Mini PCs strike the perfect balance between portability and power. They tend to be more powerful than laptops in the same price range and can surpass some tower PCs too. They are far from perfect, however, and they are not a good choice for everybody. As a matter of fact, some users might not be able to benefit from these units at all. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of mini PCs so you can get a better idea of whether they’re a good option for you.
Pro – Mini PCs can Compete with Work Machines
If you are looking for a portable workstation that will allow you to get serious work done from anywhere, then a mini PC might be perfect for you. You do have to check the programs you use and how demanding they are. You could run programs like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere on the average mini PC, but things get a bit more complicated when we start looking at high-definition video editing and image rendering software.
You will need to look at the specs closely as you would with any unit and understand that there will always be limitations as to how much power these small units can pack.
Con – Hard to Impossible to Upgrade
Mini PCs are often either difficult to upgrade or not upgradeable at all. The smallest ones will virtually have no room in the case for anything else. Many of the parts will be soldered into the motherboard as well, so if you are looking for a machine you can build up over time or improve, you might want to look elsewhere or at some of the barebones units on the market.
Pro – They’re Versatile
Mini PCs will have a cap on power, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not versatile. Most of them will be able to do most of what a regular machine can do, even gaming. You could get a Lenovo gaming mini PC with a modest but still respectable graphics card that will allow you to play most games on medium settings. This makes these machines a great option for people who like to play LAN parties, for instance, or want to play on a keyboard, monitor, and mouse setup without having to carry a full-size tower around.
Con – Heat Issues
Some PCs have been known to overheat, and it’s understandable when you look at how powerful some of these machines can be and the limited amount of space in the casing. You could also see fluctuations in power depending on how hot the PC gets. This means that you’ll have to be very careful when using these machines.
You may also have to invest in additional cooling. There are cooling pads made specifically for mini PCs, but one for laptops should work as well, so look around and see if you could buy one for your machine.
Mini PCs can be a great addition to your current setup and allow you to set up shop from anywhere you are. You have to know some of these units’ limitations, however, or you could be disappointed by them.