PCs are getting tinier by the day, and mini PCs have been rising in popularity lately. Some people may ask themselves why they should buy a mini PC when they have a laptop but mini PCs are better than laptops in many ways. They allow people to have a portable workstation without the limitations of a laptop. Mini PCs are more portable than most laptops too and could be more convenient in some cases. Mini PCs won’t work for everyone, however, and, if you aren’t familiar with them, you have to know some of their drawbacks. So, is buying a mini PC worth it?
Some mini PCs are about the size of an external hard drive while others can fit in your back pocket. Some of these smaller PCs are surprisingly powerful too and they’re only going to get more powerful in the future. This makes mini PCs a great alternative to laptops if you like to get serious work done and need a more powerful machine or you’d like to be able to work on a keyboard and screen setup from virtually anywhere you are.
A mini PC will never be able to pack the same punch as a full-size tower. A mini PC might work for you if you mainly work on word documents and spreadsheets and need a machine that can do some basic multitasking. You can also find a mini PC for gaming, but don’t expect it to have the latest and best graphics card in there. We’ve seen lots of mini PCs with RTX 1600 series cards in them, however, even some with cards in the low 30s, so, if that’s high enough for you, you should be able to find a few decent options on the mini PC market.
Mini PCs tend to be cheaper because of their smaller form factor and the cheaper price of the components. You should know, however, that not all mini PCs are cheap. If you need something that will handle gaming and work, then you have to be ready to pay well in the thousands. But, for the most part, mini PCs will be under the $800 mark.
Not Much Space for Upgrades
One thing that we deplore about mini PCs is that not enough of them allow for upgrades. It would be nice to see mini PCs that allow you to swap things like RAM and SSD fast and easily, but many of the models on the market don’t allow for upgrades at all. So, if you are intending to keep the machine for a long time, you might be a bit disappointed with a mini PC.
At the end of the day, mini PCs are a good idea for people who need a work machine away from home and they can also work for some gamers who’ll like to play LAN parties without having to move their whole setup. They are not the most powerful, however, and should be seen as a complementary piece of hardware and as a backup rather than a main machine or a laptop replacement.