Mini PC Vs. Stick PC: A Comparative Analysis

If you're considering the pros and cons of a mini PC versus a stick PC, you've probably concluded that both are small in size. But what are the other differences between the two types of computers? Or which one is better?

They perform differently and have different specs and prices, so it can be hard to know which is right for you. Here's a breakdown of each type of computer to get a better idea of what will work best for your needs.

What is a Mini PC?

While "Mini PC" is not an industry-standard term, it can be applied to many small form factor desktop computers.

These mini PCs usually have a small footprint and take up little space on your desk. They also tend to have less internal storage than the average desktop computer, but this is mitigated by their low cost and the fact that you can store files in the cloud or on a separate hard drive.

What is a Stick PC?

A stick PC is very similar to a mini PC, but it has one distinct difference: it's as small as a USB flash drive. While there are many different types of mini PCs, most are about the size of a pack of playing cards or smaller. Stick PCs are slightly larger than your average USB flash drive—hence the name "stick" PC.

Both Stick PCs and mini PCs are incredibly convenient because they're easy to carry around with you. They're great for travel since you can't always guarantee that whatever computer you'll be using will be sufficient for your needs; having your portable computer (and all the software that comes with it) can make things much simpler when traveling.

Additionally, stick PCs and mini PCs offer more versatility since they can plug directly into any HDMI port on a TV or monitor rather than going through an adapter first, while also being cheaper than most devices on the market today.

Which Operating Systems Mini PCs & Stick PCs Use?

Stick PCs use Windows 10 as their operating system. There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, stick PCs run Windows 10. 

The thing to understand about Windows 10 is that it was designed for use on a desktop PC or laptop. The desktop and laptop PC versions of Windows have been around since the 1980s and are widely used in homes and businesses worldwide.

Many mini PCs use Chrome OS as their operating system. While some stick PCs use Android as an operating system instead of Windows, mini PCs rarely come with Android pre-installed. 

However, Windows on ARM is a rather new and interesting development that is happening. Dot 1 Mini PC is one such case. In partnership with Qualcomm and Microsoft, Apcsilmic has developed the first-ever ARM-based Windows mini PC.

Mini PC Vs. Stick PC: The Main Differences!

Besides the obvious difference in size, a mini PC and a stick PC have several key differences that you should consider before purchasing:

  • Performance: The fact that mini PCs are larger lends itself to better performance. The extra size allows for more thermal development and heat dispersion, which means your machine will stay cool under pressure. On the other hand, stick PCs do not have this luxury of space and can easily overheat if put under enough pressure.
  • Portability: Because of the form factor, stick PCs are smaller and easier to fit into tight spaces. Because of their lack of fans, they also don't make any noise under heavy loads. Mini PCs may handle a larger workload due to their size, but they aren't as pocket-sized or silent as sticks.
  • Price: Stick PCs are far cheaper than mini PCs because they are made with less expensive components due to their smaller space constraints - making them more affordable and accessible for everyone! 

However, if you're looking for something powerful, then it might be worth considering investing money in a mini PC instead.

Mini PC Vs. Stick PC: Which One is Better?

Mini PC Vs. Stick PC: Which One is Better

However, there are some big differences that you should know about before making your decision:

  • The mini PCs will cost more than the stick PCs – but only initially. The mini PC has more space for expansion and upgrading, so over time, it will likely save you money if you need the extra memory or power down the line. A mini PC might also be a better option because when your device gets slower due to age, all you need to do is upgrade one part rather than replace the whole system.
  • The stick PC is attractive because of its portability – but being small has its disadvantages. You can plug a stick PC into any monitor or TV with an HDMI port and take it with you wherever you go, but that means that if anything goes wrong with something inside the tiny device (and there are many components in such a small piece of equipment), then it may be difficult or expensive to fix any damage.