There are many users who do not want to have a laptop at home and prefer to work with a desktop system, but with a size as small as possible. And if it could be soundproof, much better. This is where mini PCs come into play, which provide greater versatility and occupy a very small physical space.
When Intel launched its first NUC mini PCs (at the time of Core processors with Sandy Bridge core) it opened the doors of the sky to those users who wanted to have a computer to work in their home that was not a laptop, which would occupy the smallest possible space. Because that is what is basically a mini PC: a computer that serves to work in office activities and, at the same time, can perfectly serve as TV Box in a user’s room for multimedia activities, such as listening to music or watching films.
Something that we must take into account is that most of the mini PC that we can buy will come with no RAM and no storage unit. One advantage that they come without RAM is that we can give them the amount we think is convenient for the work we are going to do with the computer. And, on the other hand, the price of solid storage units has dropped so much, that we can get good capabilities at certainly laughable prices. But it is a price that you must add to the mini PC, obviously.
For one of these systems, the minimum amount that we recommend is 4 GB. However, given that they are not going to be high-performance equipment either, with which you put those 4 GB of DDR4-2133 memory is going to be more than enough, although you could also put DDR4-2400.
As an SSD, you can always put a 120 GB drive that, for less than 30 euros, will work great.
Best mini PC for working at home and multimedia activities
ECS LIVA Z
It is a mini PC of the few that comes with RAM (4 GB) and a storage system, consisting of a single 32 GB eMMC memory chip. Although, luckily, the motherboard of the LIVA Z brings an M.2 port to connect a solid storage unit of the size we want. Read our ECS liva z review.
Another particularity that LIVA Z has is that it has a second slot to expand its RAM, if the 4 GB with which it comes as standard could fall short.
MSI Cubi Silent 3
If you are looking for a very small computer, but also quite more powerful than the previous LIVA, you can always opt for the MSI Cubi Silent 3. This small computer is equipped with an Intel Core i3-7100U, although it lacks RAM or drive SSD included, with what you would have to install it yourselves (something that is not complex at all, the truth). However, the greatest incentive of this system is that its cooling is completely passive, something that will delight those who love to work in silence.
GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BKi3HA-7100
Another mini PC of the same style as the previous Cubi Silent and of a very similar price, the GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BHi3HA7100 mounts the same Intel Core i3-7100U processor and lacks, likewise, any type of RAM (although it can be install up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM of type SO-DIMM in the two slots available for that purpose) and an SSD of type M.2.
One of the advantages of this model over that of MSI is that it also comes with a VESA support that can be screwed to the back of the monitor which, together with a Bluetooth adapter for the keyboard and mouse, can help us achieve a desk without any cable.
To finish our list, we can not fail to mention this small Intel mini PC. It is true that we passed slightly of the price that we had stipulated as limit, but this computer already uses a processor more powerful than the previous Intel Core i3. This Intel NUC mounts an Intel Core i5-7260U processor. Unlike the others, it has a built-in Thunderbolt 3 port on its back. But, like the others, you will have to mount your own RAM and storage system.