The personal computer market started with the invention of machines such as MITS Altair, Apple II, and IBM PC. Many contributions soon followed, including tablets, laptops, workstations, and servers which gained immense popularity. Today, several computers are designed in compact form factors, and there is more preference for mini PCs than giant towers.
Initially, Mini PCs were thought to lack in performance due to the idea that their size would never hold up to the computing power enterprises needed. With recent developments in technology, enterprises have access to new and powerful variations that are capable of supporting the demands of task workers, knowledge users, and power users.
What makes these machines so popular is they work as desktop PCs that hardly take up any desk space. If you like, you can use a standard VESA mount to attach them to the back of a monitor. This can be really helpful in situations where there is limited space or you do not want a tower case. Also, go for fanless models that have low noise levels and consume less energy.
This post covers the factors you should consider before buying a Mini PC.
Understand The Product
The technology is available in two forms: Ready-To-Go and Barebones. Ready-To-Go units come with the hard drive, RAM, and an OS. It is convenient as you can start using them immediately after taking them out of the box. Barebones systems only include the case, a processor, and a motherboard. You must purchase and install the RAM and hard drive separately. Other than being a good option for replacing an old PC or reusing its old components, they are less costly as compared to Ready-To-Go units. The Intel NUC range is one of the best Barebones picks of all time as it demonstrates exceptional computing performance in business-critical situations.
If you do not know where to start, we can help. We recommend our powerful Mini PCs that harness the abilities of the standard ClearCube® CD desktop form factor. Based on the Intel NUC, these configurations are engineered to remove IT clutter and deliver impressive 4k graphics and multimedia.
Lack Of Keyboard, Mouse, or Monitor
When buying a Mini PC, you will not get anything else with it. You will have to purchase a monitor to view the images, the keyboard, and mouse for input, speakers for sound, and any other peripherals you like. One cost-cutting option is to reuse any old keyboard, mouse, monitor, and speakers that are compatible with your system.
If this is too much for you, why not buy a new monitor that is VESA-compatible? In fact, we would suggest this if you plan to mount your Mini PC on your monitor.
Where does that leave us with the keyboard and mouse? You cannot use an old keyboard or mouse with a PS/2 port. Mini PCs only feature support for Bluetooth-based or USB-based keyboards and mice. Think about buying a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to free up a USB port on your system.
Let’s assume that you intend to purchase an older version that you can upgrade to the latest one in the near future. It sounds like a plan, except that things are not as easy with a Mini PC. When you open up the system, you will find that there is very little room for additions. The motherboard does not have as many slots for different components and there is no space available to fit them because of the machine’s small size. Although you may be able to squeeze in a few technical upgrades here and there, doing so will infringe the warranty and this is not something manufacturers would recommend.
In this case, the best solution is to buy a new Barebones kit.
Operating System Support
Normally, a Barebones PC does not have a Linux, Windows, Android-based or any pre-installed OS. Even with Ready-To-Go Units, you will see that some come with an OS while some do not. This is something you need to confirm before making a purchase as it will impact usage in the long run.
Simply check the product description which clearly specifies whether it supports or comes with Windows. Going by a rule of thumb, the word ‘support’ means that Windows is not pre-installed in the system; rather, it can work with the OS.
Mini PCs also support Linux, so the OS you choose depends entirely on your enterprise requirements.
Do you know that you can purchase a Mini PC as a backup to a full-sized desktop as long as you set it up first? After all, PCs fail from time to time, and nobody wants to be left struggling with a full-sized tower that hinders productivity. The best Mini PCs have powerful processors, sufficient RAM, and are designed to take up less space than full-sized desktop computers. These solutions are making the way into smart homes and offices, and it is time for you to do the same.
Consult our team today to discover the best configuration for your enterprise.