If your small business values both space and computing power, mini PCs offer desktop performance in a compact, configurable, energy-efficient package. Learn which specs will have the greatest impact and what other features you should consider.
Mini PCs vs. Traditional Desktops
You may be wondering, why should you consider a small business mini PC instead of a traditional desktop with the same performance?
The answer: For many small businesses, managing growth also means managing space. If you don’t have room for a laptop or a traditional desktop, a mini PC may be the right fit. Not only can a small business mini PC hide away behind a monitor its portable design offers flexibility to easily reconfigure your office or store. With a design that’s as smart as it is compact, your employees won’t need to sacrifice productivity or creativity.
Why Mini PCs for Small Business
Mini PCS are captivating beyond their nimble design and agile ability, offering great versatility value and innovative experiences with privacy, security, and the latest technology for connectivity and collaboration. With a range of mini PC products on the market today, such as Intel® NUC, powered by the latest Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processors, it’s now easier than ever to get great performance in a small form factor.
Reason No. 1: Space
Space is often at a premium for small businesses. While a full desktop tower typically stands at least 22 inches high—with widths and depths of 8 and 24 inches, a mini PC sits at less than 2 inches high, with a footprint of just over 4 x 4 inches.
Reason No. 2: Versatility
Mini PCs can be set up in creative ways and places. Use a mini PC to support digital signage, interactive kiosks, conference room screens, or embedded IoT applications. Your employees can also enjoy a great range of features to enhance daily productivity tasks, videoconferencing, and multimedia experiences.
Reason No. 3: Value
Mini PCs require little energy compared to desktops. The low-power components don’t produce much heat, so you won’t need power-hungry fans to keep the machines cool in small spaces. If sustainability and energy savings are important to your business, you can choose an Energy Star–certified mini PC to ensure efficient power consumption.
Mini PC Performance Specifications
Small form factor PCs rely on CPU, RAM, and storage to provide performance comparable to a traditional desktop. If you haven’t migrated to Windows* 11 yet, you can save by selecting a mini PC with the latest Windows* operating system already installed.
The processor is the brain of a mini PC. If your employees need to tackle compute-intensive tasks—think working within data-heavy spreadsheets or graphic design programs—you need real performance. You can find it in mini PCs powered by the latest Intel® Core™ processors you know and trust.
RAM temporarily stores data in your mini PC’s memory. If you find you need more RAM for complex programs, it’s easy to add. But, you should ensure you have the processing power to take advantage of the RAM you add as the processor and memory work best when balanced.
You need to equip your mini PC with a hard disk drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) large enough to store all your files and to easily launch and operate your programs and operating system. Unlike RAM, this drive handles permanent storage. Both size and speed matter.
HDDs contain mechanical parts, which can impact speed, but are less expensive. SSDs cost more, but provide faster system performance and responsiveness.
Intel® Core™ processors and Microsoft Windows* 11 have been optimized to work better together. Mini PCs with the latest Intel® Core™ processors and Windows* 11 Pro offer more improved performance and security features compared with older computers, enabling employees to remain productive and businesses to stay competitive. Many devices, including the Intel NUC family of products, are qualified on many Linux distributions.
Other Features to Consider
Other factors that come into play when deciding on the right mini PC for your business include: device weight, graphics, and connectivity capabilities.
To make mini PCs worthy of their name, most depend on graphics integrated into the CPU for video outputs. For many business needs, this graphics acceleration is sufficient. But if your business demands high performance capabilities, you can also choose a mini PC that supports discrete graphics.
You can connect a mini PC with all the devices you’d use with a traditional desktop, such as a monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, drives, and so on. Look for multiple ports to serve your needs. For example, Intel® NUC Mini PCs offer USB ports, HDMI ports, and Thunderbolt™ connections (enabling high-speed data transfers up to 40 Gbps along with display capabilities and the ability to charge devices (15-100 watts). Intel® NUC Mini PCs are also available with a microSD slot and Gigabit Ethernet.
Intel® Core™ processor-based mini PCs do everything a desktop tower can in a fraction of the space—and at a fraction of the weight. Many mini PCs weigh less than three pounds, enabling your business to move PCs and reconfigure your space as you grow. And if you need computers on-site at events, you’ll be delighted with how economically you can ship mini PCs.