/>
X

Mini computers that fit in the palm of your hand

It's not that long ago that a computer was something housed in a huge beige box that weighed as much as an engine block and took up half your desk. Now you can get a powerful computer can fit in the palm of your hand.
Tiny Green PC
1 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Tiny Green PC

Tiny Green PC offer a range of mini PCs to suit all budgets and performance requirements.

At the top-end is the Tiny Green PC Intense PC2, which is powered by an Intel i7 5th-gen processor, and comes with the following system requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-5600U
  • Select Memory: 16GB
  • Hard Disk/Solid State Drive: 1 TB SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

The price for this system is a cool €1,700.40.

Link

C.H.I.P.
2 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

C.H.I.P.

At $9, C.H.I.P. is a perfect demonstration of how cheap computing has become. You get what would only a few years ago have been desktop power on a tiny board.

  • 1.0GHz CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Link

Stealth LPC-100G4
3 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Stealth LPC-100G4

4-Gigabit Ethernet Ports in the palm of your hand.

  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN/WAN ports
  • Ultra Small, Only 4.0″ x 6.1″ x 1.45″ in size
  • Powerful Intel Mobile Processors
  • 12 VDC Operation, Ideal for Mobile/Field
  • Up to 1TB Internal Storage
  • SSD (Solid State Drive) Optional
  • Built-in GB LAN, USB 2.0, Audio, Serial, Video
  • Low Profile Rugged Aluminium Chassis
  • Panel/Wall Mount Brackets Included
  • Windows 7, 10 compatible, with other O/S options available

Prices starting from: $1,190.

Link

Mac mini
4 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Mac mini

Mac mini is an affordable way to get a Mac, and the entire computer is only 7.7-inch-square. Just connect your own display, keyboard, and mouse, and you're ready to rock.

Prices starting from $499 for the following spec:

  • 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 500GB (5400-rpm) hard drive
  • 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory

Link

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
5 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

A credit-card sized computer that is becoming a big hitter in the IoT and educational space. And given that it's priced at only $35, it's easy to see why it's so popular.

The latest version is the Raspberry Pi 3 model B and features the following spec:

  • 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Broadcom VideoCore IV graphics
  • 4-watt power consumption

Link

Raspberry Pi Zero
6 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Raspberry Pi Zero

The Raspberry Pi gets even smaller, in both size and price. At only $5, this is almost a disposable computer, and yet is has enough power to handle many IoT or homebrew projects.

Despite the size, there's room for a microSD card slot, mini HDMI port, and micro USB data port.

  • 1GHz single-core ARM1176JZF-S CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 0.8-watt power consumption

Link

VoCore
7 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

VoCore

A coin-sized Linux computer that is totally open-source, and costs $20. This is a small, low-cost, totally open-source (both the hardware and software) computer that's ideal for projects such as IoT or building your own custom router.

  • 360MHz MIPS CPU
  • 32MB of RAM
  • 8MB of flash memory
  • Ready equipped with header pins for sound, USB 2.0, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi

Link

Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300
8 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300

A Windows 10 computer that can fit into your pocket. All you need is display that has an HDMI port and some wireless peripherals and you're ready to go!

Priced at around $99.

  • 1.33GHz CPU
  • 2 GB of DDR3 1600 RAM
  • 32 GB of SSD flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Windows 10

Link

Dell Inspiron i3050-3000BLK
9 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Dell Inspiron i3050-3000BLK

At $155 this is a bit pricier than many other small computers, but it does come with beefier specs to allow it to cope with more demanding tasks.

  • 2.41 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron J1800 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM (upgradable to 8GB)
  • 32GB of flash memory
  • Intel HD graphics
  • Windows 10

Link

Asus Chromebox
10 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Asus Chromebox

If you want to take Google's Chrome OS for a whirl, then why not pick up a palm-sized Chromebox, such as this Asus Chromebox. Starting at around $150, these represent excellent value for money.

  • Intel Core i7-4600U or Intel Core i3-4010U or Intel Celeron 2955U CPU
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000/4400
  • Up to 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage
  • 2xUSB 3.0, HDMI, RJ45
  • SD card slot
  • Chrome OS

Link

Acer Revo Build
11 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Acer Revo Build

Like tiny computers, but hate the fact that there's no way to upgrade them? The Acer Revo Build might be the system for you. You add to this system by snapping on new parts, such as the optional storage or graphics modules.

For $179 you get:

  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 processor
  • 2GB DDR3L RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • Windows 10

Link

Parallella
12 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Parallella

The Parallella computer is a high performance, credit card sized computer based on the Epiphany multi-core chips from Adapteva. Starting at $99, the Parallella can be used as a standalone computer, an embedded device or as a component in a scaled out parallel server cluster.

