The SSD that features 256 GB of storage is not only ideal for use with Windows 10 but will also speed up the overall performance of your software in the long run. Likewise, the 1 TB HDD will be more than enough for storing media files and important data.
The LED power indicator is quite hard to see at times.
This small computer features modern components only, which enable smooth operation even under heavy loads. Owing to a high-performing Intel® Core™ i7-8550U CPU and 16 GB of DDR RAM you won't encounter any lags, which makes this PC a must for demanding users.
Intel® Core™ i7-8550U (Quad-core, up to 4.0 GHz)
16 GB DDR4
256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
Intel® UHD 620
Windows 10 Pro
Wi-Fi, DisplayPort, HDMI, LAN-port, 8 x USB ports, Mic and headphone jacks
Thanks to the 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi adapter that features two antennas, this PC can be used in dual-band mode. Likewise, you can always connect a LAN cable, thanks to the addition of two RJ-45 ports.
The CPU model is rather dated.
The Kingdel NC960 will be a perfect pick for media playback in the highest definition possible. Thanks to the combination of a reliable CPU with a built-in discrete GPU and optical audio output you can enjoy 4K media without any lags or stuttering.
Intel® Core™ i7-4510U (Dual-core, up to 3.1 GHz)
16 GB DDR3
512 GB SSD
Intel® HD 4400
Windows 10 Pro
Wi-Fi, 2 x HDMI, 2 x LAN-ports, 8 x USB ports, SD-card slot, Optical audio out, Mic and headphone jacks
Quick and well-cooled, this mini-computer features everything you need for work. This includes, but is not limited to, two HDMI ports, both 2.0 and 3.0 USB connections, as well as plenty of RAM and SSD storage. All this is hidden within an ergonomic and simple plastic housing.
Can get noisy under heavy loads.
The Beelink U57 is a compact yet powerful PC that can handle most of your daily tasks. Ideal for a dual-monitor workstation, it can handle multiple flash drives and interfaces operating through USB connectors. For added convenience, the body of the PC features special wall mounts to save space on your desk.
Intel Core i5-5257U (Dual-core, 3M Cache, up to 3.1GHz)
8 GB DDR3L
128 GB SSD
Intel HD 6100
Windows 10 64-bit
2 x HDMI output port, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x Type-C port, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 x TF cardreader port slot, 1 x headphone & microphone port, 1 x DC in port
The 14-nm design of the Quad-core processor is exceptionally energy-efficient, which allows for using the computer for prolonged periods of time without the need of regular restarts.
64 GB is barely enough to cover basic programs.
The ACEPC AK1 micro PC is made specifically for users who are looking for a small but powerful desktop computer. Owing to the VESA mounts and screws you can turn virtually any monitor or TV set into a single-piece computer.
Intel® Celeron® J3455 (Quad-core, up to 2.3 GHz)
4 GB DDR3
64 GB eMMC
Intel® HD 500
Windows 10 Pro
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2 x HDMI, LAN-port, 4 x USB ports, microSD-card slot, Mic/headphones combo jack
The appliance features a Bluetooth 4.2 module, which allows using it with wireless devices. Due to the lack of the 3.5 mm port, this will definitely come in handy, in case your monitor doesn't feature an audio output port.
Tends to get hot after a while.
Miniature PC sticks are definitely useful when free space is limited and the T6 from ACEPC is not an exception. It is extremely small, however, it still holds powerful hardware within its housing, which makes it an ideal pick for the role of a portable and light office computer.
Intel Atom® x5-Z8350 (Quad-core, up to 1.92 GHz)
4 GB DDR3
64 GB eMMC
Intel® HD 400
Windows 10 Pro
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-plug, 2 x USB ports, microSD-card slot
The Closest Thing to a Fully-Fledged PC
Picking a powerful mini PC that can deal with demanding tasks can be a bit of a hassle. Unlike most of them, this fanless NC860 PC model from Kingdel is a good example of a small computer done right.
First things first, the Kingdel NC860 features an excellent mobile CPU that can handle pretty much any task you throw at it. To be more specific, this miniature computer comes with Intel’s 8th generation i7-8550 CPU with 4 double-threaded cores. The 8MB cache, combined with a base clock frequency of 1.8 GHz that can be further boosted all the way up to 4.0 GHz makes this particular model an excellent piece of 4K equipment, especially if you are looking for a tiny PC that can be utilised with both monitors and TV sets.
Despite the fact that this mobile CPU can get quite hot, it doesn’t overheat and won’t need to turn itself off in order to cool down. Although it doesn’t feature any cooling fans the design of the metal case, combined with conveniently positioned cooling vent help to effectively cool the processor, as well as the integrated graphics card.
