Best Mini PC Reviews 2018

Gone are the days when computers took up an entire table or room. Today, you can buy a desktop PC that is no bigger than a peanut butter sandwich, and without compromising on powerful features. We also have reviews for the best laptops and best desktops, so be sure to check them out. But if you’d like to enjoy the best of both worlds, with space-saving design and top-notch performance, we’ve got you covered with five of the best mini PC's available (or mini personal computer, if you want to spell it out) from some of the best brands out there.
Hard Drive
Our Top Choice
Intel NUC Kit with Intel Core i5 Processor
Intel is one of the biggest players in the technology space, and slots in at #56 among the world’s most valuable brands.
This mini PC has several features, including the ability to add more functionality, such as a wireless charging pad and NFC module.
It does fall short of RAM at just 2GB, but this could be expanded to up to 16GB.
Intel i5
2 GB
16 GB
Intel HD Graphics 6000
Best Value
ASUS Mini Chrome OS Computer
ASUS is a multinational computer hardware and software company that ranks as the fourth-largest PC vendor in the world.
This mini PC measures a compact 1.75 by 5 by 5 inches (HWD), and is similar in design to the Apple TV and Roku 3. It is fitted with an Intel processor for robust processing power.
Although this PC comes with an inexpensive price tag, the package does not include a keyboard or mouse, so you will have to buy them separately.
Intel Celeron 2955U
2 GB
16 GB
Intel HD graphics
Apple Mac Mini Desktop Computer
Formerly Apple Computer INC, Apple INC is possibly the biggest player in the technology world, with an extensive product lineup that includes smartwatches and iPods.
This mini PC is designed to give you an excellent OS X experience without a permanently attached display. It is fitted with a generous 500GB hard drive and a Core i5 Processor.  
Configuration options are limited compared to previous versions of the MAC Mini. Package does not include a mouse or keyboard.
Intel Core i5 1.4GHz
4 GB
500 GB
Intel HD Graphics 5000
Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC
Formerly known as Quantum Suppliers, Azulle Tech is a US-based technology company that strives to bring innovative products to homes and businesses at affordable prices.
This mini PC is a compact and slim device that is packed with great features, including the latest Intel graphics card and Windows 10 OS.
Although the package includes almost everything you need for great computing, it would be nice to have a driver disk instead of searching for compatible drivers on the Web.
Intel Atom Z2760 1.33 GHz
2 GB
Windows 10
32 GB
Intel HD Graphics
MINIX NEO Z83-4 Mini Personal Computer
MINIX leads the pack when it comes to portable PC and media hub technology. The company creates devices that allow users to control their media content.
This mini PC offers the best of palm-size computing. Its unique thermal design offers the perfect balance of temperature, speed and performance.
Although it comes with everything else you need to get started, the package doesn’t include a keyboard or mouse.
Intel Atom 1.84 GHz
4 GB
Windows 10
32 GB

(Updated )
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Watch Our Mini PC Review

How Do I Choose the Best Mini PC?

Mini PC’s aren’t made for muscle, and most of them don’t offer the performance you’d get from a desktop PC, gaming desktop or Apple desktop computer. What they do offer is a compact footprint and just the right amount of computing power to fulfill a variety of everyday tasks. Given that this class of PCs can be had in a wide range of configurations, the first and most important thing to consider when on the shopping trail for the best mini PC is your computing needs, in order to determine the right processor and amount of storage, RAM, and graphic abilities to meet them.

Next, and an equally important aspect to give some thought to, is the type of operating system you’re comfortable working with, whether Chrome, MAC OS X or Windows. You should also check out the configuration options of a respective mini PC, so that you can add more functionality down the line, such as an NFC module and wireless charging pad.
The compact size of a mini PC may lead you to believe that they are an inexpensive range of machines, but the fact is that some of the best ones available can cost a fair bit more than a high-end desktop. Of course, the market is flooded with cheap mini PCs, but if its performance and longevity that you’re looking for, these will probably disappoint you at some point. That said, the price of a mini PC depends on several factors, most notably its configuration and features. For example, a mini PC with 500GB of storage and 16GB of RAM is going to cost a few dollars more than one equipped with a 32GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM.

But if you plan to just view pictures and listen to media files, the latter configuration should be a good fit. The brand of a mini PC could also spike its price, where leading names such as Apple and Asus ring in with higher price tags than brands that are unheard of, but you get what you pay for. Furthermore, some mini PCs come with a hard drive and RAM, aka fully loaded, while others include just the case, motherboard and processor, hence, are typically far cheaper. To give you a rough idea, prices of mini PCs range between $150 and $450+ for a machine with almost all the bells and whistles.
Mini PCs can be ordered in several different configurations and with several different features, some that are essential to your computing needs and others you will never use.

