By Aaron Thornton, Managing Director, Dial a Nerd

While we’re not preaching a life of minimalism, who doesn’t need a little extra office space – and for that matter, extra cash at month end?

That’s why we’ve taken the time to hunt down five mini PCs priced under R5 000…first, to make your life easier, and second, to introduce you to the multiple benefits of mini PCs! Also, did we mention that mini PCs reduce your carbon footprint, while also cutting down on expensive power usage?

Here are a few models that could replace your home PC, while still running the operating system you’re familiar with… Windows

Welcome to our top five picks under R5K!

1. Acer Aspire Mini PC

The sleek Acer Aspire is a superb start for anyone wanting to go ‘mini’. It has the basic RAM, CPU and power consumption you would expect from a mini PC… and comes with a very fair price tag of R4 200.

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2. Revo One Windows PC

Admittedly, the specs on the Revo One are a bit older compared to other PCs on the market, as it comes with Windows 8.1. However, a nice add-on is the smartphone app – which allows you to control the PC from your phone. The Revo One would pack a pretty powerful punch if you were to upgrade the disk storage and the RAM. (And yes, that’s a hint!)

3. Mecer Extreme Jupiter Mini PC

The Acer Aspire and Mecer are very similar in terms of specs, however, the Mecer can be upgraded to 32GB RAM. Notably, the Mecer also has an upgrade option to SSD to make for a faster machine. On the downside, the Mecer has the highest power consumption of our top five.

4. Asus VivoMini UN45 Mini PC

This device is an excellent example of a versatile PC packed into an impressively small and affordable package. The main benefits of its sleek and seductive design are its compact size, low power consumption, silent operation, and low cost. The attractive UN45 comes with a minimum of 32GB of M.2 SSD storage, and a maximum capacity of 128GB. For the worker bees looking for an inexpensive PC for business purposes, the UN45 offers ASUS Business Manager and the Remote Management Tool to help business owners manage and maintain the system remotely.

5. CloudGate X

The CloudGate X is the silent – and stealthy – winner on our list.

With no moving parts, the CloudGate X is a startlingly quiet mini machine. The CPU is powerful enough for the device to be used as a home centre or business computer, making it an extremely valuable and efficient work tool. Like the Mecer, it uses SSD technology to give it speed. Above this, you can run Windows, Linux or Chrome OS on the CloudGate. This device is the most energy efficient of the devices that we looked at: using 15 to 24W of energy.

You can purchase your new mini PC through Dial a Nerd or trusted PC vendors.

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