Best Mini PCs With Windows And MacOS – 2020
A Mini PC can be useful for a thousand uses, it is easy to transport, cheap and adapts to every need. In recent years we have seen a general increase in the prices of top-of-the-range tablets, notebooks, and PCs and we have seen a progressive increase in the spread of Mini PCs.
The latter are complete computers in all respects enclosed in small dimensions. The best Windows and MacOS Mini PCs are products that can adapt to significant types of use and can be used for gaming, leisure, watching TV, and even for work.
Mini PCs are miniature computers enclosed in the best compact cases and have dimensions that fit in the palm of a hand. For their operation, it is simply sufficient to connect them to a monitor or a TV. Minicomputers are suitable for everyone and, thanks to their small size, they are ideal for many purposes, among these, we like to think of them as living room computers or gaming stations for emulators.
How to choose a Mini PC
Choosing a Mini Computer is quite simple but there are some aspects to consider before proceeding with the purchase. The first aspect to consider when choosing a mini PC is the operating system that we find ourselves installed, we usually find Windows 10 onboard almost all products. Alternatively, we can opt for the MacOS operating system, in this case, the only solution is to buy a Mac Mini, which we talk about below, or we can choose a computer without a pre-installed operating system and opt for the installation of Linux, Android or Windows made by us.
Based on the use we want to make of it, we will then have to evaluate the hardware. For the execution of simple programs and home use, a low-end mini-computer may be sufficient, for more intense use such as gaming or watching 4K TV programs in streaming we recommend that you go up a little in price.
The technical datasheets, and therefore the hardware components, of the Mini PCs, are almost identical to those of desktop PCs and notebooks. Among the fundamental aspects to be evaluated when buying a Mini PC, there are the processor, RAM, and hard disk / SSD. The choice of processor varies according to the use you are going to make of your computer.
You will find processors of different bands: in the lower part of the market, there are Celeron processors; for the mid-range i3 and i5 processors; while Intel i7 CPU for the high end.
As for the RAM, do not accept compromises and do not go below 4/8 GB, all the GB on the rise will certainly be comfortable and improve performance in all sectors. Another piece of advice we would like to give you is to focus on models with SSD already installed.
Choosing an SSD disk guarantees much higher performance than those offered by a standard hard disk and allows you to extend the useful life of a computer by at least 5 years.
Almost all mini computers offer the possibility to upgrade later and then switch from a classic hard disk to an SSD, our advice is to immediately focus on devices with Solid State Drive fitted as standard. If you are looking for a tiny Mini PC but with excellent features, you can focus on Raspberry Pi 4, which we will talk about in a few lines.
The operating system you choose will certainly make a difference for the use of your Mini PC. Current mini-computers are mainly equipped with 4 operating systems: Android, Linux, Windows, and MacOS. Android, Google’s operating system, is probably the least suitable for use on computers and we recommend that you exclude it from the list of operating systems to consider.
Linux is the second system to leave aside despite the enormous potential it can offer unless you are a computer enthusiast with the necessary knowledge to install the operating system yourself. The main struggle is between MacOS and Windows 10.
Apple’s operating system is only available on the Mac Mini and offers excellent performance and impeccably crafted software for fields such as video editing or music. Windows 10 is the most suitable OS for a mini PC for general use thanks to the huge amount of programs available and its manageability and ability to adapt to various types of use.
Why choose a Mini Computer
The choice of a Mini PC can be made for two main reasons: size and price. The small size of the case makes it an easily transportable PC and just as easily positioned at home or in the office even if you have very little space available.
Another great advantage is given by the lower price than that of notebooks and classic PCs. Less powerful hardware than desktop PCs and lack of screen compared to laptop PCs make Mini PCs cheap.
What is the difference between Mini PC and TV Box
The difference between a good mini computer and the best TV Boxes is in the ways and experience of use. The TV Boxes are “boxes” used for multimedia use and given the purpose they are equipped with hardware inferior to PCs and insufficient for advanced home or work activities.
Smart TV Boxes are small consoles designed to watch movies and various material on TV or a PC screen or for navigation. They can also be used for simple, basic apps but don’t have enough hardware for more expensive applications.
The best Mini Computers are, however, comparable to normal PCs and offer superior performance and, thanks to decidedly more powerful hardware, they are suitable for multiple uses.
If you need a device to see only the TV and your favorite movies and TV series, opt for a TV Box, in all other cases launched without too many thoughts in one of the best Windows and MacOS Mini PCs that we recommend in our buying guide.
The 5 Best Mini PCs
Let’s start discovering the best Mini PCs currently available on the market. As we have understood, there are several possible solutions with different characteristics.
It will be possible to choose the device with the desired operating system, with the ideal technical specifications for every need and at a cost equal to or below the budget. So here is the complete list of the best Mini PCs.
