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PC makers unveiled a lot of new laptops at CES this week. That’s not surprising, as some of the biggest announcements at CES came from Intel and AMD: the chip makers both unveiled their next-gen mobile processor lineup.

But not all of the systems that are powered by the new chips will be laptops. Companies including ASRock, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI also unveiled new mini PCs that will most likely hit the streets in the first half of 2023. Most, but not all of these tiny desktop computers are powered by Intel’s latest chips based on 13th-gen Raptor Lake mobile or 12th-gen Alder Lake-N architecture.

Asus ExpertCenter PN42

Here’s a roundup of some of the mini PCs announced at CES 2023.

ASRock NUC Box  and NUCS Box (Intel Raptor Lake-P)

The latest members of the ASRock NUC Box family pack a 28-watt, 13th-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 P-series processor into a compact body that measures 4.6″ x 4.3″ x 1.5″ for models with only an SSD or 1.9″ high for models with room for a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD.

Available in several different configurations, all versions of the little computer support up to 64GB of RAM, PCIe Gen 4 storage, multiple displays, and 2.5 GbE Ethernet.

NUCS BOX-1300/D4NUC BOX-1300/D4NUC BOX-1300/D5
Dimensions110 x 117.5 x 38mm
4.6″ x 4.3″ x 1.5″
110 x 117.5 x 47.9mm
4.6″ x 4.3″ x 1.9″
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1360P
Intel Core i5-1340P
RAMUp to 64GB
2 x 260-pin SODIMM
DDR4-3200
Up to 64GB
2 x 262-pin SODIMM
DDR5-4800
Storage1 x M.2 2242/2280 slot (PCIe Gen 4 x4)1 x M.2 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe Gen 4 x4 slot)
1 x SATA 3.0
Ports (front)1 x USB4 (DisplayPort 1.4a)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (DisplayPort 1.4a)
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x USB4 (DisplayPort 1.4a)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (DisplayPort 1.4a)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x USB4 (DisplayPort 2.1)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4a)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
Ports (rear)2 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x DC power input
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x DisplayPort 1.4a
2 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x DC power input
WirelessWiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
AudioRealtek ALC233Realtek ALC256

You can find more details in Liliputing’s article about the ASRock NUC Box and NUCS Box.

Asus ExpertCenter PN42 (Intel Alder Lake-N)

One of the first little computer expected to ship with an Intel Alder Lake-N processor, this little computer will be available with Intel Processor N100 or N200 chip options. Both are 6-watt, 4-core, 4-thread processors featuring the same Gracemont architecture Intel used for the Efficiency cores in last year’s Alder Lake processor family.

The Asus ExpertCenter PN42 has a fanless design with a plastic chassis featuring slats on all sides to help dissipate heat. This should allow the system to run silently.

Asus says the PN42 supports up to three displays, has a 2.5 GbE Ethernet port, and up to seven USB ports. It should be available in the first quarter of 2023.

You can find more information in Liliputing’s article about the new Asus mini PC lineup for 2023.

Asus ExpertCenter PN64-E1 (Intel Raptor Lake)

This mini PC should offer higher performance than the PN42, while generating more heat – so it will most likely have a fan for active cooling.

But the PN64-E1 will be available with unspecified 13th-gen Intel Core processor options and  support for up to 32GB of DDR5 memory and up to two PCIe 4.0 SSDs. It has two Thunderbolt ports, two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort and can drive up to an 8K display or four 4K displays.

It should also be available in the first quarter of 2023, and you can find more details in our article about the Asus mini PC family.

Asus Chromebox 5 (Intel Alder Lake)

This little computer ships with Google’s ChromeOS software, supports 12th-gen Intel Celeron, Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processor options, and features 2.5 GbE Ethernet, WiFi 6E, PCIe 4.0 storage, and a Thunderbolt 4 port.

But the most unusual thing about this little computer may be the fact that the top lid works as a wireless charging pad, allowing you to refuel a phone or other gadgets by placing them on top of the computer.

The Chromebox 5 will be available in late March, 2023 for $400 and up. More details are available in our Asus mini PC article.

Lenovo ThinkCentre neo 50q Gen 4 (Intel Raptor Lake-H)

At 7.2″ x 7″ x 1.4″, this mini PC is a bit larger than some others on this list. But with an internal volume of about 1 liter, it’s still rather tiny by traditional desktop PC standards.

