Feeds

Mini Desktop PCs

Six compact computers for your consideration

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Group Test While Microsoft and Intel both spent many years trying to persuade us we needed big, bulky media centre PCs underneath our TVs, space considerations and a lack of downloadable content meant that most folk were more than happy to make do with a DVD player.

The explosion in online content - particularly video material - means that view has changed, and punters are now considering connecting a PC to their TV in order to use it as a conduit to the likes of YouTube, Picassa, iTunes, BBC iPlayer and so on.

Mini Desktop PCs

Can you really get a PC into there? Yes, you can

But we still don't want it to be big. Large beige towers may be a thing of the past, but you still don't want a noisy deskside tower or bulked up desktop machine alongside your nice new flat panel.

The modern laptop is a marvellous device, but it's not really a machine you want to leave connected to a TV or TFT all the time.

Enter, then, the mini desktop PC, a category that emerged as a low-power option for buyers on tight budgets or short on desk space, but has come into its own as the basis for not only media centres but also web-centric machines.

Under review this time are:

In the pages that follow, you'll also find Reg Hardware's Buyer's Guide, which will take you through the key factors to consider when choosing a mini PC.

Unfortunately, while it was hoped that the group test would also include a number of nettops based on Nvidia's second-generation Ion platform, no manufacturer was able to lend one in time to include. However, Reg Hardware will be looking at a selection of Ion 2-based machines in due course.

Next: Mini PCs Buyer's Guide

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.