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.