11.10.2018

2018 fanless mini PC roundup



ASUS PN40 is an affordable and stylish option. This barebone features a Celeron N4000 and an internal heat sink. No sign of passive cooling (which is generally not a good sign) nor any particular attention given to convection, but the 6W Gemini Lake chip doesn't seem to suffer much. $159



MSI's Gemini Lake CUBI N looks more thought-out. It features the more powerful Pentium N5000 processor and a mesh panel for convection. HDMI 2.0 is a nice touch, too. $299



Free to breathe at last. The case of the MintBox mini 2 is the heat sink. The diminutive box does feature an Apollo Lake Celeron J3455 from 2016 but is a complete PC. It comes with 4GB RAM, a 64GB SSD and Linut Mint 19. The political choice. $299



One step further. When power and extreme reliability are required, Logic Supply's ML100 Series delivers. The current version features Kaby Lake i3-7100U, i5-7300U or i7-8650U processors and is fully configurable. $689



After so-so reviews, the i3, i5 and i7 versions of the MSI CUBI Silent S were pretty much canceled, but the Celeron 3865U iteration looks just fine. Still, the decently-sized heat sink would perform better if it wasn't entirely covered. $180



We have a love-hate relationship with ZOTAC, but we're very grateful for their work bringing passive cooling to the masses. Their Celeron N3450 ZBOX CI327 is a perfectly serviceable option with amazing connectivity. $162



The Core-based ZBOX CI527 features a 15W Kaby Lake i3-7100U and the same gorgeous I/O. For some reason ZOTAC's barebone comes with a 5-year warranty around the world, except in the US. $330



Slightly larger than its counterparts, the mini-ITX-sized DL10J is ready for 24/7 operation. Shuttle originated the small form factor PC and to this day remains committed to delivering an exceptional level of quality. $210



Shuttle's DS77U offers more oomph with a Kaby Lake Celeron 3865U and a second (Intel) Ethernet port. A Core-based processor means support for up to 32GB RAM too. We're loving the vertical position for a nice chimney effect. $260



Featuring the aging Celeron N3000, Gigabyte's Braswell BRIX is still a viable option as an entry-level HTPC. $129

Overall a plethora of choices from trusted brands. Just avoid knockoffs and unknown OEM products, and you should be fine.