If you answered the question above, how and where you are planning using the mini PC, you got the answer next.
What are the best Mini computers on the market for 2021?
Now that we checked all the technicalities, pros, and cons of Mini PCs, let’s have a deeper look into the five best of them! We searched the market, and we present you with the best of the best to choose from depending on the use.
New Apple Mac Mini
- CPU: Apple M1 8-Core
- GPU: Integrated
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 256 or 512 GB SSD
- Price: From 663,92$
The Apple Mac mini is the best and fastest mini-computer on the market now. The price is a bit high, but it’s worth it because it offers what others do not. It is perfect for professional and simple task use. It’s dimensions show how mini and portable it is: 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches, and the weight is 2.6 pounds. It runs the macOS operating system.
As it concerns connectivity, it has thunderbolts, the latest USB Type C ports, HDMI, ethernet, and headphone jack ports. You cannot add memory later. The Apple M1 processor makes it faster than any other mini PC and offers a surprising amount of power.
In a few words, the latest Apple Mac Mini has everything someone might ask from a portable, extremely-small computer. Thus, this is an amazing choice for those of you who are Apple fans and need a reliable, relatively affordable Apple PC.
HP ProDesk 400 G5
- CPU: Intel Core i3
- GPU: Integrated
- RAM: 16GB (upgradeable to 32GB)
- Storage: 256GB
- Price: 579.99$
The HP ProDesk 400 G5 is a mini PC highly recommended for business, especially in an IT department. The dimensions are 6.9 x 7 x 1.3 inches, and the weight is 2.74 pounds.
The computer is a bit smaller and lighter than the Mac mini. The operating system that runs is Windows 10 Pro, perfect for professional multitasking use. The connectivity type is Bluetooth. Prodesk also has USB and headphone jack ports and a great wireless antenna. Finally, another strong pro is that you can easily upgrade this computer.
Azulle Access3 stick PC
- CPU: Intel Celeron
- GPU: Integrated
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 32GB
- Price: 299.90$
This stick PC will blow your mind. It is the definition of a portable and mini device. It has the most elegant design and combines fanless cooling with style. The Azulle Access is the best option for everyday use at home because it can be used with any monitor or TV and can support 4K video, making it the ideal combination for streaming!
It is so tiny (5.5 x 2.36 x 0.76 inches) and light (5.12 ounces) that you will want to put it in your keychain! It runs Windows Pro 10/loT/Ubuntu Linux. When it comes to connectivity, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ethernet ports, HDMI output, and a micro SD slot.
Moreover, it provides long-lasting power and can guarantee longer product life. The only con is that the data transfer speed is not too fast like the previous mini PCs, making sense.
Intel Hades Canyon NUC
- CPU: Intel Core i7
- GPU: Integrated
- RAM: 32GB
- Storage: 32GB (1TB SSD)
- Price: 1.039.00$
Intel Hades Canyon is the ultimate mini gaming PC. With a compact, attractive design and impressive graphic performance, if you are a gamer, then you will love it! It is only 8.7 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches and weighs 3 pounds. Intel Hades Canyon runs Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7, has 32GB RAM and 32GB computer memory to update 1TB SSD.
All these elements make one fast for gaming and VR machine, which is appealing too. The price is a bit high, like Apple mini Mac but worth it. You can upgrade it as well. The best thing about this mini PC is that it supports up to 6 monitors for your convenience.
Moreover, it has USB, ethernet, SSD, HDMI ports, SD card, and RAM slots. The wireless connection is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. For all these features, I found the price fair.
Acer Chromebox Premium CXI3 Mini PC
- CPU: Celeron
- GPU: Integrated
- RAM: 8GB (128 SSD)
- Storage: 128GB
- Price: 369.99$
The newest model of Acer Chromebox mini PC is a high-speed data transfer, video streaming device. It is super small, 6.24 x 5.85 x 2.22 inches, and it weighs 4.54 pounds. This machine is the best desktop version of Chrome OS available. It is made for office or classroom use. The features that Chrome has are ease of use and outstanding performance. It has plenty of ports for USB, HDMI, ethernet, and headphone jack. You can connect it wirelessly as well with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is also perfect for multitasking without lags. You will have access to all Google docs and Google sheets.
Mini PCs are a category that offers services in different usage scenarios like businesses and personal use. We examined the various attributes that these magic, small machines can provide to you, depending on what you want. Remember that pros and cons are on the table, but you can find the perfect mini-computer for you. There are plenty of options to choose between them, but the top five are above. Don’t waste more time; order your new mini PC and enjoy the features!