- Mini PCs are popular for their portability and convenience, offering a balance between performance and portability.
- The KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC is a top choice with a powerful processor and decent memory specs.
- The ACEMAGIC AMR5 AMD Ryzen Mini PC is ideal for gaming with its powerful CPU and support for up to three screens at 4K resolution.
- The MeLE PCG02 GLE Fanless PC Stick is the best portable option, being small and lightweight.
- The Mac Mini with M2 Pro is the best Apple Mini PC with a powerful M2 Pro chip and multiple connectivity options.
- The Geekom Mini IT11 is known for its powerful processor and the ability to support four screens at 8K resolution.
- The Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC is a budget-friendly option with basic computing capabilities.
- When choosing a mini PC, consider factors such as portability, performance, price, and connectivity options.
People buy Mini PCs primarily for their portability and convenience. However, the best mini PCs offer a good balance between portability and performance. This requires reviewing the mini PC’s specs to ensure it meets your intended use. For example, a minicomputer for general computer use or for students may only have basic-level specs. However, a gaming PC should have a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and enough storage space. The model you buy should also be compatible with your devices and offer several connectivity options.
We reviewed the available options on the market and compiled the following list of the best Mini PCs on Earth today. They include:
- #1 Best Overall: KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC
- Best for Gaming: ACEMAGIC AMR5 AMD Ryzen Mini PC
- Best Portable Mini PC: MeLE PCG02 GLE Fanless PC Stick
- Best Apple Mini PC: Mac Mini with M2 Pro
- Most Powerful Processor: Geekom Mini IT11
- Best Budget Mini PC: Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC
#1 Best Overall: KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC
The KAMRUI AK2 Plus Mini PC is our #1 Best Overall Mini PC on Earth today. It offers a near-ideal balance of portability, performance, and connectivity options. It is also reasonably priced, which guarantees good value for your money. The AK2 Plus is an upgrade of the AK1 PRO — another best-selling device from KAMRUI. However, the AK2 Plus has superior specs, which makes it the better option of the two.
A huge selling point for the KAMRUI AK2 Plus is its processor and processing speed. It runs on a 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake-N100 chip with a maximum processing speed of 3.4GHz. It also has an Intel UHD Graphics processor, which allows you to play 4K content.
Interested buyers will be glad to read that the AK2 Plus also has decent memory specs. KAMRUI fitted this device with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. These specs complement the mini PC’s processors, which allow you to handle most tasks with little to no lagging. You can use the AK2 Plus for simple tasks like general office work or intense ones like video editing and rendering.
|The KAMRUI AK2 Plus runs on a powerful CPU.
|The DDR4 RAM is disappointing for such a powerful mini PC.
|This Mini PC is reasonably priced.
|It has a powerful graphics processor that supports 4K content.
Best for Gaming: ACEMAGIC AMR5 AMD Ryzen Mini PC
The ACEMAGIC AMR5 AMD Ryzen Mini PC is our top pick for the best gaming Mini PC you can buy today. ACEMAGIC designed and optimized this device to cater to its gaming customer base. For example, it has RGB lighting, a common feature in gaming accessories like keyboards, mice, and headphones.
The AMR5 has a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor with a maximum boost clock speed of 4.4GHz. It also has an AMD Radeon Graphics processor that adjusts graphics settings and resolution to suit specific games. However, what impressed us the most about its graphics processor is that it can support up to three screens simultaneously at a 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rate.
Overheating is a major concern when discussing Mini PCs, and ACEMAGIC addresses it. The AMR5 has an advanced cooling system that allows intense gaming for several hours without overheating.
The AMR5 has multiple connectivity options, including HDMI, USB, LAN, DP, and Type-C ports. It also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections. You can connect this PC to multiple devices, including a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headphones.
This Mini PC’s price tag is its main shortcoming — it costs about $500 retail. Check out the ACEMAGIC AMR5 Ryzen Mini Gaming PC on Amazon.
|The AMR5 Mini PC has powerful CPU and GPU processors.
|The AMR5 Mini PC is very expensive.
|It supports up to three screens at 4K resolution.
