The mini-pc is a small full-fledged PC with the emphasis on dimensions during the design. For desktop PC systems, consideration may be given to designing a large PC cabinet to create sufficient space for 3.5 "disk slots and DVD drives." For mini PCs, a large number of slots are not desirable and a DVD drive can not be recorded internally.
For reasons of space, the mini PC usually has one 2.5 "hard disk (HDD) or one solid state drive (SSD).
Since in the design of the mini-PC the focus is on the small dimensions, the most powerful CPU is not included internally. Power consumption of the CPU must be low because heat dissipation via dissipation will have to take place over a small area. An additional desirable feature is that the modern mini PC is fanless. Initially, the mini PC was mainly used for consumer applications such as media player and interface between the internet and the TV.
Operating systems were initially similar to those of the desktop PCs, but there is a development to Android and Windows 7 or 8.1 embedded in case of mini PCs for consumer applications. For industrial applications, mini-PC systems are now being developed by a large number of manufacturers.
The focus in the development of an industrial mini-pc is slightly less on dimensions and more on:
Supply voltage: in the industry usually an area of 10 to 30 Volt DC, so they can be fed from both 12VDC or 24VDC power source.
Presence of one or more COM ports, preferably both RS232 and RS485. In industry, RS232 and RS485 are still widely used for communication to external devices such as card readers, radio modems and PLC systems.
Presence of multiple USB ports
Mounting option on the mounting plate of a switch box or mounting option on DIN rail
In the industry, the mini-PC is used in applications such as:
control of parts of machines and production
presentation / information