The ASRock iBOX-N97 is a 135 x 110 x 44.5mm (5.3″ x 4.3″ x 1.8″) computer with a fanless design, support for up to three displays and up to two 2.5 GbE Ethernet connections.

It’s powered by a Intel Processor I97 chip, which a 12-watt, 4-core, 4-thread chip based on Intel’s Alder Lake-N architecture, which promises significant CPU and graphics performance gains over Intel’s previous-gen Jasper Lake chips.

Brought to our attention by FanlessTech, the new iBOX-N97 is the latest in a line of fanless systems from ASRock that are designed for the industrial market, where passive cooling can aid in 24/7 operation even in dusty environments where a spinning fan could do more harm than good.

FanlessTech has also pointed out repeatedly that most of the mini PCs with Alder Lake N chips announced to date have not been fanless, suggesting that while these chips are marketed as having base power consumption in the 6 to 15 watt range, they may run a bit too hot to work well in some passively cooled systems. But the iBOX-N97 looks like it may be an exception thanks to its slightly larger case design with built-in elements to aid in heat dissipation.

The iBOX-N97 supports up to 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory thanks to a single 260-pin SODIMM slot. It has an M.2 2280 slot for PCIe Gen 3 storage and a 2.5 inch bay for a SATA 3 hard drive or SSD, and a set of ports that includes:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.0b
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort 1.4a Alt Mode)
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports
  • 2 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8125BG)
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1 x DC power input

The computer comes with a 65W power adapter and a VESA mount kit that can be used to connect attach the 700 gram (1.5 pound) system to a wall or the back of a display.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the iBOX-N97 will probably cost more than most consumer-oriented mini PCs with similar specs though, since it’s aimed at industrial and enterprise customers.

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