Mini PC with Windows
The Mini PCs on which the Windows operating system runs are suitable for all users: it will be possible to use devices of this type in the office, to play games or to create digital graphics, obviously considering the technical limitations.
The operating system developed by Microsoft has accompanied users for several years: its success derives from its flexibility, continuous updates, and the numerous applications available.
SeeKool Z83-V – the cheapest
Z83-V of SeeKool is a Mini PC economical and designed for users who do not have particular needs, given the technical specifications. At this price, however, it is difficult to find better. With this device, it will be possible to perform all those required activities, for example, in an office: edit documents, send e-mails, and surf online. Even those who are looking for a product to watch/listen to multimedia content will have no particular problems.
The Mini PC is equipped with the Intel Atom x5 processor, a low-end, and very economical solution. Alongside the CPU we find 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal memory, and the Intel Graphics HD 400 video card.
The latter also allows you to play videos in 4K and can manage up to 2 monitors at the same time. As for connectivity, we find Wi-Fi 5.8G and 2.4G, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, and VGA inputs.
Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p
Do you need a complete and better performing Mini PC? The solution could be ThinkCentre M93p. For less than 260 euros, you can buy a great device perfect for entertainment, for work, and numerous other activities.
Under the body, we find the Intel Core i5 processor – which ensures better performance than Intel Atom x5 -, accompanied by 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD.
As we have already mentioned in the dedicated article, solid-state memory drives allow users to perform various tasks in much less time than what happens with a normal HDD.
This Mini PC produced by Lenovo, a well-known and appreciated brand in this sector, also has several ports – including two front USB inputs and an HDMI output – and an excellent heatsink, with which to cool the device.
J45 is a high-end Mini PC. Under the body, we find an 8 GB DDR4 RAM: it is faster than common DDR3 memories, which are often chosen for devices of this type. Beelink J45 is equipped with the Intel Pentium J4205 processor and a 256GB SSD.
The presence of the Intel HD Graphics 505 video card and the two HDMI ports allow you to simultaneously manage two monitors without particular difficulties. This Mini PC also supports 4K movies, thus achieving a clear and vivid picture.
Do not miss the Bluetooth connectivity, 2.4G, and 5.8G dual-band WiFi, to always be connected.
The manufacturer has also decided to come up with a design and a dissipation system with which to limit the possible problems related to an increase in temperature. For example, when the CPU utilization reaches 100%, the fan spins at 3,800 pm.
Mini PC with macOS
Another valid operating system for Mini PCs is macOS, developed by Apple since 2001. The OS has been renewed, obtaining a more modern interface and several additional tools.
Apple Mac mini – the best
We can say that Apple Mac mini is the best Mini PC currently available in the market. It is a product that, in a very small body, hides the power of the computers produced by the Cupertino giant. Mac mini is ideal for everyone: from workers who intend to use it in the office to graphic designers who need excellent performance.
The cost is higher than the devices previously treated, but it must be taken into account that this Mini PC responds to the requests of even the most demanding users. It will be possible to choose different memory sizes and different processors.
A good guess is to opt for the variant with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM (DDR4 at 2666MHz), and ultra-fast 512GB SSD storage. We find several ports: four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), one HDMI 2.0, and two USB 3. There is no lack of gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, with which you can reach a very high speed.
To support these components, Apple has decided to redesign the thermal architecture of the new Mac mini, including flash storage, a larger fan, larger vents, and a new power supply. Users can choose to increase the RAM up to 64GB, achieving high-performance thanks to the SO-DIMM DDR4 memory.
The space of the SSD can be increased up to 2 TB, while the available processors are Intel Core i3, i5, or i7. The Thunderbolt 3 port allows you to transfer data up to 40 Gbps, charge external devices and connect up to two 4K monitors.
We conclude our list with Raspberry Pi, a product that will make all those who love to design or program happy. It is a computer – little more than a credit card – made up of a single-board computer, several ports for various peripherals (including USB, HDMI, video, and audio) and the rest of the essential hardware.
Users, by purchasing one of the kits currently available on the market, will be able to modify the device as they wish, both from a hardware and software point of view.
The results are often surprising: for example, you can increase the RAM and choose an operating system.
The latest model is the Raspberry Pi 4, which is available in several variations. That recommended, that you can still upgrade at any time, is the Modell B.
You’ll SDRAM LPDDR4-2400 from 4 GB , Quad Core processor Broadcom BCM2711 (Cortex A-72) (ARM v8), SoC @ 64-bit 1.5 GHz, WLAN 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports.
We have therefore seen the list of the best Windows, MacOS, and Raspberry mini PCs suitable for various needs. Don’t forget that one of the best Chromebooks could also be for you. Mini PCs are great devices for several reasons: they are easy to carry, are inexpensive, and can offer good performance. This category of products is often chosen by all those who would like a small personal computer to always carry with them during trips or other trips.