Moving on, let’s talk storage. Even though the box is not that bulky, we were surprised to find out that this tiny computer features not only an SSD but also an HDD inside. What is more, the small form factor, combined with the powerful CPU as well as 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, make this particular Kingdel model a valid option in case free space is limited but some extra power is needed.
Instead of the standard USB 2.0 connections, NC860 implements four 3.0 USB ports for better accessibility and faster data transfer between connected accessories, flash drives, external drives, and the internal HDD and SSD.
A Full Package
Like the majority of similar tiny computers, the NC860 comes equipped with a power adapter and a power cable. In addition, the core package includes a pre-installed Windows 10 Pro, so you don’t have to worry about installing the OS on your own. Once you start the system, the OS will update to the latest version, which can take a few reboots before you can utilise the PC to its full potential.
As for other convenient features, the appliance features an adjustable Wi-Fi antenna as well as a Bluetooth module that can be used with various wireless hardware and input devices. Although this mini PC doesn’t feature a dedicated GPU, it has an integrated one. The Intel UHD 620, in this case, can deal with 4K media without breaking a sweat, which makes the NC860 a valid option for both household and commercial use.
Wrapping things up, the Kingdel NC860 is simply the best mini PC in its price range that you can find on the market today. Its fanless design, coupled with a silent, yet effective operation puts it among the top picks for the role of a multimedia centre or a smaller computer that can be used for work-related tasks.
|Last updated price||£610.00|
Connect Anything You Want
The NC960 is yet another miniature computer from Kingdel that implements a mobile CPU in combination with an integrated GPU instead of bulky dedicated models. While surely being more powerful, they often require quite a bit of cooling, which takes a huge chunk of space within the PC case itself. As a result, a fanless model is a better alternative for users that need a compact computer that is both plenty powerful and easy to use at the same time.
As you would expect, this PC is fairly quiet in operation, owing to the fanless design that features a metal-based housing with vents all over the case, which is advertised as “Smart”. And even though there’s not a lot of things that are exceptionally smart about it, the case does the cooling side of things quite well, and if you need a mini PC that runs silently without the risk of overheating, this product will be a good pick.
Moving on, let’s talk interfaces. This Kingdel PC features 4 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, as well as a single SD card slot. On top of that, the appliance features two HDMI connections, microphone, and headphone jacks so you won’t have any trouble with connecting this mini desktop computer to a modern monitor or hooking up additional adapters.
Compatible With Any Monitor
Aside from the mobile Intel Core i7-4510U CPU, this little computer features an integrated Intel GPU - an HD 4400 that can be used with 4K monitors and TVs. Likewise, the graphics card can handle 3D games, Blu-ray videos as well as 4K-resolution streaming via an HDMI cable. Even though the 4th Intel Core generation processor can seem a bit dated for some users, it is still a great piece of hardware that can tackle a lot of tasks simultaneously without breaking a sweat.
To save more internal space, the computer features only one drive - a 512 GB SSD. Although it is not much, 512 GB is more than enough to cover the basic data needs, moreover, you can always install an additional solid state drive or hard drive on top of the standard one, given that the model of your choice will fit inside the case of the PC.
In the end, if you are searching for a decent PC in a budget-friendly package the NC960 will be right up your alley. Featuring only the essential components, this fanless desktop mini PC is a great option to have when you don’t have the space for a full-fledged desktop computer.
|Last updated price||£569.00|
An Optimal Substitute to Larger Computers
Sitting somewhere in the middle between the high-end mini workstations and computers for simpler tasks, the Beelink U57 mini PC is a good alternative to expensive models that still holds a punch when it comes to processing power and speed.
Starting off, the U57 features an integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100 GPU that supports DirectX 12 graphics, which is not a small feat for a mobile graphics chip. Moreover, this graphics card has 48 processing blocks and can be boosted up to 1100 MHz clock speed. Last but not least, the main characteristic of this GPU is better optimization compared to older, Haswell-based graphics adapters.
Moving on, it is important to talk about the speed of this mini-computer. Having 8 GB of DDR3L RAM, the total task management speed of the PC is quite decent, compared to laptops and computers of similar configuration. Even though 8 GB of DDR3L might seem like not a lot to go with these days, it can manage regular tasks like surfing the internet and working with text, databases, and similar quite well. For multitasking purposes, the computer has 128 GB of SSD memory, which is more than plenty for work-related objectives and quick access to stored files.
Stable and Silent Operation
As we covered graphics and memory, it is time to look closer at the heart of the whole assembly - the CPU. Similarly to other mini-computers, this one has a mobile-based CPU, an Intel Core i5-5257U with a base clock rate of 2.7 GHz (3.1 GHz with a Dual-Core 3M cache). Although the mobile CPU this little computer has is rather dated, it can still handle most modern tasks with relative ease, owing to the high base clock speed and the ability to boost it past the base level.
