Mini PCs are a marvel of modern-day computer technology. They are extremely small, portable, energy-efficient, and pack enough power to provide enjoyable user experience. Whether they are used as home multimedia theater PCs (HTPCs), home office PCs, or as educational computers, mini PCs provide many benefits to their users.
First of all, mini PCs are very small. Like very, very small. Some of them are even the size of a regular USB stick. The small size is beneficial in many ways. Being so small, mini PCs are extremely portable, which means you can carry them in your backpack, purse, or even pocket. The small size also enables you to carry your mini PC to a vacation at the seaside, or to you friend’s house. Since they are so small, you can even attach your mini PC to the back of your monitor, so you can create an all-in-one computer in no time.
Read more: The Best Budget HTPC Build in 2022
Mini PCs can be used for different purposes. Most commonly they are used as portable multimedia PCs, which enable you to watch and stream online TV shows, YouTube, Netflix, and other on-demand online video content. In that way, mini PCs function as perfect media players, as they come with full functionality of a desktop PC, enabling you to edit documents or browse the Internet, while at the same time giving you the ability to play music and watch 4K videos.
Another great advantage of mini PCs is that they are extremely simple, and provide more than enough power for casual PC users. Mini PCs are a great gift to elderly family members, as they have no need for advanced PC features, such as gaming or 3D modelling, and only require a computer for Internet browsing purposes. Mini PCs are also great for kids and schoolchildren who need essential PC features, like document editing or digital image painting, but have no need for other features like Internet access, or hardcore gaming.
Besides already mentioned purposes, mini PCs can also function as small home servers, thus enabling you to manage your personal home network attached storage (NAS), or just function as a personal home data streaming and sharing hub. The only major caveat of these fantastic small machines is their somewhat low performance compared to regular desktop PCs, or notebook PCs. Since they are so small, most mini PCs come with ultra efficient, but low-power components which can’t boast with huge real-life performance results. Nevertheless, mini PCs are still a perfect choice for simple users who don’t want to spend a lot of money for a personal PC, just to browse the Internet, or perform occasional spreadsheet work.
The Best Mini PCs of 2022 Under $150
Just like with any other electronics product, there are multiple grades of mini PCs available on the market. High-end mini PCs feature extremely powerful processors, and even dedicated graphics card, while low-end come with the most essential features a PC users would want. In this review, we rounded up our top 10 picks of best mini PCs under $150 that you can buy in 2022. Most of these small PCs feature latest low-powered dual or quad core processors, combined with decent amount of system RAM, and integrated graphics capable of outputting 4K video signal. Along with all that, all mini PCs featured in our list come with wireless connectivity modules, which is nowadays a must-have feature for most mainstream users. In short, most of our favorite mini PCs offer a lot of features for a price less than $150. From multiple gigabytes of system memory, to fairly decent amounts of internal storage, and Bluetooth connectivity, these PCs should suit the needs of most casual PC users.
Best Fanless Mini PC:
Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 SFF
CPU: Intel Celeron G1820T (Dual Core, up to 2.4 GHz) | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB DDR3 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Integrated Wi-Fi: Yes | OS: Windows 10 Pro
- Efficient dual core processor
- Pre-installed Windows 10 Pro
- Integrated Wi-Fi module
- Supports up to 3 displays
- Doesn’t support 4K@60 Hz
- Has no drive expansion bays
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 is one of the best mini PCs you can get under $150. This small computer features a capable dual-core Intel Celeron G1820T CPU which offers decent performance in combination with 4 GB of DDR3 memory. Speaking about its storage, there is only one 128 GB SSD, but this should be enough for most users. The M73 also comes with Intel’s integrated HD Graphics processor which supports maximum display resolution of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels at 60 Hz via DisplayPort connector.
Unfortunately, the ThinkCentre M73 has no expansion bays, meaning you’ll have to replace its SSD if you decide to increase its storage capacity. Speaking of connectivity, this tiny PC comes with integrated Intel Wi-Fi 2230 module, and it also features one Ethernet Gigabit module. The M73 also comes with two USB 3.0 and three USB 2.0 ports, one VGA, and one DisplayPort connector. Cooling-wise, the M73 runs pretty cool and quiet thanks to the small fan installed into its chassis. Given the fact that this mini PC supports triple screen display, it is perfect for lightweight office work, and it can function as a home NAS device, or as a multimedia player.
Best Super-Mini: AKLWY Mini PC Stick 4GB/128GB
CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (Quad Core, up to 1.92 GHz) | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4GB DDR | Storage: 128GB eMMC | Integrated Wi-Fi: Yes | OS: Windows 10 Pro
- Super small size
- Perfect alternative for Android TV box or Amazon Fire TV stick
- 128GB of storage
- Reasonably priced
- Weak processor
- Can’t play 4K videos
If your answer to the question “How small PC would you like to have?” is “Yes”, then AKLWY Mini PC Stick is a perfect choice for you. The AKLWY Mini PC Stick is a portable digital marvel that weighs about 280 grams and is only slightly bigger than a standard USB stick. The components in this ultra-compact computer are the same as those found in most desktop PCs. It boasts a low-power Intel Atom quad-core processor, 4GB of DDR RAM, and an integrated graphics processor that supports displays with 1920 x 1080 resolution. For improved connectivity, this PC also includes an integrated Wi-Fi module.
