A Quick Look at Mini PCs
What is a Mini PC?
A mini PC is just as it sounds, it's a small personal computer. They have low-power components and take up a fraction of the space of a traditional tower PC or even some laptops. In fact, it's possible to mount some mini PCs to the back of a large monitor to create your own "all-in-one" PC, allowing you to upgrade your display without having to replace the whole system.
Different Types of Mini PCs
The mini PC is an everyday use computer, ideal for office work or web browsing. Depending on the video and audio connections, mini PCs can also make good media servers. However, mini PCs aren't built for demanding tasks such as gaming or video editing.
Advantages of a Mini PC
You already know that mini PCs are small. This is a big advantage for those who don't have room for a tower PC. This also means those who don't have room for a monitor are also in luck. Again, depending on the video connections, your TV could double as your monitor.
Mini PC’s low-power components allow for reduced cooling meaning no large fans and quieter operation. This makes mini PCs ideal as media servers because there's no distracting fan noise. It also means most mini PCs are energy efficient
These mini computers often use laptop components, but unlike a mini PC, a laptop has an expensive built-in display, battery, and keyboard. With a mini PC you're free to choose your own monitor and keyboard, and you don't have to worry about charging or replacing a battery.
Considerations before buying a Mini PC
While mini PCs have many advantages over traditional desktop computers and laptops, they do have some disadvantages.
Mini PCs aren't for the do-it-yourself PC crowd. They lack the customization options of tower PCs, such as upgrading the processor or graphics card, which limits the lifespan and versatility of mini PCs.
Also, mini PCs rely on integrated graphics meaning the CPU is responsible for processing graphics. Without a separate graphics processor, mini PCs can't offer the same gaming experience as a desktop or dedicated gaming computer.
Mini PCs lack the portable convenience of a laptop. Unless you're able to carry a monitor, keyboard, and mouse with you, a mini PC is still tethered by these constraints.
Also, mini PCs don't include things such as a DVD drive or a secondary hard drive and have to be added externally if needed, adding to overall cost. And don't forget that a keyboard and mouse are also a separate purchase.
Further still, mini PCs are often stand-alone products and sometimes don't come with an operating system installed, which can drive up costs and means they aren't ready to use out of the box.
Top Things to Consider When Buying a Mini PC
There are a few things to consider when buying a mini PC. The most obvious one is its size. For the space-conscious, a mini PC is a great contender for a computer.
The next consideration is to determine what you plan to do with the mini PC. If you plan on using it for everyday tasks such as web browsing, office jobs, or school work, a mini PC is perfect. But, if you need portability or are looking for your next gaming rig, a mini PC isn't for you.
Another thing to consider is cost. Mini PCs can be a great low-cost option compared to traditional desktop systems and laptops. That being said, keep in mind there may be costs over and above what you're paying for the mini PC.
Also, if you're the type who likes to tinker with your system and upgrade internal components, a mini PC won't give you that versatility.
Mini PCs are a great alternative to traditional desktops and laptops. They're an ideal solution for any space-conscious individual who's looking for a computer to do everyday tasks and doesn't need the portability of a laptop.
Take a look at this additional resource for more useful information:
Desktop Computer Buying Guide