Edge of Innovation

Mini PCs are becoming ever smaller and more invisible

Today, there are countless solutions on the market for any requirement that we could ever have. This development process is also bringing new changes. In the future, Mini PCs will no longer look or act as we expect them to today, but will instead be the size of a credit card and will be able to be slotted into any object that comes to mind. Let’s take a look at the current state-of-the-art technology in the Mini PC market, devices that are leading—and will continue to lead—an important revolution in computing.

In the world of IT, computers are almost always cumbersome and heavy — they are designed to sit under our desks and be used in a fixed position. Even today you can still buy or build a classic tower PC. But there are also original and innovative solutions available, such as the Mini PC. A Mini PC is a true computer, but it’s housed in a much smaller case, meaning it offers better portability without sacrificing power.

Intel NUC: The Mini PC for everyone

Among the principal solutions in this area of the market is the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing). It is a range of Mini PCs designed and created by Intel. The case, which is not much bigger than the palm of your hand, contains all the hardware you could ever need.

In comparison to previous generations of PCs, the Intel NUC is much easier to place in the living room so you can enjoy a film on your 4K TV. It is also the ideal solution to free up space on your desk and keep it tidy, as you can place the NUC behind any screen with a VESA mount.

At the same time, Intel has created a version of the NUC for gamers who need more from their PCs, the NUC6i7KYK. With an even more compact form factor, it has a built-in sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, it is highly portable, and has the connectivity of a classic desktop computer.

Intel Compute Stick: An entire PC in a tiny device

The progress made in the world of hardware is one of the driving factors behind the development of more compact solutions, such as the Intel Compute Stick. This is a product that was born of the need to expand upon the current computing experience and take it to a whole new level. Portability, flexibility and simplicity are the device’s key elements.

The Intel Compute Stick transforms almost any TV or HD monitor into a complete computer — all you have to do is take it out of its packaging and connect it to your screen, and you can start using its Windows 10 operating system straight away. This product can either have an Intel Atom or an Intel Core M processor. The built-in USB 3.0 ports allow you to expand the storage memory and eventually connect non-wireless external devices.

In comparison to classic desktops and notebooks, the dimensions of this device have been reduced considerably, so much so that you can now fit it into your pants pocket. For anyone looking for a product that is complete, reliable and could be used in most situations, from home entertainment to education, this is a dream come true — and it comes with the advantage of being able to take it with you wherever you go.

Many other manufacturers have also decided to create similar solutions using Intel processor technology, allowing them to offer the best experience possible.

Intel Compute Card: The future is already here

While Mini PCs as we know them today have reached compact dimensions that would have been impossible to even imagine a few years ago, hardware miniaturization has also paved the way for the Internet of Things (IoT).

It is already clear that the Internet of Things represents the future of computing, and nobody wants to fall behind in this transformation race. For this reason, Intel unveiled the Compute Card, a tiny PC that is only slightly bigger than a credit card, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas. It contains everything you would expect from a classic PC, including a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, memory, storage, wireless connectivity and input and output ports.

The Intel Compute Card is intended to be a complete solution for intelligent devices of the future. It is expected to be launched in mid-2017, and once released it will allow us to peer into the future of computing — a future in which PCs will be as big as a credit card and can be taken with you wherever you go, hidden away in your pocket or stored in your wallet or purse.

Mini PCs will be almost invisible

We are living in a time where Mini PCs are tiny, yet provide excellent performance capable of satisfying most users. We have a wealth of forward-looking solutions that will allow us to abandon the classic PC stereotype of hiding a clunky tower under our desk. The future that awaits us is full of even more innovations, a future in which the Intel Compute Card is already the milestone for a constantly evolving market.

By Alberto Marini

Photo credits:

Intel Mini PC: Sarah Tew/CNET

Intel NUC

Intel Compute Stick

Intel Compute Card

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