Mini PC

Mini PC

Mini PC is short for “minimized personal computer” and is also called small form factor PC.

"Mini PC", referring to traditional desktop PC's, refers to the Mini-ITX form factor, which is a 17 x 17 cm (or 6.7 x 6.7 inches) motherboard. With Mini-ITX or smaller motherboards, the volume of the mini PC is less than 3 liters.

The first consumer mini PC is the Mac Mini made by Apple in early 2005. At the same year, Intel and Microsoft-based mini PC was debuted by AOpen Inc. Since “mini PC” cannot be registered as a trademark, AOpen has renamed their mini PC products “XC mini” in 2007.

A new generation of "mini PCs", or "mini desktop PCs" have emerged which measure less than 12 inches wide and less than 3 inches thick. They are also referred to as Ultra Small Form Factor (USFF) PCs. They are also sometimes also referred to as "thin clients", which is incorrect because mini PCs can operate completely as standalone computers, just like any PC.

Mini PCs differ from traditional desktop PCs in being much smaller and not having extra bays for drives in front or for add-on cards in the back. Mini PCs may or may not have optical (i.e. CD/DVD) disc drives.

Some people also refer to using them as an "HTPC" (Home Theater PC), especially when they are used to connect a TV to the Internet, but Home Theater PC's usually have large media storage (single or multiple hard disc drives) and an optical drive (or drives, or DVD optical jukebox) to play DVD's.

Mini PC's that are only 1-inch high can be called "one-inch" PC's. They are equivalent to the base of a laptop PC, without the display, keyboard, battery, or battery circuitry. In fact, laptop PC motherboards can be used in "one-inch" PC's. The advantage of a "one-inch PC" is that it easily fits anywhere, including on the back of a display or TV.

Examples of mini PC's include:

A sub-class of Mini Desktop PCs is "Nettops", which have electronics based on Netbook computers.

Another sub-class of Mini Desktop PCs is the "TV PC". These are mini desktop PCs that are modified to interface with TVs. Examples include the Neuros Link and The Wave, (26.3 x 18.5 x 2.6 cm = 10.4 x 7.3 x 1.0 inches).

Tags: Mini PC, Mini Desktop PC, Mini ITX, Nettop, USFF, TV PC, HTPC, one-inch PC, 1-inch PC

See also

Keyboard computer