Mini PC

Windows PCs come in all shapes and sizes, and whatever your needs there'll be a computer out there to suit you. While the ultimate small PCs come in the form of a HDMI dongle, they're somewhat underpowered.

If you want an extreme space saver but need a little more get up and go from your machine, check out one of these fantastic mini PCs.

Intel Skull Canyon NUC

Skull Canyon

It's pricey and you don't even get the whole PC for your money, but what this NUC from Intel is, is a powerful desktop PC in a teeny tiny case. It comes as a barebones kit, meaning you need to supply the operating system, RAM and an m.2 SSD drive (or two) for storage, but it's all simple to put together.

Inside is a Core i7 6770HQ, a powerful Skylake processor that also packs Intel's Iris Pro 580 graphics, making it possible to even do some light gaming on the Skull Canyon. Throw in 7.1 digital audio and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and you've got a crazy powerful little box. It's as close right now as you can get to the ultimate mini PC.

Prices have also started to come down a little, dropping now as low as around $520.

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Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro

Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro

Kangaroo takes a modular approach to the mini PC, and while the Pro model of the Mobile Desktop is the one we recommend, there is also a 'regular' version that costs a little less. With the Pro, you get a dock that makes it slightly larger and thicker but much more usable by adding both a set of additional ports and a 2.5-inch HDD bay.

The PC part is just a tiny black box with a footprint not much bigger than a credit card (albeit a fair chunk thicker!). Inside you'll find an Intel Atom x5 processor, 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM and 64 bit Windows 10 Home. For about $190 you've got a little PC that you can hook up to Ethernet, add mass storage too and throw in a bag and take everywhere you go. It's a great little thing to have.

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ASUS VivoMini


Another pricier option, but with this VivoMini from ASUS you get the whole package, unlike Intel's Skull Canyon. And what a package it is packed inside a fairly small and stylish box, that can even indulge some casual gaming and 4K video output.

At its heart the VivoMini houses an Intel Core i5 6200U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB HDD. Not only that but you'll get fast 802.11ac WiFi, USB 3.1 and dedicated GTX930M graphics from NVIDIA. Its party piece, though, is the dual-bay design which accommodates two SSDs or 2.5-inch HDDs, or a single 3.5-inch HDD for all the storage you need. And with a VESA compatible mounting solution, you can hide it out of plain sight as well.

It's one of the pricier mini PCs at around $550, but you do get a lot of computer for it.

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Alienware Alpha R2

Alienware Alpha

The Alienware Alpha is the largest Mini PC in this list, but it's far from bulky. And, unlike the rest, it's suitable for gamers entirely on its own. Through some form of witchcraft, Dell's engineers managed to squeeze a full desktop GTX 960 graphics card into this little box.

Not only that, but its processors go up to a Core i7, with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive to store all those delicious games. It's fairly easy to upgrade, though, there's obviously not a ton you can do to it. And the additional party trick is that it's compatible with the Alienware e-GPU Graphics Amplifier so that you can add some serious extra graphics horsepower.

Prices start at around $500.

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HP Elite Slice

Elite Slice

The HP Elite Slice is probably the best-looking mini PC you'll find anywhere. It follows the same design language as the high-end Spectre laptops and will look the part in any home or business environment.

Inside you'll get a range of different specs, including at the high-end a Core i5 or i7 processor, 8 or 16GB of RAM and SSD storage. The ports are mostly on the back and plentiful, with USB 3.0, USB-C, HDMI and DisplayPort.

The only thing really missing is an SD card slot. But, the Elite Slice has a modular party trick, with accessories like a Bang and Olufsen speaker attachable to the base. Prices aren't horrible, either, with a decent model being yours for around $800.

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Updated March 29, 2018: No updates this month, these are still our top picks for really small PCs.