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Mini PC vs Desktop : Why Mini PCs Might Be the Next Desktop Replacement?

DFRobot Mar 21 2023 11098

The Mini-PC has gained immense popularity in recent years, owing to its compact size and powerful processing capabilities. Many Mini-PCs on the market are designed to be palm-sized and utilize cutting-edge processors from Intel, which are as small as an SD card. This development is revolutionary and remarkable, making the Mini-PC a versatile tool with numerous applications in both personal and professional settings. From small offices to large enterprises, the Mini-PC is becoming a must-have gadget for computing enthusiasts around the globe.

Mini PC vs Desktop-Why Mini PCs Might Be the Next Desktop Replacement

What is a Mini PC?

A Mini PC is a compact and portable computer that offers powerful computing functionality without taking up too much space. Its small size makes it easier to transport and store, while still allowing users to enjoy a range of tasks and applications that a traditional desktop or laptop can handle, such as a high-quality motherboard, a speedy processor, ample amounts of RAM, and a reliable hard drive. Additionally, Mini PCs also include a diverse array of connectivity interfaces to support various peripherals and accessories.

These compact devices are equally efficient compared to laptops in terms of daily usage. Some x86-based Mini PCs like LattePanda 3 Delta can run 4K video, and some advanced models like Beelink and Intel NUC can run intensive applications like Photoshop even VR gaming.

The Advantages of a Mini PC

  • Small and Portable
  • Mini PCs are very small and compact. Most often due to their small size, Mini PCs are highly portable. Unlike a heavy laptop, a Mini computer can be easily carried from one place to another making it ideal for people who are constantly on the travel, enabling them to get all their work done, from anywhere and at any time.

    This feature is small and portable, which can save desktop space and make it easy to store and move. Attaching it behind the monitor can also make the computer more discreet, not taking up desktop space, making the desktop more tidy and easy to manage.

    Review - LattePanda 3 Delta Single Board Computer

    Review: Small and Portable Mini PC

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Mini PCs are designed with energy efficiency in mind, using lightweight laptop hardware and low-power processors that typically consume no more than 15W. To further reduce energy consumption, many of the components are soldered to the motherboard, and expansion ports that require additional power are often sacrificed. RAM is also carefully selected based on power consumption considerations, as data transmission through the bus can be a significant power drain. One of the benefits of these devices is that their battery life is longer, allowing for extended use without requiring frequent charging. This feature contributes to their overall portability and convenience.

  • Flexibility and Multitasking
  • A Mini computer is flexible in many options. It is perfect for multitasking, allowing users to work on documents, browse the internet, check emails, and play games all at the same time. The device comes equipped with components that support numerous peripherals and features, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

  • Cost and Save on Electricity Bills
  • Mini computers are designed to provide all the features of a traditional computer in a compact size, making them a more affordable option. They are perfect for users who have limited desk space or are always on-the-go but still require a computer for their work or personal use. The smaller size of Mini computers also makes them energy-efficient, which is beneficial for those looking to save on their electricity bills. Overall, the convenience and affordability of Mini computers make them a great option for anyone in search of a reliable and functional device.

  • Better Capability
  • Mini PCs are essentially small desktop computers that offer better compatibility than laptops. This is because they usually use standard desktop components that are interchangeable and upgradable, whereas laptops use proprietary components that are often limited in terms of compatibility and upgradability.

    The Remarkable Uses of Mini PCs

  • Gaming
  • Mini PCs are ideal for a variety of gaming setups, offering many of the same qualities as other gaming machines. Whether you're looking to save space on your desktop or simply value mobility without sacrificing performance, some X86-based Mini PCs might be just what you need for Gaming.

    Project - LATTEintosh DIY Mini PC

    LATTEintosh DIY Mini PC

  • Industrial & IoT
  • Mini PCs are great for industrial applications due to their compact size and low cost. They can be used as an embedded control system or a monitoring station.


    Mini PCs are becoming increasingly popular in healthcare operations due to their compact size and advanced security features, such as encryption. They also offer surprisingly powerful computing capabilities, making them a smart choice for healthcare professionals looking to streamline tasks and increase efficiency.

    2.Education & Learning

    Mini PCs are an excellent tool for enhancing the learning experience in various educational settings such as libraries, computer labs, and classrooms. They offer an ideal environment for students to study with ease, and at a Minimal cost.

  • Media Entertainment
  • 1. Home Theater:

    Mini PCs are perfect for your home theater. With the easy installation of an operating system and your preferred media player, you can quickly connect your Mini PC to your television through an HDMI cord, making it a convenient option for your home theater needs.

    Home Theater System with LattePanda 3 Delta

    Home Theater System with LattePanda 3 Delta

    2. Digital Signage & Advertising

    The digital signage market has become huge, with over $15 billion worldwide revenue. Mini PCs are perfect for these digital signage applications because they have a small, eye-catching form factor. They can also withstand high temperatures, often an issue in public places where digital signs may be present. These Mini PCs are ideal for drive-thrus, airports, and other public places that use dynamic displays for advertising and information.

  • Surveillance and Security Systems
  • Due to their small size, Mini PCs can easily fit into tight spaces or hidden areas to ensure your home or business safety.The small form factor also allows them to go unnoticed by people who enter the area being monitored by the security system.

  • Home Office and Portable Workstation
  • Many people choose to buy a laptop for their home office. Mini PCs are suitable alternatives because they are small, compact, and quiet, and can fit in the palm of your hand. Mini PCs also can be portable workstation for people who are always on the go and need a reliable computing device. 

    Mini PCs Are Suitable Alternatives for Many Tasks

    A Mini PC can be more suitable than a laptop in the following scenarios:

    - Space constraints

    Mini PCs are small and compact and can easily fit in tight spaces. This makes them ideal for use in places where there isn't enough room for a laptop.

    Mini PC Space constraints

    - Dedicated use

    If you need a computer dedicated to one task, such as a media center, digital signage, or a point of sale system, a Mini PC can be a more affordable and efficient solution than a laptop.

    - Cost-effective

    Mini PCs are usually cheaper than laptops and can be a great option if you need multiple computers but do not have a big budget.

    - Upgradability

    Mini PCs are often easier to upgrade than laptops. You can usually upgrade the RAM, hard drive, or even the processor in a Mini PC.

    - Power Consumption

    Mini PCs typically use less power than laptops, making them ideal for locations where power consumption is a concern.

    Disadvantages of Mini Computer

  • Limited Processing Power:
  • Mini-computers typically have less processing power than traditional computers, which can make them unsuitable for certain types of applications that require a lot of computational power, such as video rendering or scientific simulations.

  • No Graphics Card
  • Due to the lack of a dedicated graphics card, the graphics processing capability of a Mini PC may be limited. This could result in significant performance degradation or stuttering in graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming or video editing. Additionally, the lack of a dedicated graphics card may limit the processing capability of certain software or applications that require high-performance graphics processing.

    Mini PC Might Be the Future of Computing

    Mini PCs Market market growth will increase by $19.83 bn during 2022-2026, accelerating at a CAGR of 5.04% during the forecast period according to the report from businesswire. According to the IMARC Group, the global laptop market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 1.43% during 2022-2027.

    At present, Mini PCs are unlikely to replace desktop PCs, especially for tasks that require high-end components. But, Mini PCs have been a useful alternative for any purpose in which space-saving is more important. Mini PCs are constantly being upgraded and optimized for better functionality like RAM upgrading and cooling functions. All of these upgrades and optimizations work together to make Mini PCs more powerful and efficient for a variety of uses, such as gaming, home entertainment, and work productivity.