Best Mini PCs

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 13, 2017
If you don't want to use a laptop but a PC seems too large for you, there's a great device that combines a sufficient performance and fantastic portability - a mini PC. It's a small box with all necessary hardware and interfaces. Check out our mini PC review that will help you pick the best one! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
OS
CPU
RAM
Storage Space
GPU
Interfaces
 
PROS
Fusion Drive - a combination of hard disk drive and solid-state drive (128GB). You can connect a high-resolution display via high-speed Thunderbolt connection to this top-rated mini PC.
CONS
No peripherals come with this mini PC, but the device is fairly high-performing for its price.
OUR VERDICT
That's an excellent mini PC that combines terrific performance and cutting-edge Apple software. Perfect substitution for iMac or MacBook.
detailed parameters
OS
Mac OS X Yosemite
CPU
Intel Core i5 2.8GHz
RAM
8GB
Storage Space
1TB Fusion Drive
GPU
Intel Iris Graphics
Interfaces
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, LAN 4xUSB 3.0, 2xThunderbolt 2, 1хHDMI, 1xSDXC card slot, 1xAudio in/out
PROS
HP mini PC boasts low energy consumption and nearly noiseless operation. The device is compact, so you can easily find place for it at home or take it to work / on a trip. You can carry HP mini desktop computer in your bag or backpack.
CONS
This amazing device lacks GPU performance, so you won't be able to play the latest computer games on this mini computer.
OUR VERDICT
HP portable mini PC is performing enough for any daily tasks, so it's not only a media player for your TV but a real computer.
detailed parameters
OS
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Pentium 1.9GHz
RAM
4GB
Storage Space
500GB HDD
GPU
Intel HD Graphics
Interfaces
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, LAN 4xUSB 3.0, 1xDisplayPort, 1xHDMI, 1xHeadphone/Microphone combo jack
PROS
ASUS mini PC has pre-configured parental controls that provide the ultimate protection of your kids against improper content. Chrome OS is quick and simple - a perfect choice for web browsing.
CONS
Some users don't find Chrome OS multi-functional enough, but you can't install another OS on this device.
OUR VERDICT
ASUS Chromebox mini computer is the ideal device for people who need to work with online documents and want to enjoy safe Internet browsing.
detailed parameters
OS
Google Chrome OS
CPU
Intel Celeron 1.4GHz
RAM
2GB
Storage Space
16GB SSD
GPU
Intel HD Graphics
Interfaces
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, LAN 4xUSB 3.0, 1xDisplayPort, 1xHDMI, 1xSD card slot, 1xHeadphone/Microphone combo jack
PROS
Branded Logitech keyboard with a touchpad is very convenient and allows you to save up on buying a separate one. Azulle mini PC has lots of available interfaces for connecting several devices at a time.
CONS
Storage capacity is rather small, but it isn't a problem if you use the gadget for Internet surfing and for watching online movies.
OUR VERDICT
Thanks to Azulle mini PC, you can turn your SmartTV into a real media center. Enjoy watching movies, browsing the web, and editing documents.
detailed parameters
OS
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Atom 1.33 GHz
RAM
2GB
Storage Space
32GB SSD
GPU
Intel HD Graphics
Interfaces
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, LAN 3xUSB 2.0, 1xVGA, 1xHDMI, 1xSD card slot, 1xHeadphone/Microphone combo jack
PROS
This is a truly unique mini PC since it boasts a built-in fingerprint reader that provides the maximum security when booting Windows. The battery life is fairly good too - up to 4 hours of autonomous operation.
CONS
No standard headphone jack, so only Bluetooth connectivity is available.
OUR VERDICT
You can use this mini PC as a multimedia player; just connect it to the TV set or any device and enjoy YouTube, movies, and web browsing on a large screen.
detailed parameters
OS
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Atom x5 1.44 GHz
RAM
2GB
Storage Space
32GB eMMC
GPU
Intel HD Graphics
Interfaces
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2xUSB (3.0, 2.0), 1xMicro USB, 1xHDMI, 1xMicroSD slot, 1xDocking connector

What is a Mini Pc

You don't need to use a large, cumbersome PC if you need a computer for entertainment, Internet surfing, watching movies, as well as for office work. A mini PC allows you to do all of these tasks but this device is very small and compact. Moreover, a mini desktop PC consumes a lot less electricity than a desktop computer. The noise this device makes is nearly non-existent, which is another major advantage of mini computers. As usual, such gadgets look like small plastic boxes with lots of interfaces (ports and slots) for connecting different other devices such as monitors, flash drives, and different peripherals. Mini desktop computers usually have a stylish design and that's why they look awesome anywhere - at home and in the office. Some mini PCs can be attached to the back side of the monitor via a special mount. In all, a mini PC is the best substitution for a desktop computer and even a laptop.

