Asus takes on Mac Mini with Skylake-powered VivoPC

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PCHF Tech News
Jan 10, 2015

Asus unveiled an updated Chromebox and a refresh of its mini PC lineup to take on Apple's Mac Mini ($499, £399, AU$650). The Asus VivoPC, VivoMini and new Chromebox come with Intel processors and a compact form factor for small desk spaces.

In addition to the small PCs, Asus also announced a factory calibrated 4K UHD display.

Although Asus is showing these products at Computex, the company has not made any announcements about pricing or availability at this time.

Asus VivoPC VC65

With the announcement of the VivoPC VC65, we now have confirmation that Asus is using Intel's latest Skylake processor on its flagship mini PC. Skylake is the successor to today's Broadwell chipsets.

Despite its compact size, the VC65 is a versatile PC that can serve as a desktop PC, a mini server or NAS.

As a small desktop PC that competes in the same space as Apple's Mac Mini, Asus made some changes to last year's model to make the VC65 look better on your desk. The VC65 can be connected to a VESA mount to free up desk space, and the system no longer needs an external power adapter minimize desk clutter.

The VC65 can accommodate two storage drives that can be connected with RAID support, allowing the system to be used as a mini server or NAS.


VivoMini UN65H and UN45

The UN65 comes with support for a hard drive and an M.2 solid state drive to maximize storage. The system comes equipped with an Intel Core processor paired with Intel's Iris Pro integrated graphics. The smaller UN45 is designed for quiet workspaces thanks to its fanless design. It also supports fast data access with support for an M.2 solid state drive.


Chromebox CN62

The Chromebox CN62 is a refresh of the Asus Chromebox Mini, and this year's model comes with Intel's fifth-generation Broadwell processor. The new Chromebox runs more quietly, supports 4K UHD video playback and is more energy efficient, utilizing just 6W of power when idle.


ProArt PA329Q 4K monitor

Although a studio-quality 4K display may be overkill with mini PCs, if you have a workstation and require color accuracy inside a production setting, the 32-inch Asus ProArt PA329Q may be a good purchase. Asus claims the screen has a 178-degree viewing angle and supports 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut.

"It also features BT2020/DCI-P3 color space support for video production and editing," Asus said in a statement. "PA329Q offers 10-bit display color for over 1.07 billion onscreen colors and supports a 16-bit internal lookup table (LUT), which gives smoother gradations and more transitions between hues."

Each panel is pre-calibrated at the factory, and the calibration settings are saved to an IC chip inside the monitor so users can easily recalibrate the display on their own to maintain color consistency.

The PA329Q has DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, two HDMI 1.4 and four USB 3.0 input ports.

Other announcements at Computex

Asus also announced a hybrid Transformer Book T100HA, Asus K20 small form factor desktop tower with support for discrete graphics and a ZenBook UX305 and UX303 models. An all-in-one Zen desktop PC was also seen at the show, competing with Apple's iMac in the space.

The company also made gaming announcements under its ROG line, including a ROG G501 thin gaming laptop, ROG GL552 gaming notebook, ROG G20CB gaming desktop, 34-inch curved G-Sync monitor with a 21:9 screen aspect ratio, 27-inch WQHD display with G-Sync support, and ROG G751JT/JY gaming notebook with G-Sync support.



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