5 new mini PCs for home and office at the start of summer

Zotac ZBOX Edge MI646

The entire line of Zotac ZBOX Edge are miniature PCs that were first introduced by the manufacturer in 2020. It was then that the ZBOX Edge MI6xx and CI3xx series were launched.

Now this line continues to develop, and one of the new branches is ZBOX Edge MI6xx. All models are equipped with 11th-gen Intel Core processors.

A bright representative of the line is the Zotac ZBOX Edge MI646 model, which is equipped with a 28-watt Intel Core i5-1135G7 with Iris Xe graphics. Another model of the same line, released simultaneously with the MI646, is the ZBOX Edge MI626. This can be said to be a base system with an i3-11115G4 processor and Intel UHD graphics.

Previously, all representatives of the Zotac ZBOX Edge were released with 10th generation processors, so now these “workhorses” have become more powerful, plus they have received a good boost in terms of the graphics system.

The dimensions of both models are 149.5 x 149.5 x 28.5 mm, active cooling is installed in the case, so they cannot be called silent. The motherboard supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM. In addition, there are two slots for SSD M.2 2280 and M.2 242.

Here is a list of ports and connectors:

  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 4
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x Display Port 3.1
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x micro SD

The wireless module supports connections according to WIFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 standards.

NanoPi R5S


And this is a representative of systems designed primarily to work as routers, network data storage, etc. The model can also be used as a mini-PC, but such a computer is not suitable for all office tasks. Nevertheless, performance is not its strong point, which, in fact, no one expects.

The board is equipped with a Rockchip RK3568 chip, three high-speed Ethernet ports at once, plus HDMI 2.0, which is usually not found on NanoPi single-board boards.

The cost of the device is $ 75 – for this money the buyer receives a fee and a metal case for it. True, you can buy just a single-board without a case, which will cost less – about $59.

System characteristics:

  • Quad core Rockchip RK3566.
  • Graphics Mali-G52.
  • RAM 2 GB LPDDR4X.
  • Internal memory 8 GB eMMC.
  • 2 ports 2.5Gbps Ethernet
  • 1 gigabit ethernet
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • USB-C port (for power)
  • 1 HDMI 2.0 port
  • M.2 2280 SSD slot
  • Card reader for microSD cards
  • 16 pin interface

Manufacturers also promise a model with 4 GB of RAM, but so far it is not on sale.

The board supports FriendlyWrt, which is based on OpenWrt. There is also support for FriendlyCore Focal Lite, Ubuntu 22.04 and Android 12.

The board measures 90 x 62mm, which is only slightly larger than the Raspberry Pi Model B.

Gigabyte BRIX Extreme


This is a desktop mini PC that performs better than most of the other devices in this compilation. Inside is a 12th generation Alder Lake-P processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

There are three options to choose from in the line – Core i3-1220P, Core i5-1240P and Core i7-1260P. Each version has a high-speed Ethernet port, support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, plus two slots for DDR4 RAM, with up to 64 GB. The system can drive up to four displays simultaneously with HDMI 2.1, HDMI 2.0a, Mini DisplayPort 1.4a, and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Here are the additional ports and connectors:

Unfortunately, there is no information on the cost of these powerful (as for a mini-PC) systems yet, but the manufacturer promised to announce prices in the near future.

MINISFORUM DeskMini UM350


Manjaro Linux manufacturers have entered into agreements with a number of mini PC manufacturers, including developers from MINISFORUM. Together, we managed to release the MINISFORUM DeskMini UM350 with Manjaro Linux, costing $299 and up.

Inside is an AMD Ryzen 5 3350U quad-core processor and Radeon Vega 8 graphics. There are two DDR4 memory slots, the computer supports up to 16 GB, plus an M.2 2280 slot and a hard drive slot.

A set of ports and connectors:

The cost of the device, as mentioned above, starts at $ 299 – this is the price of a model with a 256 GB SSD, on which Manjaro Plasma Edition software is preinstalled. But there is no RAM in this version.

The maximum model configuration is 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of main memory.

In addition to the OS, software such as Firefox and Vivaldi, LibreOffice, VLC Media Player, plus proprietary software like Steam and Skype are also installed.

Zotac ZBOX QTG7A4500




And one more representative of the Zotac family for today. The manufacturer proudly calls the device “the thinnest professional workstation”, thanks to the integrated graphics NVIDIA RTX A4500 GPU with 16GB of GDDR6 memory.

There are other pleasant surprises like the Intel Core i7-11800H. The system supports a maximum of 64GB DDR4-2933 or DDR4-3200. There is a slot for a hard drive, as well as M.2 PCIe 4.0 and M.2 PCIe 3.0 slots.

Ports and connectors:

With powerful graphics, the system can be used for video editing, graphic design and 3D design. Supports up to 4 displays.

The cost, unfortunately, is not yet known, but it obviously will not be low.

Well, that’s all for today, if you have your own “favorites” in the world of miniature PCs, tell us about them in the comments.

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