While I’m mainly focused on phones here in Tom’s Guide, I also love more traditional computer technology. Over the course of 2022, my small PC craze really blossomed with the many options we saw throughout the year.
From Geekom to Beelink, Minisforum and more, I quickly found myself drowning in a mini PC for review – and I have yet to go a few in 2023. Whereas small computers used to be mostly underpowered thin clients, the mini PC market has exploded. with really powerful options.
For example, the Beelink GTR5, for example, ran on a Ryzen 9 5900HX, the top mobile processor of the time. Equipped with two 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, up to 64GB RAM and plenty of storage, it can easily become your new desktop computer without taking up much desktop space. And it costs a reasonable $639 on Amazon. (will open in a new tab).
Geekom mini machines provided powerful hardware in a very affordable package. The Mini IT8, despite being old hardware, is one of the best deals you can get on a mini PC. The Mini IT11 offers more power for a bit more money, while the MiniAir 11 serves as an entry-level machine at a ridiculously low price.
Minisforum released a ton of mini PCs in 2022, most of which I haven’t had time to test. However, the NUCXi7 showed that you have a very powerful gaming PC in a smaller chassis than the PS5.
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)
In addition, there is the Orange Pi in the single board computer market providing serious competition to the Raspberry Pi, the Orange Pi 800 and Orange Pi 5, which I will review in the coming weeks, offer significant improvements over the Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi. 400 at similar prices (considering the huge markups on the Raspberry Pi these days).
2022 quickly became the year I could safely recommend a mini PC to anyone who didn’t need a ton of raw power. I use a mini PC as my main workstation for my work here as it is more powerful and smaller than my work laptop.
More and more mini PCs are being released all the time – one of my favorite YouTubers who talks about stuff like this seems to be inundated with them. I think 2023 has something great in store for us as we see more machines using Ryzen 6000 and 12th gen Intel processors. With the former, you even have the potential for some games thanks to powerful new AMD integrated GPUs.
Pay special attention to this market in 2023, especially if you are looking for a new desktop in the near future. I think we can expect to see some amazing things.
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