You don’t need a supercomputer for basic computing tasks unless you’re doing heavy gaming or using high computing-intensive applications such as 3D modeling or video rendering. A cheap Mini PC under $150 is powerful enough to run daily applications and multimedia playback without destroying your wallet.
Portability is another great advantage of a Mini PC, you can move your Mini PC, and even some Mini PC sticks are so small that they can fit in your pocket. Moreover, a Mini PC requires very little desk space. You can also mount it behind your monitor or TV.
Using a Mini PC as a backup computer is also popular among people who already have a monitor/TV, Keyboard/Mouse, and other peripherals. If you’re looking for a Mini PC as a backup computer, you’ll seek the cheapest one. In that case, this best Mini PC under the $150 guide is here to rescue you.
You won’t get Apple Mac Mini performance from these cheap Mini PCs, but they can handle any light application smoothly. These cheap Mini PCs are also an excellent choice as a media/plex server PC.
The Beelink Mini-S is one of the most powerful Mini PCs on our list, and packs the newest 11th Gen Intel Celeron N5095, 8GB DDR4 RAM with 128GB M2 SSD storage. Out of the box this machine ships with Windows 11 Pro, so you can be updated with the latest Operating system.
This one is slightly more expensive than other Sub-$150 Mini PCs on this list but contains a massive 8GB DDR4 memory and a much faster processor that ensures a smooth computing experience. You can enjoy lag-free web browsing, 4K video playback, and even can run heavy applications like Photoshop, and Illustrator on this little machine.
Beelink claims that this machine can open Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator within 6.5 seconds, this figure may give you an idea of how fast this machine is. The faster 8GB RAM with Celeron N5095 is a perfect combination to smoothly handle your daily applications where other low-powered Mini PCs struggle heavily.
A low-powered 4C/4T Intel Celeron N5095 fuels this Mini PC at a 15W TDP limit, but this time clock speed is bumped to 2.0GHz base and 2.90GHz turbo speed. The L2 cache memory remains 4MB as the previous gen Celeron processor. With the help of a higher clock speed processor with 8GB RAM, this machine performs much better than its competitors.
The base model comes with 128GB M2 SSD storage which is upgradable to a maximum of 2TB( M.2 SATA3 2280 SSD) storage. In addition to that, it also has 2.5” drive support that also can expand the storage to another 2TB.
For internet connectivity, this machine has standard 1000MBPS ethernet ports along with WiFi 5.0G + Bluetooth 4.0 support. There are a total of 4 USB 3.0 Ports and a 3.5mm Headphone jack available with a power adopter(included) port on this machine. To mount on the monitor’s backside, this Mini Box has a VESA mount kit.
Finally, the Beelink Mini-S is a wonderful machine for budget seekers who need a small but powerful machine to do everyday computing without any lag or delay.
TRIGKEY Green G3: Power Efficient Mini-PC
What do you expect from a $150 Mini PC? Well, you probably don’t expect to run AAA games or heavy rendering/modeling applications that require supercomputing power. If you just need a decent PC for surfing the internet, using office applications, or sometimes watching movies then this Trigkey G3(8GB RAM+128GB SSD) is the perfect machine for you.
Trigkey G3 is the direct competitor to Beelink Mini-S and performs much similarly but Trigkey uses a more power-efficient mobile processor Intel Celeron N5100 instead of the Celeron N5095 found on BeeLink’s one. Both of these processors use the same 10nm fabrication and came from the Jasper Lake Family.
The Intel Celeron N5100 operates at a 1.1GHz base and 2.8GHz boost frequency, slightly lower than Beelink Mini-S. Trigkey claims that they overclocked this mobile processor to perform 1% higher than N5095. But we notice that the task manager is showing the default 1.1 GHz clock speed in an idle state as mentioned in Intel’s official specifications.
As this is a 6W TDP machine, the integrated Intel UHD Graphics base clock is also set to a lower 350MHz base clock which is 100MHz lower compared to its sibling desktop processor. But we got a little 50MHz bump on the boost frequency at 800MHz turbo clock speed, delivering an average equal performance in both machines.
