3 Best Mini PC Sticks for 2020 Detailed Review & its Benefits.
3 Best Mini PC Sticks for 2020: These days, electronics are becoming more and more portable. Laptops, tablets, and other small devices are squeezing PCs out of a large portion of the market.
For streaming, in particular, there’s no reason to use a large PC. Instead, why not use a mini PC? These small computers are only slightly larger than a thumb drive.
They’re designed to plug directly into the HDMI port on a TV or monitor. As a result, they’re ideal for streaming. Simply install your favorite apps, and you’ll be ready to go.
They’re also a great choice for business. Why carry a laptop when you can carry a tiny mini PC across the country for that big presentation?
W5 Pro Mini PC
The W5 Pro Mini PC is constructed from ABS plastic and measures 3.9 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. At half an inch thick, it’s compact enough to carry in your pocket. And at only 7.2 ounces in weight, you’ll hardly even realize you’re carrying it.
The bottom end of the case is vented, and you can see the cooling fan operating on the inside. On the side, near the bottom, there’s a simple power switch for turning the W5 on or off. Above the power switch, you’ll find the USB inputs.
On the other side of the unit, there’s a single jack for the DC power input. A power adapter is included with the kit, so you can easily plug the W5 into your wall outlet.
The W5 comes with Windows 10 Pro 64-bit pre-installed. This is the most powerful version of Windows, and it’s nice to see a mini PC that can actually run it.
This is, in part, thanks to the powerful Intel Atom X5-Z7350 processor. While the X5-Z7350 has a base frequency of 1.44 GHz, it can run at 1.92 GHz for short bursts.
Connectivity & Extras
In terms of connection options, the W5 Pro plugs right into the HDMI port on your TV or monitor. There’s an HDMI cable included in the kit, which means you won’t have to shop around for peripherals.
In addition, it has a built-in dual-band WiFi card. It uses the 802.11ac protocol. This isn’t the latest and greatest, but it’s the latest version that’s supported by most modern devices.
Awow Mini PC Stick
The Awow Mini PC Stick is designed to run as quietly as possible. Now, even a “loud” mini PC isn’t going to be a problem if you’re watching movies. But if you’re giving a business presentation, the hum of a fan can get distracting.
Awow has solved this problem with a fanless design. The case is constructed from anodized aluminum instead of plastic, which allows for better heat transfer. The top and bottom of the case are heavily ribbed, which means that it can run at full power without overheating.
The Awow measures 5.9 inches long, 2.1 inches wide, and just over half an inch thick. This makes it the largest mini PC stick on our list, but it’s a necessity for heat distribution. At 11.6 ounces, it’s also a bit beefy, but that’s understandable given the metal case.
Along the right side of a unit, you’ll find a power button, along with the USB ports. On the left side, there’s a micro SD slot, as well as an external antenna. This allows for a powerful wireless signal, ideal for larger homes with distant routers.
Connectivity & Extras
For connectivity, the Awow’s onboard WiFi card is fairly powerful. It supports all current protocols, including 802.11 b, g, n, and ac. It operates on 5.8 and 2.4 GHz dual channels. And we’ve already talked about the external gain antenna.
If you have connection issues with other devices, the Awow gives you the best chance of a stable connection. There’s also a gigabit Ethernet port, which supports wired connections.
If you want to set up your mini PC in a semi-permanent configuration, the Awow is a solid choice. In addition, it supports Bluetooth 4.2, which allows for a long-range connection with your other devices.
Intel Compute Stick CS125
The Intel Compute Stick CS125 is a mid-sized mini PC. It’s 4.4 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and half an inch thick. At 13.4 ounces, it’s a bit heavy for the size.
But it justifies this weight with powerful audio hardware. It’s also a great choice for international travelers. The USB Type-C power adapter is designed for North American outlets. But it comes with adapters for international 220-volt outlets. If you want to take your mini PC anywhere in the world, the CS125 is an excellent choice.
The overall design is fairly Spartan. The CS125 is vented near the base, with understated pinholes that still allow for plenty of airflows. Along the right side, there’s a soft-touch power button, as well as USB ports and the USB Type-C power port. An LED light on the top of the unit shows you when it’s powered on. Other than the HDMI plug, there aren’t any other complications.
Connectivity & Extras
The CS125 uses the 802.11ac WiFi protocol, which ensures a clean, stable connection with any modern device. It also supports Bluetooth 4.2, which allows for easy pairing with your smartphone, keyboard, or mouse.
In addition, it ships with an HDMI dongle, which makes it easy to plug into hard-to-reach ports. With a USB 2.0 and 3.0 port, you can also plug in your thumb drive or other memory sources.
At the end of the day, each of these mini PCs has a lot to offer. To begin with, the W5 Pro Mini is very powerful. It’s your best choice for video streaming since the powerful fan ensures cool operation. It also offers plenty of connectivity options. Whether you’re watching your own videos or using a streaming service, you’ll be well set up.
The Awow Mini PC Stick is also an excellent choice. The fanless design isn’t ideal, but it’s completely silent. As a result, we wouldn’t recommend it for extended use. It might overheat if you’re bingeing your favorite streaming show all weekend. But for presentations, it’s the cream of the crop. There won’t be any fan noise to distract your audience.
Finally, the Intel Compute Stick CS125 is the best choice for streaming music. While it can handle video, it’s a bit under-powered. But the multi-channel audio support allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes in full surround-sound. All in all, it’s not a bad deal.