In the ongoing quest for portability, personal computers have witnessed a shift in form factor from desktops to conventional laptops, 2-in-1 detachable laptops and down to tablets with wireless peripheral support. For those who want even sleeker form factor—small enough to carry in their palms—there are mini PCs. Here are some of the best mini PCs that can provide computing power as good as a decent desktop
Acer Revo One
Acer’s Revo One is taking the market by storm. Consisting of some solid hardware and internals, it brings the power of a moderate computer packed within a mini system.
At the core of Acer Revo One RL85-UR52 is an Intel i5-5200U dual-core processor that can reach clock speed of 2.2GHz. Memory units include 8GB DDR3L RAM and 1TB hybrid HDD. The system also has a decent Intel Integrated HD Graphics 5500. For connectivity, there are two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, a display port, an HDMI output port and an Ethernet port. The design is sleek, standing 15cm (6 inches) tall.
The computer comes with Windows 10 Home pre-installed, and a wireless keyboard-mouse combo. It lets you not only execute all your daily tasks but also run medium-intensity games or programs. Priced at $600, it can be a good purchase for computing anywhere. Just connect it to a screen and you are good to go!
Chromebooks are great options for mini-computers, and Asus delivers one of the most recommendable products in this category. Chromebox from Asus comes in three iterations—basic with Intel Celeron processor, mid-level with Intel i3 processor and higher-level with Intel i7 processor, which is more suited for business users. Here we take a closer look into the i3 model.
The i3-driven Chromebox can connect to any monitor or screen and run up to 4K display resolution. Designed to be sleek and compact, it packs Intel core i3-5010U, 4GB DDR3L RAM and an inbuilt SSD storage of 16GB. It supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition to four USB 3.0 ports, there is a card reader slot that supports SD memory cards, multimedia cards, SDHC or even SDXC memory cards. You can connect a cable to its Ethernet port. It also comes with an HDMI port, a display port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Chromebox runs on ChromeOS and comes preloaded with Google applications. It may also come with a wireless keyboard-mouse combo. Users get a two-year cost-free 100GB space on their Google Cloud and three-year warranty on the product. Chromebox costs about $360 (inclusive of all these features).
iBall Splendo PC-on-stick
Looking like a media-streaming stick, iBall Splendo is a complete computer system miniaturised within a stick that can connect to any screen via USB or HDMI. It is widely used to delicately convert an existing television into a computer system without clogging up space.
Priced at Rs. 6700, the device is plug-and-play. It is powered by a light Intel Atom Z3735F 1.83GHz quad-core processor. Internal storage space is 32GB, of which 24GB is usable, while the rest is preoccupied with the operating system and default software. Splendo runs on Windows 10 and has some useful software pre-installed. RAM is 2GB.
Splendo can wirelessly connect through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.0. The box also comes with a wireless desktop-mouse pair. Splendo is suitable for daily computing needs like Internet browsing, media streaming, documentation using Office software and basic games. Considering the budget, the offerings are quite diverse. Just plug the device in your TV and you have a Windows computer ready to serve!
Gigabyte, one of the leading motherboard manufacturers, has joined the mini PC race with its own Brix series systems. Aimed at moderate-load operations, Brix delivers reliable portable systems for computing purpose. You can purchase either a completely assembled model or a barebone model, which means partially assembled with room for customisation.
The Brix series comes in multiple iterations specific to user requirements like general-purpose, office or gaming. The processor varies based on the requirement. The basic system includes an Intel Celeron processor. A mid-level PC can come with a 7th Generation Intel i3 processor. Higher versions may include Intel i5 or even i7. RAM is 4GB. Storage space may vary with offerings: Some systems come with up to 1TB HDD, while others lack an HDD and need to connect to a storage device exclusively. There are four USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort and an Ethernet port.
Brix systems support Wi-Fi 11ac standard and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. These come with Windows 10 Home edition pre-installed and one-year warranty. The cost varies between $200 and $500 depending on the features.
If you are looking for a mini power-computer, go for Asus VivoMini series device. Costing $500 onwards, VivoMini delivers value-to-cost features. Packing a 6th generation Intel Core i3 or an i5 3.1GHz processor and a massive RAM of 8GB (expandable up to 16GB), the device can take load. There is a storage option of 1TB HDD and an additional 128GB SSD (on select offers with proportionate cost). Moreover, users get a whole year of 100GB free storage on the ASUS cloud.
The graphics engine is quite strong with an Intel HD integrated graphics card. The device may also support an Nvidia GeForce GT series graphics chip, which can run medium-intensity games at UHD or even 4K resolution. Connectivity options include two USB 3.1 and four USB 3.0 inputs, a 4-in-1 card reader, a LAN port, a display port, an HDMI and two 3.5mm audio jacks.
VivoMini cost varies depending on the setup. To give you an idea, VivoMini VM65N with an i5 processor and GeForce GT930M graphics card costs $550.