If you don't want to use any additional computer monitors and want to use an all-in-one device, make sure to read our review of chromebooks - compact laptops created for web surfing and for using Google cloud services. If you want to play games, you need a device with really performing hardware, so you'd better choose one of the best gaming PCs or gaming laptops.

What Features to Compare

When it comes to any computer, the first issue you need to consider is the Performance, which depends primarily on the hardware every device has. A mini PC is not an exception - if you want to enjoy a speed of response of your computer, you should be sure that it has modern and powerful hardware. So, you must be fully aware of what central processing unit (CPU) is installed on your mini computer. As usual, these devices have mobile CPUs designed for laptops. Such CPUs are far less performing than those designed for desktop computers, but they require little electric power and, consequently, can work with minimum or no cooling at all. If you buy a mini computer, be sure you will be able to surf the Internet, watch your favorite movies, enjoy pictures, and so on. Next, you should check the RAM capacity because multi-tasking depends on it. The higher it is, the more tasks you can perform simultaneously. Most mini PCs have 2GB of RAM, but if you are ready to spend some more money, make sure to choose models with 4GB or 8GB in order to be able to make the best use of your device. Some mini PCs have no built-in storage and, therefore, you can pick the capacity by yourself. You can connect a monitor to any mini desktop computer, but the signal itself is created by a graphics card (GPU). Most mini PCs use the GPUs integrated with CPUs, but it doesn't mean they are too ill-performing. The latest generations of integrated GPUs are quite agile - the best of them allow you to play movies in the resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (UltraHD 4K) which is a challenge even for some PCs! Finally, don't forget about storage capacity. Some mini PCs use a low-capacity flash memory (usually, 16GB or 32GB), which is enough if you aren't going to store large amounts of data. However, more powerful mini PCs have built-in hard disk drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD) with the capacity of 120GB and more. SSDs are a lot faster than HDDs, so if you are ready to overpay a bit - pick it.

Since mini PCs are compact, you should be sure you will be able to connect the devices and peripherals you need. That's why don't forget to check all Interfaces every mini PC has. For example, if you want to connect to the Internet wirelessly, make sure to pick the device with built-in WiFi. Also, if you don't need it and prefer using a cable connection - a mini PC must have an Ethernet port (which is also called RJ45). Next, most flash drives, external hard drives and lots of other gadgets are connected via a USB port, so a good mini PC must have at least 2-3 of them. Top-rated mini PCs usually have USB 3.0 version which is several times faster than an older 2.0 USB interface. Also, USB 3.0 is much better for playing videos from flash drives. Of course, a mini PC can't work without a monitor, so there must be several interfaces for connecting them. As usual, there are HDMI and Display ports that transfer a digital signal, whereas a VGA port is used for transferring an analog signal.

Finally, most mini desktop computers come with pre-installed software (OS), so you just connect them properly - and off you go enjoying your computer experience. Keep in mind that a pre-installed Windows 10 is a major advantage, since a usual Windows package itself is quite expensive. Alos, any mini desktop computer has some extra features (Extras) that facilitate the use of the device. For example, some models of top-rated mini PCs come with branded keyboard and mouse, so you don't need to buy them. Other mini PCs can be attached to the back side of a computer screen with the help of a VESA bracket.

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Apple MGEQ2LL/A

Performance

This Apple mini PC has a very strong 'heart' - the 4th generation Intel Core i5 CPU that works at the maximum frequency of 2.8GHz. If you load a CPU too much, it automatically enables Turbo Boost mode and the frequency increases to 3.3GHz. Apple mini PC has an integrated GPU - Intel Iris Graphics, which provides quite enough power to handle the maximum video resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. Iris graphics allows you to work with any programs, to surf the Internet, to stream videos, etc. Apple mini PC has the RAM capacity of 8GB - more than enough for an average PC user. Finally, Apple engineers equipped the device with a huge 1TB Fusion drive - a technology that combines a conventional HDD and a high-speed 128GB solid-state drive.

