Analyze the demand
As for the needs, please allow me to analyze the general market demand and list them one by one. But one thing said upfront, if you are a heavy gamer, please skip this section to read other blogs about ITX or laptop. Because the gaming performance of Mini PCs at a relatively high price is still a bit away from the mid-range desktop's and even laptop's.
It is not a big deal. We all know that The more expensive, the more powerful the performance. But there are two branches in performance, supporting large games or just requiring powerful computing power. Apple as a representative, because of the difference in chip architecture, Apple chip computing power is very strong (Like M1 Max/ M1 PRO) but when running games, it's not even as good as some mid-range configuration of the game performance of the notebook.
Considering the usage scenario, Mini pc and notebook meet the market demand for portability. But there are also differences between these two in terms of modification and upgrade/mobile office/cost performance.
Mini PC is more cost-effective. If you do not consider the price, in terms of portability we could directly choose the most expensive laptop & pick a top flagship on each of the Apple and Microsoft ecosystems. (This has appeared in my dreams)
With Apple's UI design and unique system security, and Microsoft's more robust compatibility, these ecosystem differences can differentiate a large portion of users. (Apple fans always say Apple YES!)
Flexibility and Upgrades
This is the biggest advantage of the desktop, followed by the non-Apple mini PC. Laptops do not perform very well in this area. 2020 M1 Mac Mini don't support memory upgrading post-purchase.
The design & the look & Operation systems matter! People don’t just buy the hardware. We consider the design sense of the product for aesthetic and decorative purposes. Not everyone likes large volume desktops, and there are always people in the crowd who prefer compactness as if it were part of human nature. Of course, the ideal product for them should look like the iPhone 13 mini, small but also powerful.
It is easier to compare them one by one, but human needs are always very diverse. Next, we pick two MiniPC representatives, Mac mini and Miniforum, to analyze their audiences and why buy.
There is no doubt that the Mac mini with the M1 chip has a very powerful computing performance, except that it cannot be fully utilized on games. The chassis of the Mac mini hasn’t changed a whole lot since the 2018/early 2020 revision. The body is milled aluminum, with a satin finish, four rounded corners, and no seams in the metal. Only the rear panel is interrupted by ports or buttons, with the full I/O panel out of sight and the power button well hidden on the right rear corner. It is a very cost-effective product in Apple's lineup. It's easy to buy into the Apple system, the price/performance ratio, and the design aesthetic. If you are not a big game enthusiast, few people are not impressed.Yes, It is a performance monster.
Its market position is roughly the same as the Mac mini. To be honest, the Mac mini has a better performance than its newest HX90 overall. For a more detailed comparison: Mac mini VS Minisforum HX90. (Youtuber: Max Tech)
But why Minisforum HX90 still win some customers?
Well. It gives you more freedom of choice when it comes to component selection, and you'll have an easy time upgrading later on. Although some, like Apple's revamped 2020 M1 Mac Mini, don't support memory upgrading post-purchase. But in some markets where prices are lower, miniforum has a more complete product line and does a good job of cost control. Because many people do not need so powerful performance, lower price of some products performance has been enough to meet their needs. Moreover, it is obvious that Apple, which has always gone high-end, will not launch such products for a short time.
Intehill portable monitor with Mini PC
Of course, As you know, a Portable monitor can be the best friend for a mini PC. They're both in small sizes. This is a perfect setup for on-the-go business working. If you have a Mac mini, Minisforum or other mini PC, you can't miss Intehill portable computer monitors.