Cheap (small) workstation

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I've been running things on a $50 thinkpad, which has been fine. Now I have a desk and want a stationary/desktop, but keeping with my minimalist need-to-have setup, then I'd like something cheap and preferably small. I wouldn't mind running Linux on it as well, like I do with the laptop.

I've seen these mini-pc's and they look intriguing , any experience here?
 
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Why not save on the cost of purchasing a mini-pc and buy a thinkpad dock and an external monitor + mouse & keyboard?

That way you can keep the element of having a laptop to be able to carry around with you, but you can also dock it and use it as if it were a desktop PC.

Or are you having problems with the laptop currently?
 

eliquid

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Im all for light, small, and minimal. But it has to be powerful enough to run todays apps.

Not sure if cheap or bargain will fall into that often though.

I went with a 14 inch ( thought 15 was too big, and 13 too small ) Asus PRO P5440:
https://www.asus.com/us/Commercial-Laptops/ASUSPRO-P5440UA/

Def was worth the $1200 I paid for it on Amazon.

Extremely light, small enough for me ( Im use to 17 inch Macbooks and large Desktops ), and powerful enough for what I do myself.

.
 
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If I can run, what I need, on this 10 year old Thinkpad, then I figure something like a 2.4ghz dualcore, 8gb ram, SSD disk, would be enough. My only problem with my current setup is video, I can't stream or run more 720px without lag. Ideally I'd like video editing capability, but I'll do without if cost would be much higher. I've moved away from desktop apps to Google Apps.

I probably will stick to Linux, but should even be enough to run Windows.

My budget would be something like $300.
 

turbin3

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If it was me, I'd just buy an older Dell Optiplex or Precision series mini-tower. Depending on the year and model, you'll find some affordable ones anywhere from $50-300+ that will get up up to a roughly 3.7ghz CPU, motherboard capable of up to 36gb (some of the Precision series can go well over that I believe).

They have small form factor and ultra small form too, but I'd go with the MT size to have comfortable room for upgrades. Then at least you can stuff it full of good video cards. ;-)

Bernard, check around for something like a Dell Optiplex 9010. You can find plenty of those down to the low $100 range. A lot of those models around the 2010-2013 timeframe can be found fairly cheap.

Some other good options in the sub $300 range are the Lenovo ThinkStation S20 and S30. Those are highly upgradeable as well.