Ahead of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Asus unveiled a “mini” workstation PC called the ProArt PA90. It sports a 9th-gen Intel Core processor, NVIDIA Quadro graphics, and plenty of other beefy specs… and when you compare it to other computers with that kind of hardware I guess it does seem kind of small. But after seeing it in person, I’m not sure I’d really call it a “mini” PC.
But Asus is showing off four other new computers that definitely qualify with some models measuring as little as 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 1.9″.
Asus says its mini PCs have proven popular with both consumers and corporate customers. They can be used to drive digital signage or point of sales systems or connected to the back of any display to create a low-profile PC setup. In the home they can be used as media centers or compact desktops.
The two smallest models Asus is showing off at CES actually look identical. The Asus PN30 is a little desktop with an AMD E2-7015 “Carrizo-L” processor, support for up to 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory (with two SODIMM slots), and dual storage support (there’s an M.2 2280 SSD slot and a 2.5 inch drive bay.
It has USB Type-C, HDMI, and Serial ports, plus an Ethernet jack.
The Asus PN61, meanwhile, looks nearly identical, but it has an additional Thunderbolt 3 port (and no Serial port). Under the hood though, this model is powered by an 8th-gen Intel Core Whiskey Lake processor, with Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U CPU options. It also supports up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 RAM and there’s optional support for Intel Optane memory.
Expect this model to cost a few hundred dollars more than the AMD version.
The Asus PB60G meanwhile, is a larger, 6.9″ x 6.9″ x 2.8″ computer with support for Core i3-8100T, Core i5-8400T, or Core i7-8700T processor options. That vertical height, though, is deceptive — this is a modular PC that has a graphics dock with an NVIDIA Quadro GPU (and four mini DisplayPort ports) attached to the bottom. Remove that dock and the computer is about half the height.
Other docking options include one with a sound card and another with an optical disc drive.
The fourth model in display is the Auss PB50, which is about the same size as the PB60 (despite what it says on the specification card), but which has an AMD Ryzen 5 3550H processor rather than an Intel chip.
And here, by the way, are some pictures of that ProArt PA90 “mini” workstation:
After seeing the Asus ProArt PA90 in person, I’m starting to have second thoughts about calling it a “mini” PC. pic.twitter.com/UnEGdF0wLu
— Liliputing (@liliputingnews) January 7, 2019