Small mini computers running Windows 10 have become very popular as home media centers.
In the past to use a Windows based media center a desktop or laptop needed to be hooked up and setup next to a TV.
While this can still be done, small mini PCs are very small and compact getting rid of big bulky machines.
They also cost less since there is no need for a screen, built-in keyboard, or other peripherals.
This puts them the same category as a low-to-mid range laptop but with less cost since less components are needed.
This also makes them perfect to hook up to a 4K HD TV and run Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Kodi or home media files.
They can also play games but most are not power house gaming machines and meant to be low-cost media centers.
There is no doubt many good units available with some of our favorite picks below.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best Windows 10 Silent Mini PC Home Media Centers
- Beelink BT3 PRO Mini PC
- CooFun Fanless Mini PC
- Azulle Byte3 Mini PC
- ASUS UN65U-M021M
- W5 Mini PC
- ACEPC T11
Mini PC, Beelink BT3 PRO Windows 10 Home,Intel Atom x5 – Z8350 Mini Computer with HDMI &VGA Port Dual Display,2.4G/5.8G Dual WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet,4K HD, 4GB Ram 64GB eMMC,BT4.0, Auto Power On
Beelink makes many good units with the BT3 PRO being one of them.
The BT3 PRO comes in different version including 4GB and 8GB of RAM.
It also has the option for a 64GB or 128GB SSD Drive for internal storage which can be expanded with a larger external drive or SD-Card.
It uses the Intel Atom X5-Z8350 which is a follow up to the popular Apollo Lake CPUs.
The Beelink BT3 PRO is a very nice box that will have no problems playing 4K videos silently.
Mini PC, Intel Celeron J3455 Processor(up to 2.3GHz) Windows 10(64-bit) Mini Desktop Computer with HDMI/VGA Port,4GB DDR3/64GB eMMC,Gigabit Ethernet,Dual Band Wi-Fi,Bluetooth 4.2,4K HD
The CooFun is a great unit built with a nice case and good budget mini PC.
It has some good specs for such a small budget box with an Intel Core Processor x5-Z8350, Intel HD Graphics, and 4GB of RAM.
It comes loaded with Windows 10 installed ready to run.
The resolution output is 4096 X 2160 @60Hz giving it no problem running the new 4K Ultra HD videos.
There is 64GB of built-in storage which can be expanded using a SD-Card, flash drive, or external hard drive if needed.
The CooFun is a good unit for those looking for a low-cost budget unit.
Azulle Byte3 Fanless Mini Desktop PC 2GB/64GB – Business & Home, Windows 10 Pro, Ethernet, & WiFi Portable Computer
The Azulle Byte3 is a good basic unit that will play most media files and older games.
It runs a Apollo Lake J3455 CPU, Intel HD Graphics 500, and has 4GB of RAM.
The internal storage is 64GB Flash Memory Solid State which is expandable with SD-card, external hard drive, or a small 3.5 inch hard drive can be installed internally.
The down side is it does not play the new 4K Ultra HD videos very well and starts to drop frames.
It does play 1080p videos nicely as well as play older games.
For the price it is worth a look for those on a budget.
ASUS UN65U-M021M VivoMini Barebones PC
The ASUS UN65U-M021M is a very nice unit with some very good hardware.
It runs a 7th-generation Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7500U processor (3.50 GHz, 4M Cache)
It has no problems running 4K UHD videos with both a Display Port and HDMI video outputs
The WiFi is also fast with 802.11AC wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.
The one downside is it does not come pre-loaded with Windows 10 and will need a copy to be installed.
The ASUS UN65U-M021M is a very good unit that makes for a nice home media center.
W5 Pro Mini PC Stick Intel Atom Z8350 Windows 10 Mini Computer 4GB DDR3 64GB eMMC Support 4K HD,Dual Band WiFi AC,BT 4.2
Mini PC Sticks are also a good option and are small units that plug into a HDMI port much like a Fire TV.
There are many units that come with the Atom Z8350 CPU and 2GB of RAM.
They work well enough at basic task such as streaming videos or basic game play.
Most small PC sticks will not be powerhouse units but work well enough at many task.
For example, while a unit may struggle with to play the new 4K HD videos many will stream HD 720p and 1080p video standards well.
ACEPC makes many good small mini PC units including the T11.
It comes with a Atom x5-Z8350, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage.
The bottom of the unit has a bay to insert a 2.5 inch laptop hard drive if more internal storage is needed.
Mounting brackets are included which makes it easy to hook to the back of a TV or monitor and be sight unseen.
The T11 is the newest version of ACEPC boxes.
Small mini computers make very good media boxes from watching movies to playing games.
Some come with Windows 10 installed while other boxes dont so be sure to read the specifications.
While most will want the best hardware, low-end units also work well enough as long as the limitations are known.
For example, some boxes will not be able to play the new 4K Ultra HD video resolution but will play HD 1080p nicely.
What type of games that can be played will also depend on the hardware with most able to easily play older games but may lag with new releases.
If you are looking for a completely silent unit there are many fanless models but even the ones with a fan are very quiet.
A fan can help dissipate heat so even if a fan-less make no noise when tasking the CPU such as game play a fan based box may be better.
There are many good units available with different hardware and price ranges.
Simply be sure to read the specifications and reviews on a box to be sure it meets your expectations.