A mini PC is by definition, a small personal computer that is portable and probably runs on Windows. While Windows is not the only computer OS, of course, the term PC is used to designate computers running on Windows OS. If we were to skip that classification, then our smartphones are the only minicomputers we would ever need. Even the Raspberry Pi would serve quite well for that matter. As most of us are aware, there are things only a proper PC can do and that is why the mini PC is in high demand today.
Scale is the Only Limit
If you are looking for a portable desktop computer, then the mini PC could very well be the ideal option for you. There is virtually no limit to what a powerful mini PC can do in 2022, so it’s more a question of scale than anything else.
For example, a mini gaming PC should be able to run all modern games, but it may not be able run the latest AAA games at the highest possible settings in QHD, without dipping below 30fps. Therefore, it’s about how much you want from your next desktop computer, rather than what.
They are Ideal as Home Office Desktops
If you need a slim, elegant, and portable desktop computer for your home office, then a powerful mini PC would be the ideal choice. For example, the ThinkCentre M70q Tiny 2nd Gen is one of the best home office desktops that you can buy under $850 right now. It comes with an Intel Core-i7 processor with 8-cores (16 hyper threads) and 16GB of 3,200MHz DDR4 RAM. Computers with such specifications can handle almost anything that the average office user can throw at them, making it difficult to beat the value for money proposition with mini-PCs.
Mini PC as a Workstation?
Powerful mini PCs do exist but the previously explained limit of scale will come into play if you want a workstation or a server class home office desktop. Not everyone needs a server class workstation as the main computer in their home office, but some do. If you are one of them, your desktop will need to pack a lot more juice in its hardware than the average mini PC.
As it happens, there are indeed mini workstations like the ThinkStation P340 or the P360 available these days. Mini workstations will not be as small as the average mini PC, but they are still veritable dwarfs in size, as compared to regular servers. This is not to say that mini workstations are just as powerful as their humongous counterparts in commercial office basements, but these are certainly better suited for home offices.
It should be clear by now that there is very little that a mini PC can’t do these days, as long as you don’t expect it to perform at the highest possible scale. Just like any other class of computer, mini PCs are also limited or expanded in their capacity by what’s inside them. Therefore, be careful and ensure that the hardware inside the mini PC is in alignment with your own requirements and expectations.