Here are our best mini PC recommendations for 2019. We’ve made the list to simplify your decision on which PC to buy. We’ve picked a mini PC for each of the most popular categories:
Best for Gaming
- Quad core/8 threads Intel Core i7-8809G processor
- Powerful AMD GPU
- Many ports: Thunderbolt, USB 3, USB-C, DP, HDMI
Best Everyday Use
- Intel i3-8109U processor
- Very compact size
- All the necessary ports, including Thunderbolt
- Quad core Intel Celeron J3455 processor
- Fanless design
- Expandable storage, uncluding 2.5″ slot
- 4K video support
- USB-C port
Best PC Stick
- Quad core Intel Celeron N4100
- Very small and mobile
- Fanless design
- 4K video support
Best Performance/Gaming Mini PC
Each year there are more and more mini PCs available on the market that are suitable for gaming. They are not as configurable or powerful as their desktop counterparts but are still very good at their job.
Between the models, there’s a slight difference in the CPU, while the discrete GPU is much better in NUC8iHVK, and makes it a great gaming machine. The performance of the GPU is at the level of a mobile Nvidia GTX 1060.
Both models provide a wide variety of ports, including USB 3.1, USB-C, Thunderbolt, two LAN ports, DisplayPort and HDMI for graphics output. They even have an SD memory card slot.
Originally they were available as kits, but you can also buy them as full systems. The kits have two M.2 slots for disk drives (or Optane memory) and two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots for up to 32 GB memory.
Also, since kernel 4.18 the GPUs are fully supported on Linux, too.
|CPU||Intel i7-8809G 3.1-4.2 GHz|
|GPU||Radeon RX Vega M GH|
|Size (inch)||8.7 × 5.6 × 1.5|
|Size (cm)||22.1 × 14.2 × 3.9|
Mini PCs in the performance category are for those who need the best performance from this PC form factor. These models have the best CPUs and a descrete GPU, and are suitable for at least moderate gaming.
Best Mini PC for Everyday Use
For regular use, there are lots of mini PCs to choose from. The least expensive models start all the way down at $150, while the best in the category can go up to $1000. In our opinion, it’s best to choose a device somewhere in between because that’s where you get most for your money.
Intel NUC Kit NUC8i3BEK is such a device. With it, you get a great CPU, a very decent integrated GPU and all kinds of ports (even Thunderbolt!). This device offers great performance and we’re sure it won’t get outdated anytime soon.
This mini PC is a barebone version, which gives you the freedom to add your own M.2 SSD and two SO-DIMM sticks. However, don’t worry – if you don’t want to deal with which disk and RAM to buy, the retailers will suggest them for you. Just make sure to buy an SSD, not an HDD.
Additionally, if you’re willing to spend more money, you can also check out NUC8i5BEK and NUC8i7BEH. They have better CPUs and are a better option for more compute-intensive tasks. The BEH version even has more space for an additional disk.
|CPU||Intel i3-8109U 3.0-3.6 GHz|
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus 655|
|Size (inch)||4.6 × 4.4 × 2.0|
|Size (cm)||11.7 × 11.2 × 3.6|
In the everyday use category, we feature mini PCs that have the best performance to price ratio. They’re suitable for browsing, writing articles in your favorite word processor, and watching videos.
Best Home Theater PC
There are lots of mini PCs on the market, suitable to be used as a home theater PC. These models are usually fanless devices that won’t disturb you while watching movies, have enough storage space for your content, and appropriate ports for connecting devices you capture content with such as your phone or GoPro camera.
Azulle Byte3 is a great option for an HTPC. It has more than enough CPU and GPU power to play movies and music. For connecting it to the TV an HDMI port can be used. There’s an option to buy the device with remote control for comfortable watching. Other ports available on the device are USB 3, USB-C, USB 2 ports, and an SD card slot.
This mini PC comes with RAM installed, basic disk space and Windows 10 installed. However, there’s additional space for M.2 or 2.5″ SSD.
Azulle Byte3 is powerful enough for content consumption, however, if you want to use Plex and transcode to 4K, check out NUC8i7BEH. According to the Plex article, this mini PC meets the needed requirements.
|CPU||Intel Celeron J3455 1.5 – 2.3 GHz|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 500|
|Size (inch)||5.9 x 5.9 x 1.4|
|Size (cm)||15.0× 15.0 × 3.6|
In the home theater PC (HTPC) category we feature mini PCs that can be comfortably used for watching movies and photos, listen to music, and to stream content. They’re also powerful enough to browse the internet.
Best PC Stick
PC sticks are an interesting computer category. With smart TVs being more and more popular and wide-spread, there’s a question of how these devices can compete with them. Are there any advantages to have a PC stick? We think there are.
The most obvious one is that you can always take a mini PC with you. And that’s a nice advantage because you always use the same, familiar system. Also, being equipped with Windows 10 the device is capable of many more tasks than a TV system. Especially if you take a keyboard and a mouse with you, you can use it for the same things as a desktop machine, like writing, watching videos and browsing the internet.
There aren’t that many manufacturers offering PC sticks, but you still have some choices. Based on popularity and user reviews we believe that you can’t miss if you go with Azulle Access3.
It’s a full Windows 10 PC with enough RAM and storage space to do all the tasks that you’d expect from this form factor. Also, it’s a fanless device that won’t disturb you while streaming video from Netflix or Youtube. It has two USB 3 ports, audio out and a LAN port. It even has a micro SD slot for expanding the basic storage space.
|CPU||Intel Celeron N4100 1.1 – 2.2 GHz|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics 600|
|Size (inch)||5.2 × 2.0 × 0.75|
|Size (cm)||13.2 × 5.1 × 1.9|
PC sticks are fully functional PCs that are even smaller than your smartphone. They’re not as powerful as those from the previous category, but can still be used for the same tasks. Except that you can easily take them with you.
If our recommendations don’t meet your needs try our search tool. The tool supports filtering by different features, such as a CPU and a GPU model, available ports, and whether the PC is a fully equipped device or a barebone model.