Listed below are some of the common aspects to consider when choosing a mini PC from the several options available.
  • Barebones vs. Ready-to-go – Barebones mini PCs come with just the basics, such as case, motherboard and processor, whereas ready-to-go are fully loaded with hard drive, RAM, etc.
  • Hard Drive – The capacity of a hard drive in GB (gigabytes) will determine the storage space you can enjoy.
  • RAM – Acronym for random access memory, RAM is calculated in GB (gigabytes) and is a mini PC’s working memory. The higher the number, the more heavy-duty tasks you can run without any hiccups.
  • Graphics – Also referred to as video cards, integrated graphics cards are responsible for rendering images on your display, and the higher the number, the better the image quality.
  • Processor – Dubbed the brain of the computer, the processor performs the necessary calculations to make the mini PC work.
  • Peripherals – These include keyboard, mouse, etc., and buying a mini PC that comes with these works out to be more cost efficient than buying them separately.
  • Operating System – This is the software that runs the mini PC, and common options include MAC OS, Windows and Chrome.
  • Warranty – Most manufacturers offer a minimum of one year warranty on important components such as motherboard and processor.
Construction and Design
Mini PCs are basically similar in shape to small lunch boxes and can be ordered in barebones
(mini PC kits) and preconfigured models that are ready to go right out of the box. Barebones models come with a tiny chassis that is fitted with a motherboard, and in most cases, wireless connectivity is built in. To complete them, you will have to shop around for RAM modules and storage drive and install a copy of the compatible OS, such as Windows. One thing to note is that the parts for a mini PC are ones that you would typically find in a laptop, not desktop, hence, will cost a bit more if you were to go with the barebones model of mini PC. The storage of a mini PC varies across the spectrum, where the most common are solid state hard drives, aka SSD.

Buying a barebones kit mini PC is ideal for those looking to reuse old computer parts or buy specific parts, or even those who’d like to start from scratch. Preconfigured mini PC systems are easy to set up, and most come with the OS preinstalled, so all you need to do is plug and play. On the downside, they offer limited configuration options, since you have to live with the components that come with the package. Most mini PCs depend on basic grade integrated graphics, but others come with a video card. In terms of mountability, several high-end mini PC models come with mounting kits that allow you to seamlessly connect them to the back of a monitor. If you’re looking for added space efficiency, check the back of your monitor for mounting holes to host the mini PC.
Performance and Ease of Use
For connectivity, some mini PCs offer wireless networking of some type, such as 802.11 Wi-Fi, and others step it up a few notches by also adding Bluetooth connectivity to the mix. With regards to CPU power, Atom chips are the very basic in this segment and are ideal for simple productivity work, such as emailing or web browsing. But if you need a surge in horsepower to run intensive tasks, your best bet is to buy a mini PC with a Core I5 processor at the very least. Mini PCs, owing to their space crunching design, are fitted with a mini HDMI to connect to your monitor, so your display does support this type of connectivity. Unlike tower PCs, mini PCs offer a limited number of upgrade options, most notably due to the limited number of slots on the motherboard and physical room in the chassis to fit them.

What is the Best Mini PC?

Choosing a desktop is a situation where the more you pay, the more CPU speed, cores and gigabytes of memory you get. That is not the case with mini PCs. Because of their compact footprints, there is a limited number of components that can be put in the box, such as chip coolers and hard drives. There also needs to be an effective cooling system that allows for quieter operation, all packed into a small case to make it an ideal mini PC. Here are five winners in the mini PC department.
Our Top Choice
The Intel NUC Kit with Intel Core i5 Processor is fitted with a powerful i5-5250U processor that delivers superior processing power. But if you’d like to up the ante for intense applications and gaming, check out the Intel NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK Mini PC. It has an astounding 6th Generation i7 processor mated with top-notch Iris™ Pro Graphics 580.
Intel NUC Mini PC with Intel Core i5 Processor and 2.5-Inch Drive Support

Intel Mini PC BOXNUC5i5RYH

Intel is an industry leader in computer technology. It's one of the pioneers of DRAM and SRAM chips, including the world’s first commercial microprocessor chip.

The Intel NUC Kit with Intel Core i5 Processor measures a tiny 111 millimeters wide, 115 millimeters deep, and 49 millimeters tall, but offers a whole lot more within its realms. This includes robust processing power with a class-leading processor and a Gigabit Ethernet port, mini-HDMI port and headset port at the front.

This mini PC boasts an extensive list of features, including:
  • Kensington lock support for top-notch security
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.0 for great connectivity
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • 4K display support
  • 16 GB onboard storage
  • Weighs just 14.4 ounces
  • Backed by three-year warranty
Best Value
The ASUS Mini Chrome OS Computer has great features, such as 2GB RAM and a 16GB hard drive, in a small footprint. If you’d like to turn your HDMI TV into a computer monitor, the ASUS CHROMEBIT Stick is worth checking out. It's powered by Google Chrome OS, outfitted with a USB 2.0 port and offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
ASUS Mini ChromeBox OS Desktop Computer – Also Available with Mouse & Keyboard

ASUS Mini PC CHROMEBOX-M004U - Desktop

ASUS is regarded as one of Asia’s 10 top IT companies, and has a brand value of $1.3 billion. This multinational computer manufacturer has a vast portfolio of products that includes netbooks, desktops, laptops, networking equipment and optical equipment.