When it comes to cooling all the hardware inside the box, the U57 features a powerful cooling fan that enables the CPU and GPU to run at 100% load without too much of a problem. To be more specific, the maximum spinning rate of the fan can reach 3,800 rpm, which allows for excellent heat dissipation through the heat sinks located on the sides and the bottom of the appliance. Likewise, the bearings are additionally reinforced for smooth rotations that, as a result, makes the fan operation almost unnoticeable, noise-wise.
All things considered, the U57 from Beelink has proved to be a decent option for people that want a simple workstation that gets the job done. Despite a modest set of hardware, the performance of this mini PC is surprisingly good, which makes it a good substitute for bulky laptops or older computers.
|Last updated price||£194.65|
Dual-Monitor Capable Device
In contrast with the newer models from ACEPC, the AK1 features only the bare hardware minimum needed for simple day-to-day tasks.
Even with its tiny size, even by miniature PC standards, the appliance is capable of 4K media playback, which is simply stunning, to say the least. Coupled with a decent mobile Intel Celeron J3455 Quad-core CPU that can be boosted all the way up to 2.3 GHz, the computer is fairly powerful, which allows for dealing with a variety of tasks.
The only drawback of this miniature computer, though, is its total storage amount. Even though 64 GB of data should cover very basic data storage, it is simply not enough for anything more than that. With that in mind, if you need additional drives we recommend getting an external flash drive or two for that purpose.
Fortunately, the device is equipped with 4 USB ports, so you will be able to connect all required input appliances and have a few spare ports that can be used for linking up additional drives, audio appliances, as well as for other purposes. What is more, the PC box features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules, which together allow for using the computer with wireless devices, which will definitely save you from dealing with cable management.
A Good Middle-Ground Solution for Simple Tasks
Similarly to other products of the same category, this PC model comes equipped with pre-installed Windows 10 Pro. With that in mind, you should expect that it will take a huge chunk of free space, so having an additional external drive would be a good idea. As an alternative solution for expanding the existing eMMC’s capacity, the computer features a removable enclosure on the bottom part of the case that you can use to connect additional mSATA and 2.5-inch drives (both SSD and HDD). The motherboard of the computer supports extra storage drives with a capacity of up to 1TB. To add more, the additional drives can be used as boot drives, allowing you to run multiple operating systems on one machine.
Thanks to its tiny dimensions, this PC can be used virtually anywhere from a small office to your living room coffee table. Likewise, the 5 x 5 x 2-inch case is highly portable allowing you to carry it wherever you need it the most. For added convenience, the package includes special VESA mounts and screws that enable hanging the PC from the back of a 4K monitor, HDTV, and other suitable surfaces, effectively concealing the computer.
Finally, this small PC will be an excellent option for users that are searching for a small computer that can fit virtually anywhere. To add more, it is exceptionally fast and optimised for its size, which makes it an optimal pick for the role of an office work station.
|Last updated price||£169.90|
|Stock||May be out of stock|
The Smallest Out There
Mini PCs can only get smaller to a certain extent. However, what if even a standard-size miniature computer is too big for you? Then your options are rather limited. Fortunately, ACEPC has got you covered with their micro PC stick. Filled to the brim with hardware, the T6 mini PC stick is, perhaps, one of the smallest mini PC models available on the market today.
The compact dimensions of this PC stick model make it a perfect pick for commercial applications. Powered by a lightning-speed USB 3.0 connector, the PC can be linked to projectors, monitors, TV sets, printers, servers, as well as to various monitoring equipment. Slimmer than other products in the same category, the ACEPC T6 mini stick can fit everywhere a normal PC can’t, which makes it a valid pick if you need every centimetre of free space.
When it comes to counting how much storage this tiny PC has, you would be surprised to know that ACEPC managed to stick a 64 GB eMMC drive inside of it, alongside a 4 GB DDR3 memory stick. At the same time, if you think that 64 GB option is not impressive enough for you, a bigger 120 GB version is optionally available from ACEPC.
A True Pocket PC
Hard and solid-state drive capacities out of the way, let’s talk about the actual performance of this tiny computer. First of all, it features a slightly undersized Intel Atom CPU. For the sake of saving as much space inside as possible, this Quad-core processor takes pretty much a third of all space within the housing alongside the RAM stick and an eMMC drive. As you would expect, the heat-management capabilities are pretty much non-existent in this PC, which makes its fanless design capabilities questionable at best. That being said, even though the CPU tends to get hot, it won’t overheat since the cooling vents are located across the whole housing, which provides enough breathing room for the 1.92 GHz processor.
