The company hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet, but the previous-gen model with a Ryzen 4000U processor typically sells for around $370 and up.
While the Asus PN51 can be used for a wide range of applications ranging from a point-of-sales system to a home office productivity machine, Asus is focusing on the display capabilities that could make it a good solution for digital signage or home media center or workstation. It can drive up to four 4K displays at 60 Hz or a single 8K display.
There’s also an IR sensor for use with a remote control and the PN51 supports HDMI CEC so it can wake a display from standby. There’s also a built-in dual-microphone array for use with voice assistant software.
Asus says the little computer offers a space-saving solution that’s also quiet and low power, consuming as little as 9 watts while idle and generating just 21.9 dBA of sound while idle or up to 34.7 dBA at full load.
The Asus PN51 will be available with a choice of Ryzen 3 5300U, Ryzen 5 5500U, and Ryzen 7 5700U processors. One thing to keep in mind is that while these are an upgrade over the Ryzen 4000U chips used in the Asus PN50, their CPUs are based on the same Zen 2 architecture as their predecessors.
Here’s a refresher on the different chips that make up the Ryzen 5000U series:
|Name||Cores / Threads||Base freq||Boost Freq||Cache||TDP||Arch|
|Ryzen 7 5800U||8 / 16||1.9 GHz||4.4 GHz||20MB||15W||Zen 3|
|Ryzen 5 5600U||6 /12||2.3 GHz||4.2 GHz||12MB||15W||Zen 3|
|Ryzen 7 5700U||8 / 16||1.8 GHz||4.3 GHz||19MB||15W||Zen 2|
|Ryzen 5 5500U||6 /12||2.1 GHz||4 GHz||11MB||15W||Zen 2|
|Ryzen 3 5300U||4 / 8||2.6 GHz||3.8 GHz||6MB||15W||Zen 2|
It’s unclear why Asus doesn’t offer Ryzen 5 5600U or Ryzen 7 5800U processors with Zen 3 CPU cores.
The Asus PN50 supports up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory (thanks to two SODIMM slots and as much storage as you can cram in the dual storage slots – there’ sa 2.5 inch drive bay for a hard drive or SSD and an M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 slot for an SSD.
The computer supports 2.5 Gbps and Gigabit Ethernet and features support for wireless options up to a WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5. It also has a decent range of ports including:
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort output support)
- 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
- 2 x HDMI
- 1 x audio jack
- SD card reader
There’s also a configurable I/O panel that can be used for DIsplayPort 1.4, VGA ports, RJ45, or COM ports.
Asus provides either a 65W or 90W power adapter depending on the model, and the Asus PN51 comes in black or white color options.
For the most part the new Asus PN51 mini PC looks like a minor, but significant update over the Asus PN50. But the one thing that’s changed is probably the thing users will care most about – the processor.
Unfortunately one thing that hasn’t changed is that there are no USB4 or Thunderbolt ports, so the Asus PN51 will most likely not be able to make use of external GPUs or other accessories that rely on those high-speed, high-bandwidth connections.