Best Mini PC 2022 – IGN

Small spaces require small units. This is where mini-PCs come in handy, and see you through your PC needs without taking up too much space. After all, a desktop setup takes up some space – on top of the computer itself, you need to have a monitor and all the other necessary accessories. And when you do not have much of it, you need to minimize where you can.

But do not take the word “mini” to mean “substandard”. On the contrary, thanks to advances made by manufacturers, the components are now smaller but more powerful and energy efficient. This makes them favorable for smaller setups, which means that mini-PCs have become more powerful than ever.

So, whether you’re setting up a work PC in your small apartment, a content creation machine in your newly built custom van, or an equipped one game PC Inside your 18-wheel-drive truck you will find the ideal mini-PC for your needs. Fortunately for you, we have worked to find the best mini-PCs for each user, so you do not need it. Take a look at our top picks.

TL; DR – These are the best mini-PCs of 2022:

1. MinisForum Elitemini X500

Best mini-PC overall

MinisForum Elitemini X500 ticks all the correct boxes. It is reasonable, but powerful, palm size, but at the same time thermally efficient. Even better, it comes with all the latest internal and connectivity standards, but allows for future expansion. This mini-PC has established itself as the right little desktop computer for most people.

Powered by the exceptionally fast AMD Ryzen 7 5700G and the integrated AMD Radeon Graphics 8, this compact box is powerful enough to handle the more demanding needs, including gaming. It also comes with Wi-Fi 6 support, Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and many portal options (though some may miss the absent USB-C). Although there are no other CPU options, it comes with two DDR4 slots for up to 64 GB of memory, as well as an M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot, a 2.5-inch HDD slot and an SD card slot on top of M.2 PCIe SSD storage included.

2. Corsair One i300

Best mini-PC for games One i300

The Corsair One i300 may not be the smallest gaming PC out there, but it is definitely at the top of the list when it comes to pure performance. There is a lot of power inside the mini, yet stylish, luxurious chassis that can be overkill for some players. After all, not everyone needs an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU or a gigantic memory of 32 GB, which is available if you choose to invest.

But if you want a complete rig and you can pay around $ 4700, there is no graphics-demanding PC game that this mini-rig can not conquer at the highest settings. And by that we mean modern AAA games with 4K resolution. It is an outstanding performance from a PC that is shorter than most full size game keyboards, especially considering that it stays relatively quiet under pressure. More than a handful of ports are available on the back, so you can connect all the gaming equipment your heart desires.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M70q Gen 2

Best mini-PC for businesses

Lenovo ThinkCentre M70q Gen 2

Lenovo is a master at making business machines, so it’s hardly surprising that the Lenovo ThinkCentre M70q Gen 2 gets our vote for the best mini-PC for work and business. This layer for the business machine is so compact and light that you can mount it on the back of a monitor – or at least Lenovo’s ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One Gen3 modular AIO monitor.

Do not let the name fool you though. This mini-PC comes with everything you need for a work day, including an 11th generation Intel Core i5 chip and up to 8 GB of memory. There is plenty of storage space as well, so you do not have to invest in an external SSD for your work files. Of course, security protocols are included, especially for companies that want to protect their files from prying eyes. It has a TPM 2.0 tag for password encryption, BIOS-based Smart USB protection to deter unauthorized users, and a Kensington lock slot for good measure. Since it is also travel-friendly, it boasts a military-class construction that allows it to survive extreme conditions.

4. Apple Mac Studio

Best mini-PC for content creators

Apple Mac Studio

Apple’s mini-PC line has really gone over to the professional level. While the Mac mini is still available for just mortals, its bigger, inferior counterpart, the new M1 Ultra-powered Mac Studio M1 is every content creator’s dream. At its core, of course, is the dual M1 Max system on a chip called Apple’s M1 Ultra, which is so powerful that it can stream up to 18 8K ProRes videos and support up to 5 monitors. (Even if it’s a little overkill for you, M1 Max configurations are also available.) At the same time, it’s small enough to throw in a cabin suitcase – a detail that nomadic creative professionals can appreciate.

There is more to love. There are many ports, only the ticket for creators, including, but not limited to, four Thunderbolt 4s on the back, two USB-As and one SDXC reader. Of course, you have to pay at least $ 3,599 for all of this. But just think how much faster, smoother and more seamless your workflow will be on it.

5. Asus Chromebox 4

Best mini-PC for students

Asus Chromebox 4

Students need to minimize as much as they can. Their dormitories are often notoriously cramped, and most of them have to pack everything at the end of each school year. A mini-PC can help, especially those who need a desktop option, and the Asus Chromebox 4 is just the ticket. It is light and compact to fit in any school backpack, and the starting price tag of under $ 300 is attractive to frugal students.

More than just affordable and portable, it is also a ChromeOS based PC. This means that it is very secure, and it does not need much power to see users through their multitasking needs. It’s Intel Celeron 5205U processor and 4 GB of storage is more than enough for students juggling research, completing projects, chatting with friends and streaming movies between classes. They can save even more by getting hold of the keyboard and mouse.

6. Acer Chromebox CXI4

Best Chrome Box

Acer Chromebox CXI4

If you want a ChromeOS-based mini-PC but can shell out more dough, you’ll probably enjoy the Acer Chromebox CXI4 instead. This mini-PC is more powerful than most Chromebooks out there, and is great for home, work and school use – as well as mobile gaming. At the same time, it keeps the weight below two pounds, which means that it is one of the lightest mini-PCs available. Yes, it’s even lighter than the Mac mini.

This is great for casual users, but it’s even better for professionals who can maximize features. These include support for up to three external monitors, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, and a decent number of ports for external devices. If you need additional space saving, this Chromebox even offers more mounting options so you can attach it to things like a display stand.

7. Intel NUC 12 Extreme

Best Mini Barebones PC

Intel NUC 12 Extreme

PC builders and do-it-yourselfers, listen up. Intel has taken its NUC mini PC line to the next level with the new Intel NUC 12 Extreme, whose barebones setup leaves plenty of room for customization without forcing you to start from scratch. This modular mini-PC starts you off with an advanced 12th generation Intel Core processor, a mini-PC cover, the latest ports and the latest connectivity standards.

However, it leaves the rest to your discretion, so you can build a PC as powerful as you want it. It even comes with a PCIe Gen5 slot for a discrete GPU if you are building a gaming PC. Fortunately, there are three 92 mm fans to keep it cool. Do you want more customizations? You can even customize the RGB incandescent lighting and the RGB logo on the front. Remember that all these customizations are not cheap, so think about what components you absolutely need before you buy.

Michelle Rae Uy is a freelance tech and travel writer, part-time production editor and a full-time traveler from Los Angeles, California. She currently divides her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world. Follow her on Instagram @straywithRae