Furthermore, the stick features only the essential number of ports and connections. These include a single HDMI plug, two USB ports as well as a microSD card slot. With that in mind, you can connect a mouse with a keyboard. On the other hand, the appliance doesn’t have a 3.5 mm audio jack, so you will have to connect the audio devices to your monitor or a TV screen. However, considering how much stuff there is inside the computer already, this is hardly an issue.
All in all, this PC stick will be an excellent pick for the role of a simple office PC, a TV box set for watching movies, and for other simple tasks. Featuring an exceptionally small form factor, the T6 from ACEPC is an exemplary media PC product.
|Last updated price||£139.99|
|Stock||May be out of stock|
What Is a Mini PC?
You don't need to use a large, cumbersome PC if you need a computer for entertainment, Internet surfing, watching movies, as well as for office work. A mini PC allows you to do all of these tasks but these devices are very small and compact. Moreover, a mini desktop PC consumes a lot less electricity than a desktop computer. The noise these devices make is nearly non-existent, which is another major advantage of mini computers. As usual, such gadgets look like small plastic boxes with lots of interfaces (ports and slots) for connecting different other devices such as monitors, flash drives, and different peripherals. Mini desktop computers usually have a stylish design and that's why they look awesome anywhere - at home and in the office. Some mini PCs can be attached to the back side of the monitor via a special mount. In all, a mini PC is the best substitution for a desktop computer and even a laptop.
If you don't want to use any additional computer monitors and want to use an all-in-one device, make sure to read our review of Chromebooks - compact laptops created for web surfing and for using Google cloud services. If you want to play games, you need a device with really high-performing hardware, so you'd better choose one of the best gaming PCs or gaming laptops.
What Features to Compare
When it comes to any computer, the first issue you need to consider is the performance, which depends primarily on the hardware every device has. A mini PC is not an exception - if you want to enjoy speedy responsiveness on your computer, you should be sure that it has modern and powerful hardware. So, you must be fully aware of what central processing unit (CPU) is installed on your mini computer. As usual, these devices have mobile CPUs designed for laptops. Such CPUs are often far less performing than those designed for desktop computers, but they require little electric power and, consequently, can work with minimal or no cooling at all. If you buy a mini computer, be sure you will be able to surf the Internet, watch your favourite movies, enjoy pictures, and so on.
Next, you should check the RAM capacity because multi-tasking depends on it. The higher it is, the more tasks you can perform simultaneously. Most mini PCs have 4GB of RAM at a bare minimum, but if you are ready to spend some more money, make sure to choose models with 8GB or 16GB in order to be able to make the best use of your device. Some mini PCs have no built-in storage and, therefore, you can pick the capacity by yourself. You can connect a monitor to any mini desktop computer, but the signal itself is created by a graphics card (GPU). Most mini PCs use the GPUs integrated with CPUs, but it doesn't mean they are too ill-performing. The latest generations of integrated GPUs are quite agile - the best of them allow you to play movies in a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (UltraHD 4K) which is a challenge even for some PCs! Finally, don't forget about storage capacity. Some mini PCs use low-capacity flash memory (usually, 32GB or 64GB), which is enough if you aren't going to store large amounts of data. However, more powerful mini PCs have built-in hard disk drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD) with a capacity of 120GB and more. SSDs are a lot faster than HDDs, so if you are ready to overpay a bit - pick one of these models.
Since mini PCs are compact, you should be sure you will be able to connect the devices and peripherals you need. That's why you shouldn't forget to check all the interfaces that every mini PC has. For example, if you want to connect to the Internet wirelessly, make sure to pick a device with built-in WiFi. Also, if you don't need it and prefer using a cable connection - your mini PC must have an Ethernet port (which is also called RJ45). Next, most flash drives, external hard drives and lots of other gadgets are connected via a USB port, so a good mini PC must have at least 2-3 of them. Top-rated mini PCs usually have USB 3.0 version which is several times faster than an older 2.0 USB interface. Also, USB 3.0 is much better for playing videos from flash drives. Of course, a mini PC can't work without a monitor, so there must be several interfaces for connecting them. As usual, there are HDMI and Display ports that transfer a digital signal, whereas a VGA port is used for transferring an analogue signal.
Finally, most mini desktop computers come with pre-installed software (OS), so you just connect them properly - and off you go enjoying your computer experience. Keep in mind that pre-installed Windows 10 is a major advantage since the usual Windows package itself is quite expensive. Also, any mini desktop computer has some extra features (extras) that facilitate the use of the device. For example, some models of top-rated mini PCs come with a branded keyboard and mouse, so you don't need to buy them. Other mini PCs can be attached to the backside of a computer screen with the help of a VESA bracket.