LAS VEGAS, NV — ASUS today has announced its latest small form factor products with its PB40 and PN40 adding to its existing VivoMini and ROG GR8 II selections, a Chromebox 3 supplanting the Chromebox 2, as well as an updated Tinkerboard S. ASUS says the year’s innovations offer compactness and versatility for a variety of usage scenarios without compromising quality or performance.

The PB40 and PN40

The PN40 and PB40 mini PCs size and performance allow users to utilize the power of a computer with the convenience of a compact and portable device. The PB40, the more powerful of the two, will support up to an 8th Generation Intel  Pentium Silver processors. The latest model comes in two variants, N5000 quad-core, up to 2.7 GHz burst frequency with a 6W TDP or the J5005, also a quad-core, but bursting frequency is up to 2.8 GHz while fitting under a 10W TDP. The PB40 also has a lot of connectivity with up to six USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) Type-C ports and a flexible IO port design with VGA/DisplayPort/COM/HDMI support. The PB40 is in a black metallic chassis and is offered in a fanless design with Intel Celeron processors for silent operation. It also supports optional stackable models, for example, optical drives, to save space.

The PN40 mini PC will support up to 8th Generation Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors and uses a sliding bottom case design for easy access to the internals. The PN40 mini PC measures at just 4.4” x 4.4” x 1.9” and weighs 1.54lbs. It offers connectivity options to include USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) Type-C and changeable  IO port for VGA or COM support.

Both the PB40 and PN40 will be available in the 1H 2018 with pricing announced at launch.

Chromebox 3

ASUS announces its new Chromebox 3, the successor of the Chromebox 2 released back in 2016 The Chromebox 3 announced today will be the successor to the Chromebox 2. The latest version of this small form factor PC running the Google Chrome OS bumps up from the Intel Core 5th Generation processor to an 8th Generation Intel Core processor along with DDR4 2400 Memory. This change will improve processing and graphics performance as well as save on power compared to the Broadwell U based Celeron 3205U in the Chromebox 2. 

The Chromebox 3 will now include a USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) Type-C connector added to its connectivity of Gigabit LAN, HDMI and DisplayPort, USB 3.0 ports, card reader, and an audio jack. Wireless connectivity is dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The specific processors available will be named at a later date as they are unreleased, but would imagine it to bump up to a quad-core Celeron of some sort with improved integrated graphics. ASUS did mention memory options will be available from 4GB expandable to 16GB while 'mass' storage starts at 32GB expandable to 128GB. 

There are some slight change in appearance with the chassis looking like it received a brushed finish on it compared to the matte on the previous model. 

ASUS will share pricing on this diminutive Chrome OS-based machine closer to launch within the 1H 2018. The previous model came in at $200 so we expect it to be around that point if not a bit higher. 

Tinker Board S

For those who enjoy messing around with small single-board computers, ASUS has new Tinker Board in town, named Tinker Board S. The Tinker Board S is the same board size and uses the same component placement of the original to retain maximum compatibility for previous installations.

The S version comes with the Cortex-A17 Quad-core processor found in the previous version. The Tinker Board S will feature 2GB of Dual-channel LPDDR3 Memory and 16GB of Onboard eMMC storage, wireless 802.11b.g.n, and Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, while a Gigabit LAN port handles wired connectivity. Another notable difference is the S version now has four USB 2.0 ports versus two on the previous model. 

There are so many things to do with these little board from learning programming to smart devices. ASUS showcased the processor, memory, and I/O speed of the Tinker Board S with Matrix Creator (fully featured development board including sensors, wireless comms, and an FPGS, to quickly prototype hardware applications. There is also a second demonstration highlighting the 192 KHz audio output and support for DAC add-on cards to improve the audio. 

Tinker Board S
Processor Cortex-A17 Quad-core 1.8 GHz
Display 1x HDMI (up to 4K/30FPS) 
* HDMI CEC Ready
1 x 15-pin MIPI DSI supports up to HD
Memory Size Dual-Channel LPDDR3 2GB
Storage Onboard 16GB eMMC
Micro SD(TF) card slot
Connectivity 1 x GB LAN
1 x wireless 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR
Audio Realtek HD codec with 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
*Supports audio plug-in detection
USB 4 x USB 2.0 ports
Internal Headers 1 x 40-pin GPIO header w/ enhanced I2S
1 x 2-pin contact points
1 x 2-pin Power-on header
Power Connector Micro USB (5V/2~3A)
*Supports low power voltage detection
OS Support Debian 9 / Android 6
Dimensions 3.37" x 2.125"

Pricing will be announced at launch which is expected to be 1H 2018. 

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Source: ASUS

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  • notashill - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    "The most notable difference between the two, the S version now comes with the Cortex-A17 Quad-core processor versus the Rockchip RK3288 found in the previous version."

    The RK3288 *is* a quad core A17 1.8GHz chip so this has to be some sort of mistake. Presumably they moved onto one of the RK33xx chips. RK3368 would be a downgrade in single threaded CPU performance (8x A53) but RK3399 (4x A53 + 2x A72) would be nice.
    Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    The RK3288 is also the chip that already came with the old Tinkerboard, so something isn't right here.

    Plus, why would Asus launch a new single-board computer in 2018 using an ARMv7 SoC from 2014? Are they just trying really hard to fail in the IoT market?
    Reply
  • claudiuro - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    According to Pcper, the S comes from storage and the notable difference is they added the 16GB of Onboard eMMC storage, instead of having you install the OS on the sd card. Reply
  • notashill - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Looking at this more, the old Tinkerboard also has 4 USB ports rather than 2 as stated by the article so that hasn't changed either. Not a very interesting model update. Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    The big change looks to be HDMI-CEC support. Reply
  • t.s - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    Looks like quite plenty tech site covering tinker board s use materials prepared by asus. The journalists either turning blind eye or uneducated at this field (ARM) Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, January 08, 2018 - link

    If you can find me a Tinkerboard site with anywhere near the documentation of the top SBCs, a changelog for the OS images, or even a list of current and past OS images, I might believe you.

    Until then, the tinkerboard looks very interesting but too difficult to be worth the cost.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, January 09, 2018 - link

    "Until then, the tinkerboard looks very interesting but too difficult to be worth the cost."
    Yeah, that's my feeling as well. When I read about it during its (slow) launch, I was interested because of the SoC being pretty good. A more powerful emulation/media device than my rPi3. But the software side and documentation from ASUS isn't really up to par and so all that power is kinda useless. It's a bit of a shame.
    Reply
  • Doug B - Tuesday, January 09, 2018 - link

    All of the past OSes for both Tinker OS Debian and Android, including the change logs, are available back to February, 2017, prior to its official release. Please refer to https://www.asus.com/us/Single-Board-Computer/Tink...
    The current releases for both the Debian 9 version and the Android 6.0 version were released on December 11th, 2017. Both are constantly being improved, and the release of a new Tinker Board is very reassuring for the future. Also, the number of 3rd party partners has increased to nine on the Tinker Board S website (it is only four for the original Tinker Board,) so that is a good sign as well. See https://www.asus.com/Single-Board-Computer/Tinker-...
    Reply
  • Doug B - Tuesday, January 09, 2018 - link

    The processor does not change at all: You can see the changes at: https://www.asus.com/Single-Board-Computer/Tinker-... Reply

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