If you think a Chromebox is a small, featureless box, the ASUS Mini Chrome OS Computer will make you think differently. It is a great alternative to a cheap Windows desktop, given its rich set of features.

This mini PC has a long list of features, but the most notable ones include:
  • Lightweight at 1.3 lbs, and measures 1.75 by 5 by 5 inches
  • Several I/O ports
  • Malware-free platform, as it doesn’t support Windows-based malware
  • Connectivity options include an Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Includes 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years
  • Powered by Google Chrome OS and 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U Processor
  • Onboard 2GB DDR3 RAM and 16 GB SSD HDD
The Apple Mac Mini Desktop has a rich set of features, including a massive hard drive and loads of RAM power. For a true OS X experience, the Apple Cinema 20-Inch Flat Panel Display is a worthy addition to the package. It boasts a superior 1,680 x 1,050 optimal resolution, and offers DVI, Firewire and USB 2.0 connectivity options.
Apple Mac Mini Personal Computer with Intel Core i5 Processor, 4 GB RAM & Mac OS – Available in 3 Sizes & Available with Mouse & Keyboard

Apple Mini PC MGEM2LL/A – 1.4 Ghz - Desktop

Apple has been a leader in the technology arena ever since its inception 40 years ago. It has an annual revenue of more than $250 billion. The company makes a range of products including Apple TV, Apple Watches, and macOS and iOS operating systems.

There are just two options to run OS X on a non-permanent display – the $2999-and-up Mac Pro, and the rather inexpensive Mac Mini. The Apple Mac Mini Desktop delivers performance similar to entry-level iMac and MacBook Air models, and is nicely packed in a premium unibody aluminum shell.

The Apple Mac Mini Desktop includes:
  • 4GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • Latest Apple Mac OS X
  • Large 500GB Serial ATA Drive 5400 rpm
  • Dual-Core 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 5000 with 90% faster graphics performance
  • Next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi that's up to three times faster
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports each deliver up to 20 Gbps of bandwidth for external devices such as high-speed peripherals and high-resolution displays
  • Compact footprint at 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches tall
  • Ports include HDMI port, four USB 3 ports, SDXC card slot, and Gigabit Ethernet
The Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC is designed to turn any display into a working computer. It comes with several different ports for connectivity. If you don’t require a large number of ports, but want to enjoy Windows 10 on the go, the Azulle Quantum Access Mini PC Stick is a great choice. This PC stick plugs into an existing HDMI port and is great for streaming media around your home or office.
Azulle Byte Fanless Windows Mini Desktop PC with Windows 10 – Available in 3 Bundles

Azulle Mini PC A-1050-QBK – Desktop Bundle with Keyboard

Azulle strives to deliver the best products at highly affordable prices. The company has received a surge of business ever since its inception, and for all the right reasons.

The Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC has many great features, all tucked away in a neat package. It is equipped with the latest Intel graphics card, so you can enjoy full HD 1080 playback. It even comes with a Logitech K400 Plus keyboard with integrated touchpad.

For its highly inexpensive price tag, this mini PC has a set of features including:
  • Powered by latest Windows 10 operating system
  • Onsite Generation 7 Intel HD graphics chip to easily stream videos on the big screen and enjoy full 1080 HD playback
  • Connects easily to any TV monitor via HDMI port and cable
  • Package includes Logitech K400 Plus keyboard, which is a plug and play design
  • 2GB RAM for faster application processing
The MINIX NEO Z83-4 Mini PC measures 4.8 x 4.8 x 1.2 inches and tips the scales at just 1.4 pounds. It is fitted with 4GB RAM and arrives preloaded with the latest Windows 10. If you like to stream movies to your HDTV and still enjoy great performance, the MINIX 2016 Latest NEO U1 Android will allow you to do just that.
MINIX NEO Z83-4 Intel Cherry Trail Fanless Mini Personal Computer with Windows 10 (64-bit)


MINIX was founded in 2008 and manufactures a wide range of innovative products, such as mini PCs and computer peripherals.

The MINIX NEO Z83-4 Mini PC offers a great combination of ultra-compact design and superior performance. It's powered by an Intel Atom processor, and it's a great choice for some intense computer applications.

This mini personal computer includes:
  • Fanless design that saves 80 percent more energy than traditional desktops
  • Generous storage space thanks to onboard Samsung 32GB HDD
  • Compatible with a variety of office productivity software
  • Ready to run out of the box with 4GB RAM and Windows 10
  • 802.11ac WIFI, Gigabit LAN Bluetooth 4.2 and HDMI for great connectivity
  • Ports include HDMI and 3 USB 2.0

Get the Best Mini PC of 2018!

Choosing a mini PC isn’t easy! There’s a lot to consider, but hopefully our detailed reviews were able to help you ease your buying decision and get the best configuration for your needs.

Our Top Choice
Intel NUC Kit with Intel Core i5 Processor
Best Value
ASUS Mini Chrome OS Computer
Apple Mac Mini Desktop Computer
Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC
MINIX NEO Z83-4 Mini Personal Computer