Interfaces

Apple portable mini PC has 4 USB 3.0 slots to which you can connect all kinds of gadgets and peripherals (flash drives, external HDDs, etc.). There's an HDMI port to connect a TV or a monitor. Also, this Apple mini PC has 2 high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports for connecting some Apple peripherals or a cutting-edge Apple Thunderbolt Display. No need to mention, Apple mini PC has an SDXC slot for reading flash card (just like any laptop).

OS and Extras

This fantastic mini PC comes with a pre-installed OS X Yosemite that allows you to enjoy all the latest benefits of Apple computers. Yosemite OS has a smart and ergonomic design and makes it easy to use your Mac mini PC and iOS devices. There's a large package of pre-installed programs, so you can work with office documents, check your mail, contact your friends or business partners, surf the Internet, edit video and audio files. Also, you can buy a wireless Apple keyboard and a mouse.

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Apple MGEQ2LL/A
Apple MGEQ2LL/A
 

HP 300

Performance

HP Pavilion mini desktop computer has Intel Pentium 3805U CPU that yields the maximum frequency of 1.9GHz which works along with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU. The combo ensures quite a smooth, fast operation and the overall performance of this top-rated mini PC can be compared with a usual laptop. The RAM capacity is 4GB (DDR3 type), which is a standard for most modern laptops and computers. In all, you can easily cope with all tasks you might need a computer for: creating and editing documents, surfing the Internet, using messengers, watching videos, and so on. Unlike some other competitors, HP mini PC has a high-capacity 500GB hard disk drive (HDD), so this device can be used as a full-fledged computer. You can store movies, pictures, music, and scores of other files on the HDD. Most HP devices are Energy Star certified and this one too - it uses as little electricity as possible.

Interfaces

HP Pavilion mini PC has a compact and stylish housing that has several interfaces for connectivity. You can go online wirelessly thanks to a WiFi support. If you want to use a cable - there's an Ethernet port. HP mini PC has 4 USB ports (3.0 version) through which you can connect all kinds of flash drives and hard disks, as well as peripherals. Of course, there's a 3-in-1 digital media reader - you can insert memory cards from cameras, for example, and transfer files very fast. You can play music via your sound system by connecting it to a mini computer via a microphone combo jack. HP Pavilion mini PC lets you use 2 monitors simultaneously by plugging one into HDMI port and another into a DisplayPort.

OS and Extras

If you need a mini PC capable of handling any tasks, HP Pavilion is for you. This device comes with a fairly good package - apart from a mini PC itself, you also get a wireless keyboard and a mouse. So, you need only a monitor - and you are ready to use the computer. Moreover, HP has a pre-installed Windows 10 operating system, so you don't need to buy it separately. It saves you a lot of money! Don't worry about the performance - Windows 10 runs smoothly on the hardware of HP Pavilion mini PC - there are no lags unless you try playing games on 'high' graphic settings. There's one more major point and it's sound quality. This small HP mini desktop computer is integrated with a B&O PLAY sound system which provides a rich and deep sound, immersing you into music.

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HP 300
HP 300
 

ASUS M004U

Performance

ASUS mini PC has a typical mobile CPU - Intel Celeron 2955U with the maximum frequency of 1.4GHz. This CPU isn't the most high-performing on the market, but it's reliable and quite energy-efficient. Along with 2GB DDR3 RAM, the whole performance of this mini computer is quite sufficient for using it as a media center (when connected to a TV set). Of course, you can use ASUS mini PC computer with a conventional computer monitor too. Finally, this device has a high-speed solid-state drive (16GB) - enough for storing Chrome OS and some essential files and documents.

Interfaces

This mini computer has all the essential ports and interfaces for connecting all kinds of devices and peripherals. First of all, ASUS mini computer has 4 USB 3.0 slots (remember that USB 3.0 version is several times faster than USB 2.0) through which you can connect a keyboard, a mouse, flash drives, etc. A monitor is connected to a mini PC via a digital HDMI port, which transfers not only video but audio signal too. Of course, you can use a DisplayPort and HDMI together for using 2 computer monitors at once. Thus, you might choose a computer monitor with built-in speakers, so that you don't need to buy them separately. Of course, ASUS mini PC has WiFi and Bluetooth support, but if you want to use a cable connection - no problem, there's an Ethernet port. Moreover, you can use a microphone combo jack to connect a microphone or sound system.

