10 Best

Mini Desktops

of June 2023

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A Mini-Desktop Computer: A Little More Than a Laptop, But Less Than a Tower Computer

Yehudah Posnick

A survey conducted in the United States in 2016 showed that 89% of households have a computer in their home! Since we need our computers so much for work, entertainment, and even just plain communication by email or Zoom, it’s no wonder that almost everyone has at least one computer. But, there are several types of computers, with different form factors. You can get a desktop tower computer, which remains a permanent fixture in your home or office. Or you can choose to buy a laptop, which integrates the monitor, keyboard, and mouse in one unit. But another alternative is the mini-desktop computer.

A mini-desktop computer won’t be as expensive as a laptop, but it can have comparable computing capacity, depending on your selected hardware. If you choose a mini-desktop PC, you’ll have to hook up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse yourself. But, since it’s so compact, it’s great for limited space, such as a reception desk, a kiosk, or a cubicle. And, when you’re finished with the day’s work, you can detach the computer and take it home with you—-not much different than with a laptop!

We’ll look at some of the mini-desktop computers offered in the Best Reviews Guide listing. Some of them are barebones models, while others are good for home, school, business, and even gaming!


What accessories do I need to buy if I get a mini desktop computer?

A mini-desktop computer will typically come with an AC adapter. Depending on the model you purchase, it will also come with a keyboard and mouse. You just have to hook it up to a monitor, and you’re ready to roll!

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a mini-desktop computer vs. a laptop?

Both laptops and mini-PCs have the advantage of being portable. But, here are some of the advantages of a laptop:

  • Power: A mini-desktop PC will have to be plugged in to get it to work. A laptop uses a rechargeable battery for its power supply. This makes a laptop a bit more convenient because you can use it when traveling.

  • Peripherals: A mini-desktop computer will require you to either carry around a mouse and keyboard. Otherwise, you’ll need to have a mouse, keyboard, and monitor at your workstation. A laptop has the mouse, keyboard, and monitor all rolled up into one.

  • Software: A laptop will usually be pre-configured with an operating system, such as Windows, and an Office suite, such as Microsoft Office. When you buy a mini-desktop, purchasing the software can be an added expense.

On the other hand, here are the advantages of a mini-desktop PC over a laptop:

  • Affordable: The components in a mini-desktop PC don’t have to be as small as those in a laptop. As a result, you’ll be able to get a mini-PC with the same memory, processor, and storage for less money than a comparable laptop (but, you’ll also have the expense of getting a monitor and other peripherals).

  • Easier to upgrade: It can be easier to upgrade the processor and memory cards in a mini-PC than it is with a laptop. There’s also a greater selection of compatible components when you have a mini-PC.

  • More ergonomic: Using the keyboard and mouse on a laptop might be a strain on your hands over time. Using a larger keyboard and mouse on a mini-PC ensures less strain over time (even though you can always hook up a keyboard and mouse to a laptop as well).

Types of Mini Desktops

Looking at the different products in the Best Reviews Guide list of mini desktop computers, you’ll notice that there are two main types:

  • Ready-to-go mini-desktop: These have the memory, storage medium, and operating system all installed. (It usually will come with Windows installed.) You don’t have to worry about performing any installation yourself, or whether or not the parts are compatible. An example is the Lenovo ThinkCentre M93P Tiny Mini Business Desktop Computer. It has an Intel Dual-Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a solid-state disc with a capacity of 240 GB.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M93P Tiny Mini Business Desktop Computer

  • Barebones mini-desktop: This only includes a case, a power adapter, a motherboard, and a processor. That means that you’ll have to select the amount of memory and the size of the hard drive yourself. You’ll also need to install the operating system yourself. But that means you can choose between Windows, Linux, or even the Android operating systems. That will take a bit of computer knowledge to know which type of memory cards to buy, and how to install things yourself. An example is the HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation Barebone Desktop PC.