Early 2022 Mini PCs to look out for

Desktop PCs and laptops are not suitable for everyone, and not for all purposes. In some cases, the ideal option is just miniature personal computers, some of which can be carried in your pocket. Moreover, among such models there are quite productive devices that allow you to run “heavy” applications. Of course, there are also relatively low-power devices that can and should be used in the office to solve not the most difficult tasks, in production, etc. We’ll talk about such mini-PCs today.

Zotac ZBOX CI331

This is a very small mini PC with passive cooling and a low-power Celeron N5100 processor, which is based on the Jasper Lake architecture. Ideal for tasks that do not require huge performance – for home and office. The system supports simultaneous operation with three displays, so that the device can be used as a media center.

ZBOX CI331 can be bought in a version without RAM and SSD, as well as already equipped. Supports device up to 16 GB DDR4-2933. There is a slot for a hard drive or SSD. In addition, the device is equipped with Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5 wireless communication modules, plus the following set of ports and connectors:

The dimensions are 5.3″ x 5″ x 2.2″, so that the device can be mounted behind the monitor and work in a quiet and comfortable environment.

The cost of the mini PC is $260.

Topton M6

Another small mini PC. The dimensions of its body are comparable to the size of a regular iPhone, which is not Max or Pro. Inside is a not-so-gluttonous Intel Celeron N5105 processor with four cores, support for up to 16 GB of memory, plus a PCIe NVMe slot.

The device is for sale on Aliexpress, you can choose one of four options – with Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro, Ubuntu or no OS at all. The base model is equipped with 8 GB LPDDR4-2933, but does not have an SSD, so you will have to add the drive yourself.

Case size – 150 x 80 x 19 mm, weight – 195 grams

Despite the size, the device is equipped with an active cooling system, although the developers have tried to make it silent. There is also a wireless communication module with WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, plus – here is a set of ports and connectors:

The device supports two 4K / 60Hz displays thanks to the presence of HDMI and USB-C ports.

The cost of the base model is $200.

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ASRock NUC 1200 BOX

Well, this is already a heavyweight in the mini-PC environment. The device is equipped with 12 generation Intel Core processors, up to 28 W, 12-core Intel Core i7-1260P Alder Lake-P. The case is small – only 118 x 110 x 48 mm. The device supports up to 64 GB DDR4-3200. Plus, the developers have provided two slots at once – M.2 for PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD and a 2.5-inch slot for a hard drive.

A set of ports and connectors:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4a
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (w/DisplayPort 1.4a alt mode)
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 2 x 2.5Gbps Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x DC power input

There is a wireless communication module with WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. You can choose a model with any of the range of Intel Core i3-1220P, Core i5-1240P, Core i7-1260P processors. As far as you can understand, the device is equipped with a motherboard from the new ASRock NUC 1200 line.

Unfortunately, nothing is known about the cost of the device yet, but this mini-PC is unlikely to be inexpensive.

GMK NucBox2 Plus

Unlike the previous device, this mini-PC can be called a strong middling. It is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8279U Coffee Lake processor. Inside – 16 GB DDR4-3200 RAM, 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, plus Windows 11 Pro preinstalled. Dimensions – 125 x 112 x 50 mm. The device offers the user the following set of ports and connectors:

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 4
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Type-A
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x DC

Wireless memory module – Intel AX201 with WIFI 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. It is also worth noting that the device supports not only Windows, but also Linux, as well as other operating systems.

And, well, yes, and the cost is $ 700.

Kingdel M6S

Another mini PC with N5105 processor. It is equipped with 8 GB of RAM, can work simultaneously with two displays with a resolution of up to 4K. In general, it is also a strong middling that is capable of performing a wide range of tasks both in the office and at home. The set of connector ports is standard:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x USB Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1x microSD card reader

The wireless communication module supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2. RAM – 8 GB Kingdel M6S maximum, can not be upgraded. SSD – M.2 2242 (can be upgraded). Here is the cost of devices with a different set of characteristics:

  • Kingdel M6S with 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $273
  • Kingdel M6S with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $317
  • Kingdel M6S with 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $334
  • Kingdel M6S with 8GB RAM, 1GB SSD for $450

The weight of the device is only 125 g, it can be installed on the back of the monitor, so that the mini-PC will not be visible. True, it will be heard – the system is equipped with a fairly powerful cooler.

DeskPi Lite

Well, let’s finish the selection of not quite a mini-PC. DeskPi Lite is a case for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with an expansion of the latter’s capabilities. The fact is that there are additional expansion boards in the case that are connected to the “raspberry”, after which the system turns into a mini-PC with:

  • 2x extra USB Type-A
  • 2 x micro HDMI converted to full size HDMI ports
  • GPIO

There are also LEDs that display the status of the device, a power button and a slot for memory cards. Well, all this happiness costs about $30.

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