Mini PCs are popular, especially for the home office. If you don’t need a mobile computer, a compact PC provides the same computing power cheaper than a notebook and can be adapted to your own needs more flexibly. Many current mini-PCs each fit two memory modules and SSDs for up to 64 GB of RAM and 16 TB of mass storage.
With VESA mounts, small computers can be hidden behind a monitor, even if it is attached to a desk mount. So you put together an all-in-one PC that doesn’t look as elegant as an Apple iMac or HP Envy, but with which you can combine the PC and display according to your own wishes.
Because most mini-PCs – such as the Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) series – are equipped with firmly soldered mobile processors that cannot be subsequently exchanged, you should choose smart when shopping. For example, if you want to switch to Windows 11 at some point, you are not allowed to use a PC with an older processor.
The mini PC purchase advice in the current c’t edition c’t 21/2021 explains which components are important. There you will also find an overview of the latest mini PC processors. Also in the current c’t 21/2021: A test of five current mini-PCs, including a fanless one with Intel’s latest Celeron N5100 (Jasper Lake), one with AMD Ryzen 5000U and a look at the HP Chromebox G3 with ChromeOS.