3 Best PCs on a Stick in 2023

Best Stick PCs

3 Best PCs on a Stick in 2023

As technology has advanced, computers have gotten smaller. Smartphones are essentially pocket-sized PCs, but the best PC on a stick can take things a step further. This interesting form factor isn’t for everyone, but it provides consumers with some unique ways to connect.

New stick PCs are also incredibly powerful compared to the early generations. These diminutive devices allow users to turn almost any display into a portable PC and have attractive price tags. With that in mind, here are the best three PCs on a stick:

#1 Best Overall PC on a Stick: MeLE PCG02 Fanless Mini PC

Best Overall
MeLE PCG02 Fanless Mini PC Stick
  • Windows 11 Pro pre-installed
  • Celeron J4125 2GHz to 2.7GHz quad-core CPU
  • 128GB storage can be expanded to 1TB with microSD
  • HDMI 4K@60Hz
  • Two USB 3.0 ports and Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wi-Fi5
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09/11/2023 08:09 pm GMT

The #1 Best Overall PC on a Stick is the MeLE PCG02 Fanless Mini PC Stick, a system that rocks Windows 11 out of the box. This small computer is ideal for users interested in a PC that’s simple but efficient with a fanless design.

This stick PC is a little chunkier than other models, but it’s in the middle of the pack when it comes to size. It’s around 5.5 inches long and 2.3 inches wide. While we don’t know the exact weight, the aluminum casing helps keep it under a pound so it won’t strain HDMI ports. Just keep that external antenna in mind when considering placement and ports.

Connectivity options are solid on this mini PC, with dual USB 3.2 ports, a 3.5mm combo jack, and HDMI 2.0. There’s a microSD card slot on the side and an Ethernet jack on the end as well. The stick gets its power from the Intel J4125 processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. This PC supports resolutions up to 3,840 x 2,160 and has Intel UHD 600 integrated graphics.

While you won’t be able to plug this stick PC into a TV and play Starfield, it performs as advertised and it’s considerably cheaper than traditional mini PCs. It’s perfect for office work and light-duty tasks when you’re away from your main PC, and we like the fact it supports SD cards up to 1TB. The only negative is the size if you’re looking for something more discreet, plus the fact that you’re stuck with Bluetooth 4.2.

The PCG02 has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.This stick PC only supports Bluetooth 4.2.
The stick PC has a fanless design and a lightweight aluminum shell.The antennae and size may be too bulky for some users.
It runs Windows 11 Pro out of the box. 
You can expand the storage up to 1TB. 

Check out the MeLE PCG02 Fanless Mini PC Stick on Amazon.

Best Storage: ALADAWN S7-J4125 Mini PC

Best Storage
ALADAWN S7-J4125 Mini PC Stick
  • Intel Celeron J4125 processor
  • Windows 11 Pro pre-installed
  • 1TB SSD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Supports Ultra HD 4096x2160@60Hz
  • HDMI port, 3 USB 3.0 ports
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09/11/2023 08:09 pm GMT

When you need a stick PC that provides plenty of storage, the ALADAWN S7-J4125 is the perfect choice for Best Storage. These small computers have limited specifications due to their form factor, but this stick PC has M.2 SATA storage under the hood.

ALDAWN’s miniature stick PC has similar specifications to other top models but with one significant difference. The company managed to cram a 1TB solid-state drive into the tiny chassis along with 8GB of RAM. The processor is the same Intel Celeron J4125 quad-core chip found in our top choice, and connectivity options are also comparable.

This stick PC has three USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port. There’s a standard 3.5mm audio jack and Ethernet port, along with a handy CMOS switch. This system has a fan, so it’s a little louder but stays cooler during extended usage. It increases the overall size, however, as the S7-J4125 is six inches long and five inches wide with a weight of 14 ounces.

There’s a lot to like with this stick PC as long as you keep the size in mind and the lack of a micro SD card slot. It will be too large for some users, but that’s a worthwhile trade-off if you need a stick with plenty of storage. This stick PC has a premium price point but sports Windows 11 Pro and comes in three other configurations if your budget is tight.

It has a 1TB solid-state drive.There’s no micro SD card slot.
There is an adjustable cooling system.The width and weight can cause compatibility issues.
The stick PC runs Windows 11 Pro. 
It has a USB Type-C port. 

Check out the ALADAWN S7-J4125 on Amazon.

Best Budget PC on a Stick: AIOEXPC S5 Mini Stick PC

Best Budget PC on a Stick
AIOEXPC Mini Computer Stick
  • Intel Atom Z8350 processor
  • Windows 10 Pro pre-installed
  • 128GB storage
  • 4GB RAM
  • Supports 4K HD
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity
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09/11/2023 08:13 pm GMT

Consumers interested in the Best Budget PC on a Stick can’t go wrong with the AIOEXPC S5 mini. The ability to store almost a terabyte of files on a portable PC is handy, and so is 8GB of RAM, but it’s also overkill for many users.