It also packs a lot of punch into a small space, with support for up to a 45-watt, 13th-gen Intel Core i5 processor.

The ThinkCentre neo 50q Gen 4 should be available in the third quarter of 2023 with prices starting at $499, and you can find more details in our article about Lenovo’s latest tiny ThinkCentre desktop PC.

MSI Cubi N ADL (Intel Alder Lake-N)

This compact, low-power computer will be available with Intel Processor N100 and N200 chip options and supports up to two storage devices thanks to an M.2 slot for an SSD and a 2.5 inch bay for a hard drive or SSD.

Dual storage does make this system a little taller than some of the others on this list, but it’s still small enough to easily mount to the back of a display, at just 124 x 124 x 53.7mm (4.9″ x 4.9″ x 2.1″).

The new chips may be inexpensive, low-power processors, but they should bring significant improvements in CPU and GPU performance over the Intel Jasper Lake chips that power the previous-gen MSI Cubi N JSL.

You can find more details in our article about the Cubi N ADL.

MSI Cubi 5 12M (Intel Alder Lake-U)

While this system is the same size as the Cubi N ADL, it’s significantly more powerful thanks to support for up to an Intel Core i7-1255U processor and 64GB of RAM.

Basically the Cubi N ADL has four Efficiency cores from a 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake processor, while the Cubi 5 12M has up to eight Efficiency cores and two Performance cores.

Other features include a Thunderbolt 4 port, dual Ethernet jacks, and support for up to WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

MSI Cubi 5 12M
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1255U
Intel Core i5-1235U
Intel Core i3-1215U
RAMUp to 64GB
DDR4-2666/3200
2 x SODIMM slots
Storage1 x M.2 SSD
1 x 2.5″ SSD or HDD
Ports1 x Thunderbolt 4
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
1 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet (RTL8125BG-CG)
1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8111H)
1 x 3.5mm audio
WirelessIntel AX211 (WiFi 6E + BT 5.3)
Intel AX201 (WiFi 6 + BT 5.2)
Intel AC 3168 (WiFi 5 + BT 4.2)
Power65W AC adapter
Dimensions124 x 124 x 53.7mm
(4.88″ x 4.88″ x 2.11″)
Volume0.7 liters

You can read more about this mini PC in Liliputing’s Cubi 5 12M article.

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14 Comments

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  1. My older NUK is rebooting itself on FFXIV if there are too many name tags. Any of these that will be good for running good graphics on FFXIV, WOW, civilization, Halo?

  2. What’s your favorite fanless solution that you know of right now with a reasonably modern cpu? (at least some performance cores). I know of the Asus PL64 with the i5-1235u

  3. Hey. Thanks appreciated.
    Can you make same article for laptops?
    I look like to see same article for laptops.

  4. I have owned two Intel NUCs and both died with no support from Intel. Never again. Besides, there are better configs out today running AMD’s 6800/6900 processors and sporting dual NVME M.2 drives + a 2.5″ SSD. See Morefine’s m600 lineup with others coming.

    1. What sort of support should Intel have offered beyond their 3 year warranty?

      And why would you run towards a Chinese company that offers no warranty, and will probably do nothing for you if your devices arrives DOA?

      At least go to a Taiwanese company that offers warranty, like Asus or Asrock.

  5. Too bad many of these mini PCs are not available with AMD processors in order to have better integrated graphics, Intel’s are still too weak for low-end gaming despite driving prices up overall.

    1. AMD does have a marginally better integrated GPU, but the difference isn’t huge.

      I’m hoping that someday soon we’ll see a line of CPUs with much more powerful integrated GPUs. I’d love to see AMD sell something that would compete with a Ryzen 5 + 3060 combination.

      1. Who cares, mini PCs have no been limited to low-voltage CPUs for a good while thankfully.

  6. Only two things I care about on any of these mini PCs…
    1) Does it have a powerful GPU, or can it be connected to an external GPU without some hack adapter?
    2) How much does it cost?

    1. Why no fanless mini PC’s like Asus PN42 with intel N300/305? (Althought I think 16GB RAM cpu limit is too less for them)

    2. 1) All of the models with Thunderbolt can support an external GPU, but I’d look for the model that supports the fastest RAM clock speed

      2) These are just early announcements, they haven’t announced pricing yet