Famously known as Mini PCs, mini-computers have taken the world of technology by surprise. It all started when companies like Intel and AMD started making powerful processors albeit being small in size. This made it possible to create a very small motherboard, and be able to house a full computer in a case that fits in the pocket. Joining the ranks of tablets, people started running full blown Operating Systems, proving to the world that this small devices are here to stay.
Flash forward to 2017 and there are so many brands of Mini PCs that run the full version of windows 10 without a hassle. This has created a new environment where people can actually fit their computers in their pockets.
Application and early adoption
At first, Mini PCs were common among hobbyist, technology enthusiast and technology professionals. Brands such as the raspberry pi gained popularity because they gave people the opportunity to create systems with the ability to make complex computations, without the need to visit an OEM or make significant investments. Suddenly people could make their own intelligent light controller with just the basic electronic tools, and some programming knowledge.
This trend saw the people involved push its limits, and install full operating systems like Ubuntu and Linux Mint; and finally caught the attention of other commercial vendors. Soon the market was filled with a plethora of devices running the favorite OS. These days, if you need a PC to watch movies, play some light games, and even carry out all your office work, then a Mini PC is the best choice.
Even with the current success, some people are still skeptical mostly due to ignorance on what this little yet powerful devices can do. Here are some insights on the advantages they provide, and why you should get yourself one.
The benefits of owning a Mini PC
Efficient in power consumption
To start off, let us focus on the most important aspect that the Mini PC presents. Mini PCs are very energy efficient, meaning that they use very little energy and get a lot done. You can imagine a person with a tower desktop in their office, with a 450 watts PSU, and all they use it for is to type documents, send emails, and once in a while watch some cat videos on YouTube. At the end on the month, they will be spending a lot of money paying for electricity bills.
Now take the example of a Mini PC. Any decent mini PC will be able to perform the above tasks, and in some cases, pack better processors than most of the desktops in offices today, and all it needs is a DC power supply that uses less than 45 watts. This is economically better and makes use of electricity efficiently.
Economical on space
Still on the aforementioned example, the same goes for the space a Mini PC occupies. For instance, you can place more than 5 Mini PCs, on the same space that a single old generation desktop would be occupy. This is very useful, especially since offices never seem to get enough space.
Easy to transport
In the case that you need to travel with your computer, all you need to do is place it inside your backpack, or even inside your pocket and that is all. Unless you need to carry your display with you, it is safe to say that transporting a Mini PC is the easiest thing.
Well, it is easy to determine that Mini PCs are very economical when it comes to affordability. This is very useful, in that for $100 or less, you can get a full computer that you can use to do all your everyday tasks. This is very important, especially for college students, or anyone that might be on a budget and needs a good computer to work with.
What exactly can be done on a Mini PC?
The question on what exactly can a person accomplish using a Mini PC is well answered by looking at what you need done. For instance, if you are a heavy gamer, or work in the creative industry, then getting a Mini PC might not be the best option, at least not right now. But if you are a normal user with average computer needs, then the number of things you can do are endless. Here are a few things that you can do;
You can easily accomplish all your office needs with a Mini PC. In most cases, office work requires one to write emails, post information on social media, do some calculations and use spread sheets. It is clear that any Mini PC, capable of running a full Operating System like Windows or Ubuntu will be able to perform all that is needed in an office. Office suit applications such as Microsoft Office or Libre Office are not very demanding when it comes to computational power.
Mini PCs’ have been demonstrated to play high resolution videos, even surpassing the normal HD to play 4K videos. This is elaborate in showing that a Mini PC can be used to consume entertainment. Most people these days use these wonderful devices to turn their TV’s into smart TVs. Instead of spending a lot of money getting a new TV, all you have to do is connect it with a Mini PC, using a HDMI or VGA cable and, use it to consume any kind of entertainment, including must have’s like Netflix and Hulu.
Perhaps the best application of Mini PCs can be in the education sector. Now schools can afford cheap computers that are capable of digitizing education and making it more accessible to everyone. For instance, a schools can set up a computer lab or library where students can access books in electronic format and even learn more about computers, without having to spend a lot of money.
Owing back to its roots, inventors, especially in the tech industry can quickly prototype complex systems and have working models that can be showcased and even attract a lot of investment before they can be mass produced for the consumer market.
The future of Mini PCs
With their current success, it is obvious that these great devices are the future of computers. Predicating the future, based on Moore’s Law, it is clear that Mini PCs will grow both in adoption and operational capability. It might not be time to store that desktop of yours, but you better start preparing for the switch.