Can You Connect a Mini PC to a Laptop? (Detailed Answer)

Many people desire a mini PC, a very simplistic device that has all the things you need in a computer. This device can often be a solution for those wishing to have more simple equipment for work as the size is smaller compared to the conventional PCs.

However, in order to see the display, you need to connect it to a monitor. Just like you use a PC, any monitor will do in this case, and the way you connect it is basically the same as well. However, since these mini PCs are often used for mobile, of course, the general monitors are out of the question.

Can You Connect a Mini PC to a Laptop

We need something portable that can be used as a display. A laptop. You can easily connect a desktop to a laptop and used it as a monitor. But how about a mini PC? Can you connect a mini PC to a laptop?

Can you connect a mini PC to a laptop?

Turns out, you can! The way you connect them might be a bit more complex compared to a desktop, but it’s still doable nonetheless. But before trying to connect the mini PC to a laptop, it’s better if you know what you can expect from a mini PC.

As the name implies, this is a smaller, more-portable PC that you can take anywhere. Since the size is small, you can easily put it in your bag, and go travel somewhere. Mini PC also has the same components a desktop has, like a CPU, dedicated memory, and operate in the same way as well.

Aside from the size, another advantage you may get from it is its upgradability. Yes, you can freely upgrade your mini PC to enhance its performance. As the size is smaller, you may need to find parts that are suitable for a mini PC, which isn’t that hard to find.

Now, let’s down to business.

To connect a mini PC to a laptop for display, there are some ways of connectivity you can do.

Connectivity options for Mini PC to Laptop

1. Using VNC Server

The first one is using the VNC Server. By using this server, you may be able to connect your mini PC to a laptop through a Wi-Fi connection. It basically serves as a connector between the two devices, and lets you use one of them.

However, this method isn’t as effective as it could be pricey and not practical in so many ways. But, it’s still doable if you don’t have any connection hardware around.

2. Direct Ethernet

Using an Ethernet cable has been a classic way to connect devices. You can connect a desktop to a modem and laptop with it. The same thing also goes for mini PC, although the steps can be quite complex. So, make sure to follow these steps very carefully:

  1. The first you want to do is to prepare the Ethernet cable. Whether it’s crossed or straight, doesn’t matter. What matter is that the cable is still in good condition. Since most mini PCs and laptops have the Ethernet or RJ45 port, you can easily plug the cable to both ends. If your devices don’t have this port, you can use an Ethernet dongle instead, which is pretty cheap. You can get one for around $10.
  2. Now, we’re going to do a DHCP service installation. You need to install it on the device you want to use. So, download the DHCP Service for Windows, which can be obtained for free, and continue to the next step.
  3. Unpack the files anywhere you like, and run the dhcpwiz.exe file
  4. Navigate to Network Interface Cards screen. And then, choose Ethernet (you may see that the option is disabled here)
  5. In the DHCP configuration screen, set the settings as default. Then click Next.
  6. Now, there should be a prompt to download the configuration .ini file. So save it anywhere you like.
  7. In the next screen, click Install in the Service tab, and choose the option to run DHCP server immediately.
  8. The final step is to check the laptop. Now connect it to the remote computer, which is your mini PC, by setting for the IP address.
  9. And that’s it! Now you can finally connect your mini PC to a laptop.

Also Read:

Pros and Cons of connecting a mini PC to a laptop

Well, there are a few pros and cons of doing this.


  • You can have a better display is your laptop screen is good. Having it on a standard monitor VS premium display on a laptop will surely give you a totally different experience.
  • You can now become more mobile by having both a laptop and a mini PC.
  • If you already have a laptop with you, you don’t even need to bother buying a new monitor for your mini PC, making the process cost-effective.


  • The process can be quite frustrating, especially for general consumers who don’t familiar with how ethernet connection works.
  • As you will use a laptop, this will defeat the purpose of a mini PC. Instead of using both, it’s much more convenient to use a laptop alone as it already has everything.
  • If you desire more performance, using a mini PC on a laptop won’t be a solution. It’ll be better to use a desktop which you can upgrade further.


And that’s how you connect a mini PC to a laptop. The steps can be quite confusing, but hopefully, you’ll get through it. As you can see, connecting both devices may offer some pros and cons.

It can be a solution if you don’t want to buy an extra monitor, but it might be impractical as well if implemented in the long run. So, we advise you to consider which one of them you’d want to use the most. If you really want to use the mini PC, then we highly recommend buying a small monitor instead. Or, simply use a laptop for better portability.

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