Feeds

Buyer's Guide: Mini Desktop PCs

The Pros and Cons of tiny PCs

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Pretty much any TFT display can show a 720p HD movie - 1280 x 720 resolution - and you don’t need to pay more than £150 for a 22in 1920 x 1080 display that can handle full HD. Assuming, of course, you're not simply hooking it up to your HD TV. Most mini PCs have an HDMI port for this, or a DVI connector which can feed a telly's own HDMI port via an adaptor. VGA is best avoided if you can.

Mini Desktop PCs

Expansion will be limited, but you should be able to upgrade key components, like the hard drive

Sources for HD movies are Blu-ray Disc - which requires a suitable optical drive - and downloads, both of which also mandate a dual-core CPU and graphics chip with a movie decoder. Watch out for machines with Intel integrated graphics cores, especially those in Atom CPU-equipped PCs, as they are generally not up to smooth full HD playback. Nvidia's Ion platform allows Atom-based mini PCs to handle HD with ease - and to make a decent stab at casual 3D gaming.

Proper gaming is a different matter as you need a combination of processor and graphics that is beyond the capabilities of many mini PCs. A digital graphics output is vital and we favour the neatness of HDMI over DVI.

Mini Desktop PCs

Size matters

Any of the current crop of integrated graphics chips from AMD ATI, Intel and Nvidia will deliver superb standard definition movie playback with the bare minimum of CPU load.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.