Best PC sticks 2022: Great picks for gaming, media server

The best PC sticks are an instant computer; you only need to add a screen. While they certainly aren't as powerful as the best Windows laptops, they are extremely portable and useful when you need a little bit of computing power on the go. We've put together a list of the best PC sticks available — whether you want a truly budget option or something with a few extra features — so you can take your computer with you wherever you go.

A pint-sized PC

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The reasons you might want to buy a PC stick vary from person to person. The best PC sticks are extremely easy to carry around with you while traveling, and they make for easy media hubs while staying in hotels. At their base, they're a great way to run full Windows anywhere as long as you have a screen available.

Any of the options listed above will land you a portable Windows 10 PC for even less money than the best budget laptops. Having a small, pocket-sized PC that runs Windows 10 is a fantastic tool for anyone who finds themselves traveling a lot for work or pleasure. They can also be a great addition to a TV in a living room or garage, turning it into a media center on the cheap.

If you're wondering exactly where to start, the AIOEXPC is a well-rounded option that balances performance and price. It boasts a quad-core Intel Atom CPU, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of eMMC storage with the ability to expand by 128GB through a microSD card reader. Connect with two USB-A ports, Wi-Fi 5, and Bluetooth 4.2. If you're looking for a general-purpose option, this is it.

If you're looking for a PC stick that has potential as a media hub, the AWOW NY41S PC with quad-core Intel Celeron J4105 is probably your best bet. With expandable storage via microSD, up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, Bluetooth 4.2 compatibility, and both USB-C and USB-A ports, it's easy to make this stick into a portable media hub.

Those looking for something a bit more substantial — like an actual PC tower — that doesn't cost a lot should check out our roundup of the best budgets PCs. And be sure to check out the best Windows laptops if you'd rather go with the real deal.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.