If you’re in the market for a new computer and size or budget is of concern, you should really take a look at the often overlooked category of mini computers. A lot of people don’t even know they exist but they can get great little devices, perfect for many computer users.
If you’re familiar with any model it is likely the Mac Mini from Apple. Its a square less than 8” large containing a fully functional Mac computer. For the most common general-use computing tasks, it can certainly do the job too, but it is hardly the cheapest option, starting at $599.99.
What you might not know is that Future Shop carries a line of Mini PCs, most of which are under half the price of the least expensive Mac Mini, yet with similar form-factors. These machines use less electricity, and take up much less space than traditional desktop PCs so they’re easy to hide and can be put almost anywhere.
If you find you’ll be mainly using your computer for web browsing, listening to music, enjoying photos, and typical office productivity tasks like spreadsheets, you should definitely consider this option. Its much less expensive than a full desktop tower PC yet you can still perform all those tasks without issue.
A great bonus with the tiny size of these computers is the extreme portability. Imagine being able to just pick up your desktop computer and take it with you. If you have a friend or family member you’re always providing computer help for, this makes it an ideal gift. Next time they need help they can just bring you their machine so you can help them from the comfort of your own home.
There are a lot of places it would be great to have a computer installed but space is always an issue. You can connect one of these to your TV and hide the computer discreetly behind it You can set one up in the kitchen to browse recipes while you cook. You can toss one into a kids bedroom where space is at a premium. Just connect a monitor and keyboard and you’re ready to go.
The combination of value and versatility of the Mini Computer genre can’t be beat. Next time you shop for a new desktop computer, seriously consider how you’ll use it. Something like this might be just the right fit. This emerging genre of device makes computers more appliance-like and is likely to get bigger every year. A lot of people think they need the top of the line computer but don’t use them for anything that you can’t do with one of these at a small fraction of the price.