Mini desktop PC, small and comfortable, portable or TV

There are people who prefer desktop computers and others who prefer laptops, given the convenience of being able to move them anywhere. Who is in doubt, who would like a very small and space-saving fixed PC capable of carrying out all daily tasks can focus on a Mini Desktop PC, sold under various names (NUC, Mini PC Windows etc.).
In this guide we will show you the best Mini Desktop PCs that we can buy, choosing from the various categories available. The prices are very accessible and allow, with little expense, to obtain a small computer with a complete operating system, capable of performing all daily tasks (reading emails, working with Office, surfing the Internet etc.). Obviously we can not expect great power from these devices, but the models that we will illustrate allow you to use two or three programs together without too many slowdowns.
READ ALSO: How Android TV Box Mini PCs work

The best Mini desktop PCs

When we talk about Mini PCs we are dealing with real PCs, slightly larger than the box of a DVD or as a book but complete with all the connectors to connect mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, audio speakers and other things. This type of computer can be used in two ways: replacing the desktop PC or connected to the TV to use the computer sitting on the sofa, watching movies, surfing and listening to music. Being very small and very portable, it is perfect both for those who want something small to keep on their desk or on a dining table, and for those who want a PC to carry around, maybe in a hotel (where the monitor can be the TV in your room) or in another house, both for those who want a media center for TV .
The nice thing is that they can be attached behind the TV or monitor, completely hiding from view.


Let's start with Intel NUC, the acronym for Next Unit of Computing . NUCs are small-sized PCs, as large as an external hard drive, which function like normal desktop PCs and which can have Windows as their operating system.

Basically it is a case of minimum dimensions with all the components of a computer inside: processor, various slots, network interfaces, sockets to connect keyboard, mouse and screen.
A NUC unit can do practically anything that a standard desktop PC can do but much quieter (thanks to the use of passively cooled processors), we almost don't notice its presence!
The Intel NUC is sold only with case, motherboard and CPU and we will then need to add at least one RAM memory bank and one M.2 SSD to be able to exploit it properly. These NUCs are powerful enough for their size, with i3 or i5 processor and support for up to 16GB of SO-DIMM memory.
The Intel NUCs on sale currently found on Amazon are:
  1. Intel NUC 1356 2.40GHz i3-7100U (€ 279)
  2. Intel NUC Kit 8th Generation Intel Core (280 €)
  3. Intel NUC Intel Core i5-7260U (€ 435)
To these devices we can combine the 8 GB Crucial DDR3L RAM memory (€ 36), the 8 GB HyperX DDR4 RAM memory (€ 39) and an M.2 256 GB GB Internal Solid State Transcend module. ).


ASUS is another large company that develops very powerful Mini PCs, able to fully meet the needs for the home office and for home entertainment. Their cases are slightly larger than NUCs, but offer more space for all typical components of a desktop computer.

These Mini PCs are sold complete with RAM and SSD, so they can be used immediately on our desk or next to our TV.
The best ASUS Mini PCs we can view are:
  1. Asus PN60 Mini PC, Intel core I3 processor Integrated Intel 4K Uhd Graphics Card (€ 495)
  2. Asus PB60-B5136MD Mini PC, Intel Core I5 ​​8400T processor (€ 676)

The prices compared to the NUC are much higher, but they are compensated by the fact of mounting much more powerful CPUs and already having RAM modules and an SSD mounted.


Another little known brand of Mini PC is ACEPC, which makes very compact and beautiful looking computers (they almost look like mini game consoles).

These Mini PCs are designed for home use and, compared to the models seen previously, already have Windows 10 installed, so that you can immediately start working without the need to obtain a copy of the operating system to install.
The best ACEPCs on the market are:
  1. ACEPC AK1 Mini PC, Windows 10 (64 bit) Intel Celeron Apollo Lake J3455 desktop computer (176 €)
  2. ACEPC AK1 Mini PC, Intel Celeron J3455.6GB RAM + 64 GB of storage, Windows 10 Home (209 €)

The two Mini PCs are practically identical in terms of power, the only difference is on the quantity of RAM and on the capacity of the SSD mounted (4 + 64 on the cheaper model and 6 + 64 on the more expensive model).

Mini PC Chome OS

If we want to try an operating system other than Windows but still fast and practical to surf the Internet and take advantage of online services, we can try the ASUS Chromebox (€ 289).

This mini PC is equipped with an Intel processor, Wi-Fi network card and Intel HD graphics, capable of smoothly running the Chrome OS operating system, based on Google Chrome (in fact it is an extended browser with operating system functionality, thanks dedicated apps and Chrome extensions). Alternatively, if we want an even more compact Mini PC (as big as a USB stick), we can also try the Asus Chromebit (148 €), able to bring the advantages of Chrome OS on any monitor or TV equipped with an HDMI port.
About Chrome OS we invite you to read our article on the Reasons to buy a Chromebook PC, so that you know immediately what awaits us and how to use it instead of Windows.


This type of computer could be the future, at least in the offices and homes of those who want computers to be less visible, considering that by now most of our activities are carried out on a smartphone or tablet.
If we want to build our compact mini PC ourselves, choosing every single component, we invite you to read our Guide to Components to have a compact mini PC . If instead we are looking for a small motherboard freely programmable as a media center or mini PC, we recommend the Raspberry Pi, described in our guide on How to Use the Raspberry Pi as a mini PC or media center for TV .

Leave Your Comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here