Mini PCs have already gained popularity due to their ability to balance power and portability.
In recent years, mini personal computers (PCs) have become an increasingly popular choice for individuals seeking a compact, streamlined computing solution. These tiny computers have many advantages over traditional desktops and laptops, making them a popular choice for a variety of uses.
One of the biggest advantages of mini PCs is their size. These computers are typically much smaller than traditional desktops, making them ideal for those with limited desk space or needing a portable computer. Mini PCs can be easily transported from one location to another, making them perfect for use in classrooms, offices and even on the go. They are also energy-efficient, consuming less power than traditional desktops and producing less heat, making them eco-friendly and extending their lifespan.
Another advantage of mini PCs is their flexibility to integrate with various monitors and peripherals, including webcams. While they usually support one monitor, some devices can support up to four, enabling multi-screen setups.
Choosing the right mini PC can be daunting with so many available options. This article will explore the top mini PCs currently taking the tech world by storm, helping you find the perfect device for your needs.
Apple Mac Mini
Mac Mini M2 ( Image courtesy of Amazon )
The Apple Mac Mini M2 is a pint-sized powerhouse that packs a punch in terms of performance and efficiency. This latest version of Apple’s affordable desktop computer has undergone a significant power boost and a price cut, making it one of the most versatile and affordable Mac PCs on the market.
With a diminutive aluminum body that’s about the size of a hardback book, measuring less than 20cm on each side and less than 4cm thick, the Mac Mini M2 can be placed just about anywhere. Whether you prefer it on a desk, mounted under one, tucked away in a TV cabinet or even stuck to a wall, this mini marvel is a versatile computing solution that won’t take up much space.
Featuring Apple’s latest M2 or M2 Pro chips, as used in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini M2 delivers robust performance and impressive efficiency. The M2 version offers sufficient power for most general computing tasks, while the M2 Pro option with up to 32GB of RAM is available for those who require more performance.
One of the most remarkable features of the Mac Mini is its serene operation. The tiny computer runs almost silently, with only a gentle breeze blowing from the fan at the back, barely perceptible under normal use. Even when pushed to its limits with heavy data processing or gaming, the fan’s sound is so subtle that it only becomes noticeable when actively seeking it out. So, if you’re looking for a compact, stylish and affordable desktop computer that doesn’t compromise on power, the Mac Mini M2 is the perfect choice for you.
Processor: Apple M2
Memory: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 256 GB
Price: US$599 for a Mac Mini M2 on Apple’s website
Raspberry Pi 400
Raspberry Pi 400 ( Image courtesy of Raspberry Pi )
The Raspberry Pi 400 is not just any mini PC; it’s a miniature marvel with all the necessary components cleverly integrated within the keyboard. Simply connect a mouse and a monitor and voila! You have a portable and powerful computer that’s ready to go with you on all your adventures.
The Pi 400 kit comes with more than just a keyboard PC, including a USB mouse, power supply, mini HDMI to HDMI cable, pre-installed Raspberry Pi OS and an SD card adapter for software transfers. This design means the Pi 400 kit is ready to use right out of the box, without the need for assembly.
The Pi 400 boasts impressive speed and processing power, thanks to its 1.8GHz quad-core processor. This is a significant improvement compared to the previous model, the Pi 4, which had a 1.5GHz processor. With this extra processing power, the Pi 400 runs smoothly and efficiently, without any noticeable lag or sluggishness when performing everyday computing tasks. From booting up to running multiple applications, this mini PC handles everything with ease, making it a reliable and high-performing option for those who need a powerful but compact computing solution.
All in all, the Pi 400, with its starting price of just US$70, is a budget-friendly alternative for anyone looking for a reliable computer in a year where remote work and learning are still prevalent. With a keyboard that’s spacious enough for comfortable typing, this tiny computer is a game-changer for students and remote workers alike.
Processor: 1.8GHz quad-core
Memory: 4 GB
Hard Drive: SD Card
Price: US$70 for a standalone version on Raspberry’s website
HP Z2 Mini G9
HP Z2 Mini G9 ( Image courtesy of HP)
HP has been a well-known name in the computing industry for a long time. However, it always seemed to be more focused on catering to the masses than keeping up with the latest trends. But with the release of the HP Z2 Mini G9, it’s clear that HP is ready to join the big leagues of compact desktop PCs. Boasting a powerful 12th Gen Intel processor and a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card, this little machine delivers impressive performance.
The Z2 Mini G9 is an impressively compact desktop PC, measuring just 2.7 by 8.3 by 8.6 inches (HWD). Weighing in at a mere 5.3 pounds, it’s incredibly portable and easy to carry around. Its small size makes it perfect for those who are always on the go, and it can easily fit in a shoulder bag. In fact, it’s less than one-third the volume of a PlayStation 5, making it a great space-saving option for those who have limited desk space.
The Z2 Mini G9’s optional VESA mount allows users to save precious desk space by mounting it under a desk or behind a monitor. For those who are unfamiliar, VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) is an industry standard for attaching flat panel displays, monitors and televisions to monitor mounts. This means that users can easily attach their Z2 Mini G9 to a VESA-compliant mount for a clean and organized workspace. Additionally, if users prefer to place the Z2 Mini G9 on a desk, they can choose to position it horizontally using its rubber feet or vertically using the included stand, providing versatile options for different setups.
Overall, the Z2 Mini workstation stands out for its impressive capabilities that far exceed what one might expect from a device of its size. Equipped with high-end desktop-class CPUs, it offers exceptional processing power suitable for handling complex and demanding tasks. Additionally, the workstation features replaceable graphics, providing users with the flexibility to upgrade their system to meet evolving needs
Processor: Intel Core i9-12900K
Memory: 64 GB
Hard Drive: 1 TB
As technology advances, we can expect to see further innovation in the realm of compact computing solutions, with manufacturers striving to develop devices that offer powerful processing capabilities while also being highly portable.
This trend is likely to continue as consumers increasingly prioritize performance and convenience, making compact devices such as mini PCs a popular choice for both personal and professional use.
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