Best Portable Mini PC: MeLE PCG02 GLE Fanless PC Stick
- Windows 11 Pro pre-installed
- Celeron J4125 2GHz to 2.7GHz quad-core CPU
- 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
- 128GB storage can be expanded to 1TB with microSD
- HDMI 4K@60Hz
- Two USB 3.0 ports and Bluetooth 4.2
The MeLE PCG02 GLE Fanless PC Stick is our top choice for the best portable Mini PC. It measures 5.5 x 2.3 x 0.7 inches and weighs 0.3 pounds (net weight), making it one of the lightest devices you can buy today. This PC stick is almost the size of a USB flash drive — you can carry it in your pocket.
However, do not let its small size dupe you into thinking it performs dismally. The MeLE PCG02 GLE Fanless PC Stick has a powerful Intel Celeron processor with a CPU speed of up to 2.7GHz. It also has an Intel UHD GPU that supports 4K content.
This PC stick also has decent storage capacity, considering its small size. You can choose between 4GB and 8GB DDR4 RAM. Moreover, you can choose a 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage for the hard drive. Users handling large files can expand the available storage space, but this option is limited to Micro SD cards.
Buyers will be pleased that the MeLE PC Stick has multiple connectivity options. They include USB, HDMI, LAN, and Type-C ports. It also has a 3.5mm audio jack output to connect your headphones or external speakers. Check out the MeLE PCG02 Fanless Mini PC Stick on Amazon.
|The MeLE PCG02 GLE Fanless PC Stick is small and lightweight, which makes it easily portable.
|The external antenna is vulnerable to damage.
|It has several connectivity options, including USB, HDMI, and LAN.
Best Apple Mini PC: Mac Mini with M2 Pro
- Powered by M2, a next-generation chip with 8 CPU cores
- Multiple ports and connectivity options for your devices
- Compatible with your go-to apps, including Microsoft 365 and Zoom
- Exceptional performance and speed
- Up to 2TB SSD storage for your large files, apps, and games
Get the Mac Mini with M2 Pro if you are shopping for a Mini PC that runs on macOS. It runs on an M2 Pro chip, one of Apple’s most powerful processors. It has a 10-core CPU (configurable to 12 cores) and a 16-core GPU (configurable to 19 cores).
This Apple Mini PC also has unified memory of up to 32GB. These specs power the Mac Mini to handle most, if not all, computing tasks. You can use it for intense gaming, coding, and video editing.
Tech enthusiasts often criticize Apple products for having limited connectivity options — the Mac Mini with M2 Pro beats these allegations. It has one HDMI and ethernet, four Thunderbolt 4, and two USB-A ports. The Thunderbolt 4 ports deliver video outputs of up to 6K resolution at 60Hz. This device also supports wireless connections via Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 configurations.
The Mac Mini’s main drawback is its price tag — it costs above $1,000. Check out the Mac Mini with M2 Pro on Amazon.
|The Mac Mini is powered by a powerful M2 Pro chip, which can handle most computing tasks.
|The 2023 Mac Mini is quite expensive.
|It has multiple connectivity options, including USB-A, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 4.
Most Powerful Processor: Geekom Mini IT11
The Geekom Mini IT11 is the most powerful Mini PC you can buy today. It has the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with processing speeds of up to 5.0GHz. It also has the Intel Iris Xe Graphics processor, which can handle most AAA games at 1080p resolution and 60fps. However, what impressed us the most is that the Geekom Mini IT11 can support up to four screens at 8K resolution.
This computer can also handle most computing tasks, including photo and video editing. It has a 32GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM, expandable to 64GB. You can switch from gaming to streaming and later load heavy apps without lagging. Finally, it has 1TB hard drive memory, expandable to 2TB, which can store most, if not all, your generated data.
The Geekom Mini IT11’s main shortcoming is its price tag — it will cost you at least $600. However, this is unsurprising for such a powerful device. Check out the Geekom NUC IT11 Mini PC on Amazon.
|The Geekom Mini IT11 has a processing speed of up to 5.0GHz.
|This Mini PC is quite expensive.
|This Mini PC can support four screens at 8K resolution.