Along with the base storage model, Trigkey also has options for 8+256 and 16+500GB units at a higher price. The 16GB RAM configuration is the maximum limit of the Celeron N5100 model. Moreover, you can expand storage with the 2.5” drive to another 2TB storage.
The default machine ships with Windows 11 Pro version but you can also go backward with Windows 10 Pro by contracting them. Though, only a few people will choose the older Windows 10 when they can get the latest Windows 11 for free.
Other features are almost identical to Beelink Mini-S, including 1000MB LAN, 4X USB 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Finally, Green G3 could be your favorite daily computer while consuming fewer electricity bills.
Coofun N40: Slim and Compact Mini Pc
The COOFUN N40 is a small Mini PC with just a weight of 0.6kg with much better hardware configurations. While other Mini PCs at this budget are stuck at 4K 30FPS, this little machine can handle 4K 60FPS smoothly due to the Intel UHD 600 integrated into the Celeron N4020 processor.
The processor Intel Celeron N4020 is relatively new and was launched back in 2019 and aimed at low-powered Minis and Laptops. The Celeron N4020 is a product of the Intel Gemini Lake family with a dual-core design clocked at 1.10-2.80 GHz without hyper-threading, packs a total 4MB cache with a rated TDP of just 6W, is a super power-efficient computer, and can run cool with passive cooling.
The N4020 easily outperforms Intel J3455 and J3550 processors with a heavy margin in core processing power with a superior graphics engine. At this price range, most Mini PCs offer DDR3 memory configuration. But, this one comes with faster DDR4 memory, improving performance in some memory-dependent applications.
For the storage, the base configuration comes with 4GB/64GB eMMC storage which is upgradeable with M.2 2242 SSD to a max capacity of 2TB. You will get all the necessary ports including Wifi, Bluetooth, VGA, HDMI, Audio Port, USB 3.0, and RJ45 Ethernet connections.
You’ll get a pre-installed Windows 10 Home edition and upgrade to Windows 11. Alternatively, install your favorite Linux Distro. Yes, this little machine supports Linux very well. We recommend Debian or Ubuntu if you decide to go with Linux.
With the supplied mounting bracket, it is easy to mount this Mini Pc on the backside of your display. This easy mounting feature turns into an excellent signage player if your signage display doesn’t have an embedded player.
MeLE PCG02 Mini PC Stick: Best Pocket PC
Mele PCG02 Mini PC stick is a bit different from the other Mini PC on this list. You might already assume the difference from the naming convention. Yes, this is an entire computer you can easily fit in your pocket.
Of course, this is not the only Mini PC stick available on the market, but this one comes with a much better Intel Celeron N4000 CPU instead of Atom X5-Z8350 or Celeron J4125-based solutions.
As we already discuss the Celeron N4000’s performance and features in the previous model, it’s better to skip the Celeron N4000 brief. This cheapest PC stick comes with a 4GB+128GB configuration base model and ships with Windows 11 Pro by default. Though Windows 11 might be a heavy burden for this dual-core machine, we recommend trying other supported OS from Win 10, Ubuntu, or any other Lightweight Linux distro.
For the very compact form factor, this machine doesn’t provide a lot of ports and connectivity. You’ll get only 2X USB 3.0 ports to connect Keyboard and Mouse, an HDMI port for Display, an RJ45 for ethernet connection, and a 3.5mm Audio I/O port. It has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support.
Overall the Mele PCG02 is an excellent ultra-portable Pocket PC with decent performance. Just hook a keyboard/mouse and connect to a TV or Monitor via HDMI port and you are ready to go. There isn’t much space for upgradeability as other Mini PCs, so you can’t upgrade storage or memory and stick with the base package.
KAMRUI AK1: Budget Potato PC
KAMRUI has a nice collection of Mini Pc, and we chose the cheapest one from them obviously for our tight budget guidelines. This little machine packs a quad-core Intel Celeron J3455, 64GB eMMC storage, and 4GB DDR3 RAM in a very compact size.
While other Mini PCs have soldered eMMC storage, you can upgrade the primary eMMC storage to a max capacity of 128GB. It also has 28GB of Micro SD storage support. But probably no one will upgrade storage for only 128GB capacity these days.
