Mini PCs are Perfect Solutions for Businesses

Mini PCs are the smaller and more portable versions of large tower PCs we are used to seeing. Their compact form factor allows them to fit into more constrained areas, like a small desktop, a portion of a meeting room, or a collaborative office workspace. Although mini PCs are generally not suitable for heavy computing tasks, most of them are suited for a wide range of business and home office chores, including office workflows, data processing, content creation, intranet services, and video conferencing. In this article, we are going to discuss a few use cases of mini PCs in a business environment, and the benefits they might bring to you.

Office Workflows

Executing business workflows efficiently is essential for any type of organization, so it’s important for enterprise owners to invest in the right technology. While Microsoft Office suite apps are used in all business operations, large companies often also rely on applications like SAP, NetSuite, and SYSPRO for business data processing and analysis. Small and medium-sized operations tend to use cheaper services like Xero and Wix for resource planning and statistics management.

Office and data processing software generally do not require top-of-the-line hardware, so bulky tower PCs with desktop-grade CPUs are unnecessary for most employees. Power-efficient mini PCs can offer the performance you need, and save space and energy at the same time.

For those who have to work from home every now and then, carrying a mini PC is even easier than carrying a regular laptop, as long as you have a display, a mouse, and a keyboard in both your office and apartment.

Content Creation

Productivity software is also widely used in many businesses. Whether you are developing the built-ins for the company website in Dreamweaver, or editing a poster picture in Photoshop, or producing a promotional TikTok video in Premier, chances are that there is a personal computer behind every single click, render, and save that is performed.

Professional artwork designers and content creators will surely be better off with regular desktop PCs that feature a high-performance CPU and a premium discrete graphics card. But for those who only deal with lightweight photo and video editing, a mini PC with relatively high configurations should be sufficient.

For photo editing and web design, you can choose a mini PC with either an Intel Core or an AMD Ryzen SoC, but if your content creation is mainly about video production, you might want to get an Intel Core powered model. Because Intel iGPUs support way more video codecs than their AMD counterparts, an Intel-based mini PC will be a lot more efficient than an AMD-based mini PC in video editing and streaming.    

Video Conferencing and Collaboration

For companies that have offices in multiple cities, or business owners who need to travel often, video conferencing is probably the best approach as it can efficiently improve communication, simplify collaboration, and save cost at the same time. According to a recent study done by VC Daily, online video conferencing has been growing by more than 18% each year since 2015.

Mini PCs are ideal for video conferencing because they are fully compatible with many different operating systems, and a wide range of video conferencing and collaboration software such as Asana, Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams. If the mini PC used for video conferencing supports the Intel vPro platform, the IT administrator of your company will even be able to emulate a virtual display to manage and troubleshoot it remotely, without interrupting the content being played on the device.

It’s also important to have multiple screens in a meeting room so that you can display remote participants and shared content at the same time. A mini PC often features two or more video output interfaces, so you can use it to power an entire conference room. Because of its small form factor, you can easily conceal it behind the back of a monitor, or on the top of a projector, that’s installed on the ceiling. Some mini PCs even come with CIR, making it possible for you to conveniently control them with a remote.

Besides the visuals, you may even use sound to further enhance the conferencing experience. Most mini PCs can output 5.1.2 or even 7.1.2-channel sound via the HIDMI port, connecting them to a surround speaker system will make remote participants sound like they are talking from different directions, giving meeting participants in the office a more immersive experience.

For people who choose to work from home, or those restricted to go out during the Covid-19 pandemic, a mini PC can still deliver the full-on video conferencing experience to you, thanks to its amazing portability and superb connectivity. However, we would recommend that you get the camera, microphone and monitor in place before joining a meeting.   

Conclusion

Mini PCs are the smartest and most cost-effective computing option for businesses and home offices. Compared to a regular desktop PC, a mini PC offers all the functionalities in a much smaller footprint, which is ideal for offices where space is at a premium. Compared to an average laptop, a mini PC is cheaper, more expandable, and offers better connectivity. So, if you are a business owner, maybe it’s time for you to start thinking about getting mini PCs for your offices.