Best Budget Mini PC: Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC
Get the Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC if you want a budget option. This device has almost everything you expect in a Mini PC and costs less than $100. It is also small (4.17 x 4.17 x 0.7 inches) and lightweight (0.51 lbs), hence very portable.
The Beelink T4 Pro performs well for a device of its price. It has an Intel Apollo Lake Processor with CPU speeds of up to 2.4GHz. It also has an Intel HD Graphics 500 processor, which supports 4K resolution.
Buyers can also use this minicomputer to multitask — you can connect two screens simultaneously using its dual HDMI ports. Additional connectivity options include two USB 3.0 ports, a LAN port, and a headphone or microphone audio jack output.
The Beelink T4 Pro has several shortcomings, which we expect in a budget device. Its CPU and GPU can handle basic computer tasks, but they may struggle with more intensive ones like coding or video editing. It also has 64GB storage, which many buyers may find inadequate, even for general PC use. Check out the Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC on Amazon.
|The Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC costs less than $100.
|The Beelink T4 Pro Mini PC cannot handle intensive tasks like video editing.
|This Mini PC can handle most basic computing tasks.
How to Pick the Best Mini PCs: Step by Step
When shopping for a mini PC, there are four essential factors you want to consider to ensure you buy the best option.
- Portability and convenience
- Compatibility and connectivity options
Let’s review each of these criteria in greater detail.
Portability and Convenience
One reason people buy minicomputers is their portability and convenience — these aspects are very important if you travel a lot. You want a device that does not take up a lot of space when you pack it in your backpack or travel bag. You could even get a minicomputer that can fit in your pocket, which makes it even more convenient to carry around.
However, mini PCs are not only meant for traveling. You can buy one to save space if you have a small workstation. Even better, you can mount some devices, which declutters your workstation.
Manufacturers design and build mini PCs to perform like standard computers. However, their performance varies depending on the processor. Premium models have powerful CPUs and GPUs and can handle intense computing tasks. In contrast, budget models often have basic processors and can only handle general computing tasks. Compare different minicomputers’ specs to pick the option that best suits your intended use.
Manufacturers price mini PCs differently depending on the model’s specs and expected performance. Budget models have basic features and cost about $100. Midrange devices cost around $400. They perform well and have a few advanced features. Finally, premium models like the 2023 Mac Mini cost over $1,000. They have sleek designs, powerful processors, and multiple connectivity options.
Get a mini PC with several connectivity options. It should at least have LAN, HDMI, and USB-A ports. Some PCs also support USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 4 connections. Finally, the best devices support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections. However, check the wireless configurations to ensure the product you buy is compatible with your network settings and other devices.
What to Know Before Buying a Mini PC
Most mini PCs require a plug-in power source, but some have a built-in battery. The battery is convenient during power outages but comes at a cost — it adds to the device’s weight, which may undermine portability. Most batteries last only a few hours, so you will not miss out on a lot if you choose a minicomputer without a built-in battery.
mini PCs use different cooling systems. Some models have fans, while others have fanless heat dissipation systems. Budget options often have basic fan systems, which may be noisy when you overwork the device.
Like most products, the brand name influences most mini PCs’ price tags. You may get a minicomputer with high performance and advanced specs at a reasonable price if you look beyond the brand name. However, we cannot overlook that getting a minicomputer from a reputable brand comes with some guarantee of a quality product.
Using a Mini PC: What It’s Like
Using a mini PC is like using any other modern computer. Mini PCs run on the same operating systems as other desktops or laptops. That means even the user interfaces are quite similar. However, minicomputers offer more convenience than standard laptops. You do not need a large space to set up your workstation. The device will only take up a small space below your monitor. Alternatively, you could mount it on the wall to free up space to add a keyboard and mouse.
Mini PCs are also very portable, unlike standard computers and laptops. They are small and lightweight, meaning you can carry them in your bag or pocket. Unfortunately, their small size also makes them easy to misplace or damage.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Alberto Garcia Guillen/Shutterstock.com.