So, what if you need a large storage capacity? The KAMRUI AK1 also supports a secondary 2.5-inch SSD (2TB maximum capacity) drive. Installing the secondary SSD is also very simple, just remove the screw from the bottom and insert the SSD into the compartment. This easy storage upgradeability feature put KAMRUI in our best budget Mini PC
Moving to the Intel Celeron J3455 that fuels the KAMRUI AK1- a 14nm low TDP(10W) processor from the Intel Apollo Lake family, rocks a 1.5GHz base and 2.3GHz boost frequency. The integrated Intel HD 500 can drive 4K 30FPS. Though, 60FPS would be great as most modern 4K displays have a 60Hz refresh rate.
As far as performance is concerned, the Celeron J3455 with 4GB Memory tackles regular workloads smoothly. But too many tabs in Google Chrome slow down the machine remarkably. That applies to all memory-hungry applications similar to Google Chrome.
Out of the box, this Mini PC ships with a licensed Windows 10 Pro X64 but also supports Ubuntu Linux and Windows 11. If you want to use Windows 11 or Ubuntu, their support team will provide the modified installer file. They suggest not starting installation without the modification files for Windows 11 and Ubuntu.
Even though this machine comes with a small form factor of 5”x 2.05” x 5.4” inches, it does provide all necessary ports – 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x RJ45 (1000Mbps LAN), 1x TF Card, 1x DC-in, 1x Headphone Microphone Port with Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity. With the included mounting bracket, you can mount this PC on your TV or monitor backside.
No, the AK1 isn’t a gaming powerhouse, and shouldn’t expect gaming performance from this machine. But, no problem with browser-based or light gaming. This machine is perfect for Home Theater PC, students, and office productivity.
BMAX B1 Fanless Mini Computer
BMAX is a well-known brand in the Mini PC market, the one we are talking about is slightly cheaper than the KAMRUI K1, traded for a less performing Intel Celeron N3060 CPU from the Intel Apollo Lake Family with half of the cores/threats and slightly lower clock speed (1.1 GHz base and 2.4GHz turbo frequency).
Another BMAX Mini PC based on Intel Celeron N3055 paired with 6GB Memory is also available at the BMAX store for a slightly higher price and provides higher computational power in some matrices.
If you’re wondering why the raw processing power is a big concern in these low-power Mini PCs and does the extra 2GB RAM make a big difference? Honestly, these low-power Mini PCs can’t process high computational applications as the CPU spikes to 100% use in opening simple Windows file explorers. This extra 2GB RAM makes a little performance improvement in memory-hungry applications like Chrome.
You might not addicted to Windows 10 which ships with this machine by default, we recommend using any lightweight Linux distro or trying the recently released Google Chrome OS Flex. This might be a bit difficult for a non-tech person at the beginning, but if you can manage to install and properly configure these lightweight OS, the experience should be much better than Windows 10.
This machine doesn’t have a 2.5” inch SATA SSD bracket as K1, instead provides M.2 SATA 2280 SSD storage expandability up to 1TB. However, you can expand storage via an external USB Drive also with the Memory Card.
The overall performance is nice for regular tasks but it has less computing power due to the low clock speed of dual-core processors. This one packs a VGA port along with a standard HDMI port that can drive 4K at 30 FPS. Other connectivity options are an RJ45 Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
We have reviewed some excellent budget-friendly Mini PCs in this article. Some of these Mini PCs are so cheap that you can get them for under $100 after a heavy discount. Though the $150 budget guideline is very tight as we can’t select any high-performance Mini PC for obvious reasons.
Under the $150 we basically have 3-4 CPU choices and all are from Intel. Yes, some old AMD 9000 Series APU-based mini PCs are still available in the $150 budget range, but they are mostly outdated and discontinued against Intel’s offering.
Of course, some excellent AMD-based Mini PCs provide superior performance than Intel. Unfortunately, we can’t find any ZEN architecture-based Mini PC under $150. So Intel is the only option left.
From the Intel-based offering, the Beelink Mini and Trigkey G3 use the most recent processor from Intel 10nm Jasper Lake Family, both units placed at the top of the list due to excellent performance. The lower-end models are now close to $100 and use Celeron N4000, J3455, and J3060 processors with 4GB and 64-128GB storage. We also pick a Mini PC stick equipped with Celeron N4000 for traveler minded.