Mini PC Test 2021: The best mini computers in comparison
Small, yet fast and powerful: Mini PCs don’t take up much space on the desk and often come with a good set of features. If you don’t want to buy a large desktop computer or a notebook, you should take a look at the Mini PC range.
Here you don’t have to dig deep into your pocket, because the mini computers are already available for little money. We make a comparison of current models, so that the decision is a little easier for you in the end. We also answer the most important questions about the small PCs.
Mini PC Test: The best Mini Computers in the overview
Small PCs are a dime a dozen and are aimed at different user groups depending on the equipment. Some have just enough hardware built in, while others could almost pass for desktop PC replacements. In our comparison of four systems, there should be something for everyone – and they’re cheap, too.
MINI PC Guide: Everything you need to know
Mini PCs are basically almost full-fledged computers, but when choosing one, you should think carefully about which model it should be. In the following we answer the most important questions about the Mini Computer.
What is a MINI PC and what are the advantages?
What a mini computer is, the name actually already reveals itself: It is a computer that is much smaller than conventional desktop systems. Notebooks or netbooks are also larger and usually heavier than the small PCs. They fit on even the smallest desk and take up hardly any space.
The small size and the also low weight are probably the biggest advantages of a Mini PC. The small computer is easy to transport – although of course you also have to think about the peripherals like mouse and keyboard. A display must also be connected to the Mini PC, plus cables and possibly other devices such as an external hard drive to expand the Mini PC’s capacity.
The small computers can also be used as servers for the home. They are designed to be power-efficient and, given enough storage space, can be used to store movies and music centrally. The content may then be accessed from a notebook located in another room – and at the same time from a desktop PC, which does not have to be in the same room either.
How does a Mini PC work?
A Mini PC works just like any other computer, except that it is much smaller. So there’s a motherboard, processor, memory, hard drive, and lots of ports for peripherals. A display is not part of the package, nor is a mouse and keyboard. They have to be purchased and connected separately.
Due to their small size, Mini PCs do not use a dedicated graphics card. Instead, the graphics are provided by the mainboard and the processor. But that also means that complex games with small PCs are rather out of the question.
How much will a mini computer cost me?
Since they are not high-end computers, Mini PCs are in any case cheaper than a desktop computer or a comparable notebook. The prices start at a little more than 100 $ and are basically open upwards. At around 400 $, however, we get into a range where it is sometimes more worthwhile to buy a notebook or a large computer.
In any case, there will be additional costs for display, mouse and keyboard, if you don’t already own these devices. A memory expansion via micro SD card can also be worthwhile under certain circumstances, since you don’t have to dig very deep into your pocket for SD cards.
What should I consider when buying a Mini PC?
Above all, it is important to be aware of what the small PC is supposed to do before buying it. If gaming is on the agenda, then you should rather keep your hands off it. If the costs play a large role, then it looks already different. No notebook and no PC comes for so little money on such a high performance.
Nevertheless, you should not necessarily buy the cheapest device. As is so often the case, the truth lies in the middle.
You should also pay attention to the connections of the Mini PC before buying. If multiple displays are to be connected, two HDMI or VGA connections must also be available accordingly. The number of USB ports should also not be taken lightly, as two of these ports are already occupied by the mouse and keyboard alone.
If, for example, an external hard disk is added via USB, all connections are quickly blocked. After all, there is still Bluetooth, for example, to connect the mobile phone or tablet with the Mini PC.
Mini PC test: Our conclusion on the small computers
Small, powerful computers for little money – what could go wrong? One thing is certain: cheap does not always mean good. If your Mini PC is the only computer you own, you should stay away from the cheapest offers. To really pass as a possible replacement for a desktop PC, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. The investment is then much more worthwhile.
Mini PCs are especially interesting when the money for a “real” computer is not enough – and when you can do without gaming. They are often powerful enough for a 4K resolution (assuming a corresponding display), but do not have a separate graphics unit on board.