  • 16-core Epiphany RISC SOC
  • Zynq SOC (FPGA + ARM A9)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1GB SDRAM
  • Micro-SD storage
  • Up to 48 GPIO pins
  • HDMI, USB (optional)

Link

MintBox Mini
13 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

MintBox Mini

For those of you looking for a small Linux system, the MintBox Mini might be just what you are looking for. At $295 it's not cheap, but you do get quite a decent spec:

  • AMD A4 Micro-6400T SoC featuring Radeon R3 graphics
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Linux Mint

Link

PixelPro
14 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

PixelPro

The PixelPro features a i.MX6Q Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 running at 1.0 GHz, with 2D and 3D GPUs and an embedded 2GB 64-bit DDR3 RAM, which means that it is capable of running rich multimedia applications, embedded web servers, digital entertainment systems, industrial control systems, and high definition video.

At $129.95, the PixelPro is not cheap, but you get a lt of power for the cash.

  • Freescale i.MX6Q Soc Quad Core ARM Cortex-A9 up to 1GHz
  • 2GB of RAM
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • PCIe x1
  • USB 2.0

Link

NanoPi 2 Fire
15 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

NanoPi 2 Fire

A cheap, $23 quad-core powered board that's ideally suited for hobbyists.

  • Samsung S5P4418 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 up to 1.4GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB 2.0

Link

Arduino INDUSTRIAL 101
16 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Arduino INDUSTRIAL 101

A $40 Arduino that's idea for integration into a commercial or industrial product.

  • Atheros AR9331 processor
  • 64MB of RAM
  • 16MB of flash storage
  • USB 2.0

Link

NanoPC-T3
17 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

NanoPC-T3

The NanoPC-T3 is the bigger brother of the NanoPi 2 Fire, and features an octa-core processor which has enough power for commercial and industrial applications.

  • Samsung S5P6818 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.4GHz
  • 1-2GB of RAM
  • 8GB of flash storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB 2.0

Link

Intel Edison with Kit for Arduino
18 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Intel Edison with Kit for Arduino

At around $92, the Intel name doesn't come cheap, but this Arduino-compatible board is turning out to be a popular choice.

  • Dual-core, dual-threaded Intel Atom CPU with a 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of flash storage
  • Integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Support for Yocto Linux, Python, Node.js and Wolfram

Link

cloudBit
19 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

cloudBit

The easiest way to create internet­-connected devices - no programming, soldering or wiring required. IFTTT support allows it to connect with any web service, like Facebook, Gmail and Twitter, or hardware like NEST and Philips HUE.

All for just $59.95.

  • Freescale i.MX23 ARM926EJ-S processor
  • 64MB of RAM
  • 802.11b/g/n

Link

ODROID-C2
20 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

ODROID-C2

The ODROID-C2 is a 64-bit quad-core single board computer that is one of the most cost-effective 64-bit development boards available in the ARM world (it costs about $40).

  • Amlogic ARM Cortex-A53(ARMv8) 2Ghz quad core CPUs
  • Mali-450 GPU (3 Pixel-processors + 2 Vertex shader processors)
  • 2Gbyte DDR3 SDRAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • HDMI 2.0 4K/60Hz display
  • H.265 4K/60FPS and H.264 4K/30FPS capable VPU
  • 40pin GPIOs + 7pin I2S
  • eMMC5.0 HS400 Flash Storage slot / UHS-1 SDR50 MicroSD Card slot
  • USB 2.0 Host x 4, USB OTG x 1 (power + data capable)
  • Infrared(IR) Receiver
  • Ubuntu 16.04 or Android 5.1 Lollipop based on Kernel 3.14LTS

Link

Raspberry Pi Zero
21 of 21 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Raspberry Pi Zero

The Raspberry Pi Zero is half the size of a Model A+ Pi, but with twice the utility. A tiny Raspberry Pi that, at $5, is affordable enough for any project!

  • 1Ghz, Single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • Micro USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers

Link

Related Galleries

Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus
Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus in action

Related Galleries

Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus

10 Photos
Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Huawei P50 Pro, Sony Xperia Pro-I, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup
poco-m4-pro-5g-in-hand.jpg

Related Galleries

Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Huawei P50 Pro, Sony Xperia Pro-I, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

11 Photos
LinkOn 130W USB-C car charger
LinkOn 130W

Related Galleries

LinkOn 130W USB-C car charger

4 Photos
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Go 3, Huawei MateBook 14s, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup
linksys-velop-wifi-6-ax4200-card.jpg

Related Galleries

Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Go 3, Huawei MateBook 14s, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

16 Photos
DJI Mavic 3 in flight
Superb aerial camera platform

Related Galleries

DJI Mavic 3 in flight

10 Photos
Satechi Dock5 Multi-Device Charging Station
Satechi Dock5

Related Galleries

Satechi Dock5 Multi-Device Charging Station

6 Photos
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor

Related Galleries

Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor

10 Photos