Flexible mini-PC instead of a bulky laptop or desktop


Mini PCs are popular, especially for the home office. If you don’t need a laptop, a compact PC provides the same computing power cheaper than a laptop and can be tailored to your own needs more flexibly. Many current mini-PCs each contain two memory and SSD modules 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’s attached to a desk mount. So you create an all-in-one PC that doesn’t look as stylish as an Apple iMac or an HP Envy, but with which you can combine the PC and display it however you like.

Since most mini-PCs – such as the Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) series – come with firmly soldered mobile processors that cannot be swapped out afterwards, you need to choose wisely when shopping. For example, if you want to upgrade to Windows 11 at some point, you are not allowed to use a PC with an older processor.

Mini-PCs can be screwed behind the monitor or under the desk using retaining plates.

The mini PC buying tip in the current issue of c’t 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 one fanless with the latest Celeron N5100 from Intel (Jasper Lake), one with AMD Ryzen 5000U and a preview of the HP Chromebox G3 with ChromeOS.

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