ASUS has quietly introduced a new lineup of ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) PCs, with an interesting balance between media playback and display capabilities. The VivoMini VC65-C1 systems are based around Intel’s 8th Gen Core processors, with high-end models also sporting Ultra HD Blu-Ray drives for local media playback.

Coming in an iron grey aluminum chassis and measuring 197.5×196.3×49.3/61.9 mm, the ASUS VivoMini VC65-C1 is significantly bigger than Intel’s typical NUCs. But it also offers more features and expandability – and not to mention an integrated power adapter. The VivoMini VC65-C1 is based on the Intel B360 chipset and supports a variety of socketed Coffee Lake processors with TDPs up to 35 W. The high-end SKUs are outfitted with Intel's six-core Core i7-8700T or Core i5-8400T, whereas lower-end SKUs use Intel's quad-core Core i3-8400T or dual-core Celeron G4900T/Pentium Gold G5400T (see exact specs in the table below).

The VivoMini VC65-C1 has two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots supporting from 4 GB to 32 GB of memory. The system also has an M.2 slot supporting PCIe or SATA SSDs, as well as two or four 2.5-inch bays for SATA SSDs and HDDs. Select versions of the VC65-C1 come with a Blu-ray, DVD-RW or Ultra HD Blu-ray optical drives (the latter are available in Japan).

The I/O capabilities of the ASUS VivoMini VC65-C1 are rather vast. The UCFF PC has a 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0 module, a GbE jack, one USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, five USB 3.1 Gen 1 & Gen 2 Type-A ports, three display outputs (DisplayPort, D-Sub, HDMI), an SD card reader, 3.5-mm audio connectors, and even a COM port (presumably for the embedded systems and/or digital signage markets).

The ASUS VivoMini VC65-C1 UCFF PCs
Model VC65-C1G7010ZN VC65-C1G5011ZN VC65-C1G3066ZN Cheap SKUs
CPU Core i7-8700T Core i5-8400T Core i3-8100T  Pentium Gold G5400T

Celeron G4900T
Chipset Intel B360
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 630
DRAM Capacity 16 GB 8 GB 8 GB ?
General Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots
4 - 32 GB of DDR4-2400 in dual-channel mode
Storage M.2 128 GB 128 GB - ?
 
M.2-2280 (PCIe x4 or SATA) with Intel Optane support
DFF 500 GB HDD 500 GB HDD 1 TB HDD ?
2 ×  2.5-inch/9.5-mm SATA 6 Gbps with ODD
up to 4 ×  2.5-inch/9.5-mm SATA 6 Gbps without ODD
  ODD UHD Blu-ray DVD-RW UHD Blu-ray ?
  SD SDXC card reader
Wireless Optional 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 module
Ethernet 1 × GbE port
USB Front 1 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
Back 1 × USB Gen 2 Type-A
1 × USB Gen 2 Type-C
2 × USB Gen 1 Type-A
Display Outputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2
1 × D-Sub
1 × HDMI 2.0
Audio 2 × 3.5mm audio jacks
Other I/O 1 × COM port
PSU Internal 90 W PSU
Warranty Typical, varies by country
Dimensions Width: 196.3 mm
Depth: 197.5 mm
Height: 49.3 ~ 61.9 mm (w/o ODD ~ w/ ODD)
MSRP ? ? ? ?

The VivoMini VC65-C1 from ASUS is a rather unique PC that can be used equally well both in the living room and in the office. On the one hand, systems with a Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray drives can be used as HTPCs to playback 2K or 4K movies in premium quality. On the other hand, multiple display outputs allow usage of two 4K monitors as well as compatibility with legacy LCDs with a D-Sub input.

ASUS plans to start sales of various VC65-C1 systems shortly. Prices remain to be seen.

Related Reading:

Source: ASUS, ASUS Japan (via PC Watch)

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  • mode_13h - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    I don't know about these days, but it's long been a common feature of high-end home theater gear.

    Used a lot for home automation.
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    Osama doesn't seem to know ultra high end video and audio equipment have an RS232 bus that negates the need for infrared. You can have scripts that communicate between all the equipment via serial. My entire theater is setup like this from my Denon receiver to my Sharp TV. I don't even need a remote control for anything since it's all controlled from a keyboard or my phone, no need for line-of-sight and unlike iR its bidirectional so commands are verified received with a 10ms response time (iR is 250-500ms.)

    So there. RS232 101.
    Reply
  • perry1mm - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    No Thunderbolt 3 sucks considering all the I/O offered. The chipset might not support it or there is another logistical reason not to include it, but that is a huge perk to alternatives for longevity. Reply
  • mode_13h - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    My Oppo blu-ray player and my TV's ability to stream from a PC (or Pi) running SlimServer (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Squeezebox_S... eliminated my need for a HTPC.

    Well, with Oppo gone, I guess I have more reason to reconsider. So far, I still watch all of my movies on blu-ray. 3D, when I can.
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    I have an Oppo with an RS232 ;) Reply
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    Yeah, I'm with you there. Reply
  • ET - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    What's the point of this, just wondering. I mean, the high end CPU version. What are people doing with an HTPC which requires a fast CPU but not a fast GPU? I'm honestly curious. Reply
  • bill.rookard - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    Well, this isn't just a HTPC, it's a tiny computer, which could be used in an office by mounting it on the back of a monitor, or somewhere on the desktop taking up minimal space. Some office type programs do require more CPU grunt, so having a powerful CPU is not a bad idea.

    For a HTPC, you could use a good Atom based quad core (I have a NUC J3455 based one) and it will play back media and run just fine. Ideally though, a good full blown low power quad core (ie: 8000 series i3 or 7000 series i5) would be the best balance between power and power usage.
    Reply
  • MattMe - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    I use an 8th gen i5 NUC as my HTPC currently. It's nice to have a slightly more powerful CPU so we can run things like (very) basic Steam games, and just generally have a decent PC experience on the TV.
    So for me, I'd be much more interested in the options with the 'high-end' CPU.

    As others have mentioned though, I'm not sure how easy it us to use the disc drive given complex DRM requirements.
    Reply

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