CES 2018 | Asus showcases three new mini PC models
Asus did not forget the mini PC sector and has prepared a few new devices for 2018. These include the PB40, PN40 and Chromebox 3 models, which are showcased this week at CES 2018.
Chromebox 3 is the newest Chrome OS mini PC that improves every aspect of the 2016 diminutive Chrome 2 version. The gen 5 Intel CPUs were replaced with the latest gen 8 ULV models (presumably quad-core Celerons) and the memory support was bumped up to DDR4-2400, with options ranging from 4 GB to 16 GB. The internal storage options start at 32 GB and can go up to 128 GB. The Chrome-powered mini PC now comes with the USB 3.1 Type –C connector to maximize data transfers. Other connection types include HDMI and DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and Gigabit LAN, and an audio jack, as well as a card reader. The casing exhibits are brushed metal appearance, but the diminutive size was kept from the previous version.
The P series gets two new members with the announcement of the PN40 and the PB40 models. The more powerful of the two is PB40, which also comes with a larger case that supports stackable devices and processors up to gen 8 Intel Pentium Silver. This model has two variants: the N5000 that sports a 6w TDP quad-core CPU clocked at 2.7 GHz in boost mode, and the J5005 that supports 10w TDP quad-core CPUs clocked at 2.8 GHz in boost mode. The connectivity side integrates up to six USB 3.1 Typce-C ports, VGA, DisplayPort, and HDMI, plus mic and headphone jacks. The smaller PN40 measures only 4.4 x 4.4 x 1.9 inches, weighs 1.54 lbs and can accommodate gen 8 Intel Pentium / Celeron Silver CPUs. It comes with a sliding bottom panel that makes it easy to upgrade the configuration. Among the connections offered there are USB 3.1 Type-C ports, VGA and COM connectors, as well as a mic jack.
All three models will be released some time in the first half of 2018. The Chromebox 3 is expected to be priced in the US$200 range, but Asus did not provide any pricing info for the new P series models.