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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  • Inteli - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    I'm not personally aware of anyone who uses a "Ultra HD" branded Blu-ray drive. The DRM requirements are just too extreme to be worthwhile (I think PowerDVD is still the only way to do it with an official drive). For Ultra HD Blu-ray playback a standalone player is the better option.

    There are, of course, *other* ways to play your UHD Blu-rays back on a PC...
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    I was very early with high resolution optical media for the PC. I bought an HD-DVD and Blu-Ray external drive (LG BE06) when it was all the rage. I bought HD-DVD because I thought it was the better medium (less restrictions iirc, though also lower capacity at the time) and they were already cheaper (should have made me realize they were on the losing side). The bundled PowerDVD software was garbage and I mostly used "certain ways" to let my normal players play back the stuff. Once UHD Blu Ray was announced I kept looking at drives and playback for PC things. And realized it was all just crap. So I bought a defective Samsung UHD player and repaired it (was just a power supply thing) and have been using that. I still use an external blu ray drive to rip my collection (it's going slow though), but playback of non-ripped stuff is being handled by dedicated hardware mostly. It's a real shame too, DVD playback on the PC was always great. The best blu ray software I had was Leawo (some Chinese company). That was lightweight, started up fast, had enough options and didn't force me to watch all the trailers and piracy ads. That failed after a while though. Reply
  • npz - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    I do, both ways. The requirements are still there in a standalone player, just half of it is shielded from you. The requirement on a PC is not that complex. Certainly no more complex than 4k DRM media requirements in Windows.

    The other way of ripping is cumbersome in a different way. Of course once you do have something ripped, it's easy and more convenient.. but that requires storage. Lots and lots of storage.
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Sunday, January 27, 2019 - link

    It's not that bad, I've got about 60 UHD Blu-ray discs backed up to my server (main movie, all audio tracks, subs, no extras) using two older BDXL drives and the average MKV is around 60GB. The average across the 400 1080p Blu-ray backups on my server is 34GB. So, approximately 2X the file size for 4X the resolution, 100X the dynamic range, around a billion more colors. 8TB+ drives are so cheap that I'm not worried about storage, even with redundancy. Worst case scenario, I still have the original disc. Reply
  • close - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    > It's not that bad

    It is. You're telling me you have 17+TB of storage used by stuff that's also on your BR discs, instead of having 17+TB of free storage and play the discs however and wherever you want. It's like buying a truck to drive your car around in.

    > I've got...

    Most people don't want that. Why am I buying a BR discs if I then need to pay another $1000 to buy 8TB drives (with redundancy) to hold my 17+TB collection of ripped BRs that I already paid for?
    Reply
  • Inteli - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    > ...instead of having 17+TB of free storage...

    What good is free storage? Ostensibly, he bought the storage specifically to store movies, and didn't have any other purpose in mind to use it.

    > ...and play the discs however and wherever you want.

    As long as that place has a Blu-ray player, as opposed to a ripped file which can be played anywhere that has an internet connection.

    > Why am I buying a BR discs if I then need to pay another $1000 to buy 8TB drives (with redundancy) to hold my 17+TB collection of ripped BRs that I already paid for?

    Convenience and quality, mostly. It's difficult to get quality better than a Blu-ray can provide, but discs are less convenient than accessing a server. By ripping Blu-rays, I (or anyone else) can get the same quality as a Blu-ray with the end-user convenience of something like Netflix, and all I need is a bunch of storage.

    Granted, it's not for everyone, but most people don't have a storage server in the first place. Most people *don't even buy* Blu-rays, instead preferring the convenience of a streaming service. Most people listen to their movies with their built-in speakers instead of having a component home theater system. Most people don't have 400 Blu-rays anyways, so they wouldn't even be looking at 17+ TB of storage.
    Reply
  • Cullinaire - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    By having such large video files on HDDs I'd be concerned about bitrot, but then again with that much storage I figure he also has some sort of mitigation for that as well. Reply
  • Inteli - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    You also still have the Blu-rays. If a file gets corrupted, delete it and re-rip it. It takes 30-45 minutes. Sort of a pain if you need to redo all of them, but one or two every once in a while isn't a big deal. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    I own a UHD-capable USB Blu-ray drive. My kid has a gaming PC that meets the requirements for playback in PowerDVD.

    I don't think the drive has ever been plugged in to that PC.

    MakeMKV supports it just fine, though.
    Reply
  • npz - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    Finally, one of these with HDMI 2.0. I was looking at the previous VC66 model and those are lacking. I guess with UHD-BD they had to have it. The storage options are pretty awesome for this size. One can always use an external UHD-BD drive and then opt for the default 4 drive + M.2 configuration. Reply

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