For storing files there is 128GB of eMMC flash memory, which can be expanded via 128GB SD card. Because of its tiny size and portability, this little PC is ideal for light tasks like browsing the Internet or watching movies and television. Since it can simply be hooked into a TV’s HDMI connector, it may also be used as an advertising display. The only disadvantages of this fantastic little PC are its slow processor and inability to play 4K media.
Best Fanless: BMAX B1 Plus
CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 (Dual Core, up to 2.40 GHz) | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 6GB LPDDR4 | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Integrated Wi-Fi: Yes | OS: Windows 10 Pro
- Silent operation
- 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
- Expansion slot for M.2 SSD or 2.5 inch HDD
- Pre-installed Windows 10 Pro
- Mediocre system performance
The BMAX B1 Plus is a compact fanless mini PC that can boast with decent system performance and silent operation. It features an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad-processor, and 6GB of DDR4 memory. The integrated graphics subsystem is identical to the one on most mini PCs, as it features a 500 MHz operating clock, and supports 4K display output at 30 Hz. Storage-wise, there is 64GB eMMC flash memory which can be expanded with Micro SD card of up to 128GB, or with 2.5 inch hard drive which can be installed in the mini PC’s expansion bay.
The 1 GbE Ethernet LAN, as well as the dual-band Wi-Fi module that supports Bluetooth 4.2 interface, are noteworthy supplementary features. At the back panel there are also two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as one HDMI, one VGA, and one 3.5 mm audio connector. This mini PC also comes with pre-installed Windows 10 Pro operating system.
Best Budget: Beelink T4 Pro
CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 (Dual Core, up to 2.4 GHz) | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR3 | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Integrated Wi-Fi: Yes | OS: Windows 10 Pro
- Very cheap
- Supports 4K@60 Hz output
- Integrated dual-band Wi-Fi
- Pre-installed Windows 10 Pro
- Features LPDD3 RAM
- Only 64GB of storage
- No SSD/HDD expansion bay
The Beelink T4 Pro mini PC is the cheapest device on our list of the best mini PCs under $150. It costs around $120, so it is a true bargain if you’re on a very tight budget. Unfortunately, it is also one of the weakest mini PCs on our list. Besides featuring pretty old Intel Celeron N3350 processor, this mini PC also comes with only 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The storage capacity of this PC is also quite modest, as it includes only 64GB of eMMC flash memory. Good thing, however, is that it comes with preinstalled Windows 10 Pro, and features an integrated graphics processor which supports 4K output at 60 Hz. It also comes with dual-band Wi-Fi, which is a big plus.
Storage expansion features of this PC are also very limited, as the only way to increase its internal storage space is to add microSD card, or connect an external hard drive via one of its four USB 3.0 ports. Overall, this is a mediocre but functional mini PC, so if you are looking for a hobby PC for an extremely low price, then this is a perfect match for you.
Best for Home Theater: MINISFORUM N40
CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 (Dual Core, up to 2.8 GHz) | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Integrated Wi-Fi: Yes | OS: Windows 10 Pro
- Good system performance
- M.2 expansion slot
- Fanless design
- Supports 4K@60 Hz via HDMI 2.0
- MicroSD card reader
- Has no USB Type-C or DisplayPort connectors
Last but not least, there is the MINISFORUM N40 Mini Desktop PC. This tiny PC is a perfect solution for users who want to have an all-in-one multimedia device for playing 4K videos or streaming online content via Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Compared to other mini PCs on our list, this one can boast with pretty snappy CPU that runs at 2.8 GHz clock, and 4GB of DDR4 memory which allows it to deliver better multitasking performance. This mini PC also comes with support for 5 GHz Wi-Fi, and can output 4K@60 Hz video via integrated HDMI 2.0a port.
Since it has no fans or moving parts, this mini PC is completely silent. The N40 also comes with one M.2 2242 NGFF expansion slot, meaning you can upgrade its storage capacity with a high-speed PCIe NVMe drive up to 1TB in size. Besides that, the device also features a microSD card reader, and has three USB 3.0 ports. The only major downside of this awesome mini PC is that it has no USB Type-C or DisplayPort connectors, which is a little bit disappointing in this day and age.
Mini PCs are a perfect choice for users who need a simple computer for checking email, browsing Internet, running Microsoft Office programs, or watching and streaming videos in their free time. Being so small, they don’t take up any desk space, and can be attached to the back of a monitor using standard VESA mount. Besides being used as multimedia home theater PCs (HTPC), mini PCs also function great as backup computers, personal home servers, or even surveillance devices.
In this review we have list our top picks of best mini PCs that you can buy under $150 in 2022. Most of these PCs don’t offer the same amount of power as their true desktop counterparts, however, they can work very well, provided you throw lightweight tasks at them. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post comment below. We will try to help you.
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