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Hardware & Devices

Mini PCs are on the rise

Small form factor (SFF) computers have left data centers and are taking the home market by storm. Growth rates have been in double digits for two years already.

18 Jan. 2018 Roland Freist

According to figures from the Context market research institute , the past two years have seen a marked decrease in retail sales of desktop PCs. Since companies retired their Windows XP systems in 2014, there has been no need for new computer purchases. Private users, on the other hand, are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to access emails and information from the Internet.

Significant gains are being made in just one area: mini PCs. These are also known as SFF (small form factor) computers and typically come in formats like 17 x 17 cm or 10.16 x 10.16 cm. The pioneer was Intel with the NUC (next unit of computing) PC , but meanwhile manufacturers such as HP and Lenovo have also recognized the gap in the market.

Growth rates had already reached double digits in 2016, and the trend continued in 2017 with Context identifying an 18% rise in mini PC sales among western European vendors during the third quarter of 2017. In Germany, this figure was 27.1%. By contrast, demand for desktop PCs remained low.