They have since ceased the lines in favour of conventional desktop PCs and all-in-ones. Still, if one looks hard enough, there are quite a few capable machine that will go against the Mac Mini. The unit can also be specified with Intel Optane memory for better system performance. The mini desktop supports up to 3 displays with one at 4K UHD resolution perfect for multitasking or as a home entertainment center.
Even with all that power, the system runs silently with optimised low speed fan setting. A barebone model is also available where you add your own memory and storage. Dimensions and Weight: Also included region dependent are keyboard, mouse, power adapter and VESA mount kit. A purpose built workstation, the HP Z2 Mini G3 machines are small enough to mount to the back of a monitor.
As its name suggest, this is more of a workstation targeting the professional and business users. Like its newer counterpart, the UN65 also supports dual storage options with the high speed 10GBps M. The latter includes access to Cloud storage, remote desktop, files transfer and remote keyboard and mouse control. It even features the floating cover effect and air grill.
The hardware itself falls firmly in the mini PC category. Measuring 5. The black plastic shell is low-profile and designed to hide the hardware components inside. The front of the computer is well-equipped with two USB 3. The rear of the hardware adds in more connectivity with four additional USB 3. Small but capable, the Lenovo C is a serious piece of hardware in a portable package. It will also last you into future, which takes some the sting out of the premium price tag: The exterior of the computer is just as smart as the inside, with an integrated carrying handle that makes it surprisingly portable.
No bigger than a gaming console, this incredible machine is capable of any computing feat, from graphic design applications to running VR games. Its unique tower design contains AURA Sync RGB lighting and an endless spectrum of colors to synchronize effects and transform your room into a futuristic oasis. For home computing, the ASUS strikes an appealing balance between performance and price. Powered by a 7th-generation Intel i5 processor, the computer can also add up to 16GB of separately-purchased RAM and any 2.
Two front-mounted USB ports include fast charging for quickly powering up portable devices, and the four-in-one card reader provides yet another option for media downloads. It was sluggish with more than a couple of tabs open in our tests, it has borderline too little RAM and almost no storage, and its processor can't handle many applications or games.
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But it is the best budget option we found—if you want a more powerful computer, you have to spend more money. If you keep your expectations in check, the CI is a decent system that can also work as a media server or retro-game machine. At 5 by 5 by 2 inches, this Zotac machine is smaller than both the Lenovo and the HP.
Toss a YouTube video into the mix, and it slows to a crawl. We were able to get a few programs up and running at reasonable speeds, though, including the free office suite LibreOffice and Minecraft on the lowest settings. This Zotac PC booted a little quicker than the Minix system, but their performance in RetroArch a retro-gaming emulator front end and Kodi home-theater software was similar in our tests. The Zotac has a slot for a 2. If you need any more than a home-theater box or a machine that can run a Web browser with a tab or two, look to our main pick.
Top 5 Best Mac Mini Alternatives
It even has an infrared receiver for a remote. The CI has In addition, the front has an infrared receiver you can pair with a remote if you want to use the CI as a media streaming box. It comes with a VESA mount and four screws included in the package. Idling on the desktop, it averaged 9 to 11 watts, and when playing a p video on YouTube it got up to only 13 watts.
You need to install the memory and storage—all of the picks in our SSD guide have versions that will work in either the 2. In our real-world tests, this Intel system proved as powerful as the Lenovo and HP. It played videos in HD and 4K without stuttering. We had hoped the bump in power on the integrated graphics might let us play some more-demanding modern games, but we ran into the same issues on the NUC7i5BNH as we did with the M and ProDesk G3. The yellow one is for charging external devices, even if the computer is off.
7 Mac Mini Alternatives
The Thunderbolt 3 port on the back can also serve as a DisplayPort connection, with the appropriate adapter cable, to drive a second monitor. This system is the only mini PC we looked at that has a Thunderbolt 3 port, which speeds up data transfers for high-speed external storage and can act as a DisplayPort connection with an adapter cable ; theoretically it also lets you use an external GPU enclosure like a Razer Core so you can play modern games.
In addition, it has an infrared receiver on the front so you can use a remote, which is handy if you want to use the NUC7i5BNH as a media player. Upgrading this system requires removing four screws on the bottom. You can then access the 2. The NUC configuration we recommend supports both 2. It was the only bare-bones mini PC in our price range with a three-year warranty.
The fan was much more audible than those of the Lenovo and the HP, comparable to the noise from a modern-day video game console, like a PlayStation 4. With quiet mode enabled, the fan spins up a little less than at the default setting, at the expense of a little more heat. It's a good way to save money if you already have a Windows license or plan on running Linux. Announced in the spring of , the Lenovo ThinkCentre M is a newer version of our current pick , the M But the M has also been upgraded with eighth-generation Intel processors and up to a terabyte of storage on both the hard drive and the solid-state drive.
We plan to test it soon. We also plan to try out a new version of our current runner-up pick from HP. Eight years after its last major redesign with minor updates in and , Apple has announced a new version of the Mac mini. The most notable change is that instead of using older Intel i5 and i7 laptop processors, the new Mac mini uses newer four- and six-core Intel i3, i5, and i7 desktop processors, which should offer much better performance. It will be released in April. Intel is releasing a few NUC models with memory, storage, and Windows 10 installed.
The new processors have more cores than the previous generation, which improves multitasking speeds as well as photo-editing and video-editing capabilities. The CI is a promising fanless mini PC with an eighth-generation Intel Core processor and will be released later in The Dell OptiPlex Micro was comparable to the Lenovo ThinkCentre M in size, customization options, and performance in our tests, but not in price or storage.
Apple Mac Mini Alternatives: Best Windows based mini desktop PC Options – Colour My Learning
Sign up for our weekly newsletter Be the first to know about our latest recommendations every Sunday. Buying Options Buy from Lenovo May be out of stock. Budget pick. Zotac Zbox CI Nano Cheap and surprisingly useful If you keep only two or three tabs open in a browser and run no more than two applications at a time, the CI Nano is a capable little PC for a third of the price of our other picks.
Buying Options Buy from Amazon. Also great. Everything we recommend Our pick.
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Why you should trust us Who this is for How we picked How we tested Our pick: Kyle Fitzgerald We started by researching more than 70 different models of mini PCs, noting features and trends among a variety of both well-known and obscure brands. Price and value: Performance Processor: A mini PC needs a processor powerful enough to handle basic Web browsing, light photo editing, and any office programs you use.