Why Choose the Mini PC? Part 1

From college campuses to public libraries to triage units, see why a wide variety of industries are turning to the Mini PCs for powerful computing that goes anywhere.

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I love my job. As the product segment lead for the new Mini PC form factor, I often find myself looking around my everyday life for ways that real businesses are putting them to use. Luckily, I never have to look too far! It’s exciting to see new technology, innovation, and in my case, new PC form factors, out in the real world opening up endless possibilities to work, play, create, study, entertain and inspire.

Two areas where use of Intel technology-based Mini PCs is on the rise is in the education and healthcare industries. From digital classrooms to high-tech hospitals, Mini PCs offer energy efficiency and compact design while including the high performance computing power of more traditional desktop units.

In this, the first of a two-part series on the Mini PC, I’d like to share some of the many applications where I see innovation in desktop computing improving lives.

Mini PCs Power Digital Signage on University and College Campuses

A growing number of libraries, colleges and universities in the United States use Mini PC-powered digital signage to dynamically display everything from campus announcements to class listings. Its compact size and low energy profile make it an A+ choice for this type of application. (Extra-credit bonus points: It packs just as much performance as traditional desktop tower units.)

Intel is accelerating trends like these by investing in technology education through the Intel Education Galaxy, Russia, a network of around 65,000 schools and colleges. The program’s goal is to refresh old classroom technology with the help of Mini PCs, creating digital classrooms and labs in schools and colleges.

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Beyond the Stacks: Why Libraries Choose to Refresh with Mini PCs

Back in 2012, during one of my regular visits to my local library, I was pleased to see that the librarians had secured a Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny to the back of each monitor made available for patron use. First launched in 2012, the Lenovo Tiny is clearly one of the most popular Mini PCs on the market in terms of sales volume. Each time I visited the library over the next two years, the library increased its acquisition of Mini PCs, saving space without sacrificing power, and allowing for more terminals in the process.

Early this year, on yet another library visit, I saw a second Mini PC in use, the Dell OptiPlex Micro, which launched last fall. These Mini PCs look better than ever while offering patrons access to the some of the newest technology available.

Hospitals Opt for Mini PCs for Triage Carts and Displays

From large neonatal units to local physicians, the healthcare industry is also turning to the Mini PC. Heartbeat and other monitors can relay signals across screens powered by Mini PCs in triage rooms. The Mini PC also fits compactly onto triage carts whirling down hospital corridors. With growing frequency, nurses and doctors prefer Mini PCs for their small footprint and high-performing computing power. Mini PCs go where big tower desktops cannot, something especially important when minutes matter.

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Family Physicians Choose Mini PCs for Patient Record Management

Upon a recent visit to my family doctor, I was pleased to find reports being securely created and managed using a system made up entirely of networked Mini PCs. For my doctor, and the nurses and medical assistants who work in that clinic, the decision was easy: Mini PCs take up less space in tight quarters, use less energy than large tower systems, and allow healthcare clinicians to operate with enhanced speed and efficiency.

What I saw in my own family doctor’s office accurately reflects recent discoveries through our own market research at Intel. In the healthcare sector, we interviewed nurses, IT buyers from hospitals, and doctors. The results showed a common trend: When it comes to tight quarters like operating rooms, ambulances, and the offices of healthcare professionals, Mini PCs are clearly gaining momentum and bringing real benefits to the industry.

Where have you seen the Mini PC in use? Join the conversation using #IntelDesktop or view our other posts in the Desktop World Series and rediscover the desktop.