Need a PC that doesn't take up much space? Check out these great options!
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.
Update March 2017: We've added a choice for the gamers out there in the Alienware Alpha R2.
Intel Skull Canyon NUC
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.
Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro
Kangaroo's approach to the mini PC is a modular one, 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 many ports for you to plug cables into as well as adding 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 under $200 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.
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, stylish looking 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.
Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny
Aimed somewhat at the business crowd, the ThinkCentre Tiny is also a great choice for the home PC buyer who wants a lot of PC in not a lot of box. There are a number of options available to choose from, including Windows 7 Professional (oh, IT departments), up to an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM and a combination of 2.5-inch HDD or SSD and m.2 SSD storage.
The Tiny really is tiny, but it's as tough as they come and packed with connectivity, as well as being able to stand vertically or mount to the rear of a monitor out of sight. It's also upgradeable, allowing you to add more RAM and storage as you see fit.
Alienware Alpha R2
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 visual horsepower.