A small, flexible PC instead of a bulky laptop or desktop



Mini-computers are very popular, especially for home offices. If you don’t need a laptop, a compact PC offers the same computing power at a lower cost than a laptop and can be more flexibly tailored to your specific needs. Many current mini PCs are equipped with two USB sticks and SSD drives, which provide up to 64 GB of RAM and 16 TB of large memory.

Thanks to VESA mounts, it is possible to disassemble small computers hidden behind the monitor, even if they are suspended from a table stand. So you can assemble your own PC, which might not be as stylish as an Apple iMac or an HP Envy, but you can combine your PC and display as you like.

Since most mini-PCs – like Intel’s Next Computing Unit (NUC) series – have permanently soldered mobile processors that can’t be replaced later, you need to make a wise choice in your purchases. For example, if you want to upgrade to Windows 11 at some point, you should not take a computer with an older processor.

Mini PCs can be installed behind a monitor or under a desk using mounting plates.

The C’T 21/2021 Current Edition mini PC buying guide describes the important components. It also contains an overview of current microcomputer processors. Also on c’t 21/2021: A review of five current mini PCs, including one fanless with Intel’s latest Celeron N5100 (Jasper Lake), one with an AMD Ryzen 5000U, and a preview of the HP Chromebox G3 with ChromeOS.

No more c't.  magazine

No more c't.  magazine

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Frank McCarthy

“Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Extremely humble alcohol geek. TV guru.”


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