OS and Extras

The most important feature of this mini PC is the pre-installed Chrome operating system (OS). This software was developed to ensure quick and trouble-free online work. You can cloud storage on your Google account to keep all your essential files there. Also, Chrome OS has very efficient parental controls - your kids are fully protected from improper web content. Moreover, you can block unwanted websites (even social networks). Thus, ASUS Chromebox is the best choice for kids who don't need any sophisticated soft, but spend time mostly online. All devices bearing the name Google have free access to Google Drive cloud storage and this Chromebox is no exception - ASUS mini desktop comes with free 100GB of Google storage, so you can keep all your most important files in it. And that's not all - if your Internet connection fails, you will still be able to play offline games or edit documents.

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ASUS M004U
ASUS M004U
 

AZULLE Quantum Byte

Performance

Azulle mini PC can turn any TV into a real media center. First of all, the unit has a mobile Intel Atom Z2760 CPU with the maximum frequency of 1.33GHz. The RAM capacity is 2GB and it's enough to give you access to the Internet and make web browsing fast and pleasant. The GPU is an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 - not, actually, the best one, but still ensures smooth video playback. The overall performance of hardware allows you to watch movies (online or not), listen to music, create and edit word documents, and so on. Of course, editing high-resolution graphics might be too much for Azulle mini PC.

Interfaces

As of interfaces, this mini computer has everything you need to connect all necessary devices and peripherals, both digital and analog. You can use an HDMI port for connecting a TV or a computer screen. If you have an outdated monitor - you can use a VGA slot. Needless to mention, Azulle mini PC has a card reader - you can insert an SD card from your camera, for example, and transfer the files you need. Also, there are 3 USB slots (2.0 version). Of course, you can go online via WiFi or, if you don't have it, via a LAN port. All Bluetooth devices can be connected to this mini PC wirelessly too.

OS and Extras

This Azulle mini PC computer comes with a pre-installed licensed Windows 10 operating system. All additional programs and applications are available to you on Windows Store. Windows 10 is the latest version of OS and it isn't cheap, so having it is an important advantage. Next, this mini PC has a Logitech K400 keyboard with a large built-in touchpad (that supports multi-touch). Therefore, no matter what you are going to buy this mini computer for, it has everything you need - just connect it to a monitor and start using the mini PC.

AZULLE Quantum Byte
AZULLE Quantum Byte
 

Kangaroo MD2B

Performance

Kangaroo mini PC has a cutting-edge quad-core CPU manufactured by one of the world's leading high-tech companies - Intel. The device is equipped with Intel Atom x5 Z8500 clocked at 1.44GHz and the RAM capacity of 2GB. Therefore, Kangaroo mini PC can easily handle basic multimedia tasks and allows you to watch videos on streaming services (such as YouTube or Hulu). Actually, this mini PC is somehow a great media player that allows you to turn your TV into a real Smart TV. As for storage capacity, Kangaroo mini PC has 32GB eMMC drive, though you can add some storage space by using an additional memory card.

Interfaces

It's not a full-sized computer, so no wonder the number of interfaces is rather small. However, the device has everything you need for successful work. First of all, there are 2 USB ports: one of them is USB 2.0 and another is a much faster - USB 3.0. Keep in mind that USB 3.0 should be used for high-speed data transfer, so if you have an external HDD with a USB 3.0 support, connect it to Kangaroo via this port. If you need more than 2 USBs for work, just get one of many USB hubs available on the market. An HDMI port is responsible for connecting this mini PC to a monitor or a TV set. Note that this digital port also transfers the sound, hence if you choose a monitor with built-in speakers, you will be able to fully enjoy entertainment. Keep in mind that there's no audio out, so the monitor with speakers is surely a must-have. As for connectivity, Kangaroo mini PC boasts WiFi and Bluetooth adapters, thus you can easily go online, connect a wireless keyboard, mouse, wireless headphones, and so on.

OS and Extras

Unlike many other mini PCs, this one comes with a built-in battery that ensures up to 4 hours of autonomous operation. Also, this mini PC comes with a preloaded app called OSLinx. Via this app, you can use your Apple device as a small monitor for your Windows computer! That's an amazing and really important advantage since you can always use your Windows-operated PC no matter where you are. Kangaroo mini PC will be a real helper for busy people who are always on the go and need to make presentations, working with important MS Office documents as well as for those who just want to have an excellent multimedia device at hand.

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Kangaroo MD2B
Kangaroo MD2B
 
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