This stick PC may feel a bit underpowered compared to our top two choices. It has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage alongside an Intel Atom processor. The Z8350 is a capable quad-core chip, but one clocked at 1.9GHz in turbo mode. While somewhat lacking in power, this stick PC has a fantastic price tag and it’s designed with ease of use in mind.

At only 1.5 inches wide and 3.9 inches long, this stick PC does not take up much space. It’s a half-inch thick, so it won’t clog up other ports, and the case has ample ventilation. There’s a slot for a TF card on one side and a USB 2.0 and 3.0 port on the other side. While there is no Ethernet port, this stick PC does support dual-band Wi-Fi.

This stick PC is available in three configurations, including a cheaper model with 64GB of storage and a more expensive one with 8GB of RAM. All have the same processor and connectivity options and provide users with an affordable solution to take on the go. The biggest drawback is outdated Bluetooth 4.2 and a slightly older version of Windows with 10 Pro.

The PC has a pocket-friendly design.You’re limited to Bluetooth 4.2.
It has an excellent price point at every configuration.There is no Ethernet jack.
The design doesn’t block or weigh down HDMI ports. 
It has dual-band Wi-Fi and respectable specifications. 

Check out the AIOEXPC S5 mini on Amazon.

How to Pick the Best PC on a Stick: Step by Step

Looking for the best PC on a stick is different than shopping for a laptop or cheap desktop PC. When you cut out the monitor, case, and other components that come with traditional systems, you have to focus on other areas. In this case, it all boils down to size, specifications, and features. 

  • Size
  • Storage and RAM
  • Processing Power
  • Connectivity


If you’re purchasing a stick PC, before you consider the specifications, think of its size. It’s the starting point to finding the perfect mini system to suit your needs, but only if the stick PC is actually small. Every stick PC works through an HDMI port, which leads to accessibility problems with some models.

Most stick PCs are half the size of a remote control, but some are considerably larger. That’s not ideal when you need to put multiple ports to work unless you’re willing to use a dangling adapter. Even then, weight can be a concern. Chromecasts and other streaming devices that plug into HDMI ports are lightweight for a reason.

Unless you want to risk damaging a port on a TV or display, think about the weight of the stick you’re planning to buy. The average streaming stick is around two ounces or less compared to stick PCs, which weigh anywhere from 6-14 ounces or more.

Storage and RAM

Stick PCs aren’t the type of device you can upgrade. Choosing the right model the first time is key, but you’ll also need to understand these devices’ limitations. Simply put, you won’t find any systems in this class with 16GB of RAM or a 2TB hard drive.

We found that most stick PCs have 4GB-8GB of RAM. While a handful of models can exceed that mark, they are usually too large or expensive. Storage capacity varies from 64GB to 1TB on stick PCs. While you can’t upgrade the RAM, you can bump the storage up if the stick PC provides a means for expansion.

Processing Power

Are you looking for a stick PC sporting a 12th gen chip from Intel? That’s not going to happen, and you won’t find any models with modern processors from AMD either. That’s due in part to size and price, along with factors like efficiency and cooling.

Intel Celeron processors are the most popular choice for mini PCs in this class. Most are quad-core processors, which may seem disappointing depending on what you’re used to. Well, these chips have more than enough pop to handle light-duty work or even run operating systems like Windows 11.


There aren’t too many features to keep an eye out for when looking for the best stick PC, but you shouldn’t overlook connectivity. That means you’ll want to see how the stick PC lets you connect to the internet, displays, and wireless devices.

Any stick PC worth its price tag should have a minimum of two USB ports, even if they are somewhat dated. Ethernet ports are more of a flagship feature and something that also increases the size. Audio jacks, reset switches, and micro SD slots are other features to consider with this class of PC.

What to Know Before Buying the Best PC on a Stick

Every stick PC requires power, but many also run on small batteries. It’s something you shouldn’t have to replace for years, but you’ll still want to account for an extra power cable when applicable.  

Speeds are hard to track down for stick PCs, but the information is important for power users. If you’ve used an old USB stick, you understand how vital speedy storage can be. The same applies to USB ports if you plan to use these mini PCs to transfer data.

Using a PC on a Stick: What It’s Like

Using a stick PC offers a completely different experience than a laptop or desktop. You have to supply your own peripherals with these systems, but they allow you to turn almost any display into a PC within minutes.

Light gaming is possible with some models, but don’t expect to play any high-end titles. There’s enough storage to handle a variety of programs, although RAM limits users to areas like productivity instead of graphic design.

3 Best PCs on a Stick in 2023 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What's the next step up from a stick PC in terms of power?

Mini PCs like the Mac mini or Windows-based equivalents.

Can you use a stick PC without plugging it into an HDMI port?

You can use an HDMI cable extension, but every “stick” PC will need to run through an HDMI port.

Are there streaming PCs that support 4K resolution?

Many streaming sticks can support 4K, but you’ll want to check on the specification beforehand.

Can you install Linux or other operating systems on a stick PC?

Yes, although you may need to format and wipe the operating system on the stick as you would with a traditional PC.

Do all stick PCs need a power source?

While running some of these systems from a high-powered HDMI port is possible, a separate power source is recommended.

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