ASUS VivoPC, the stylish NUC/Brix competitor

The small form factor (SFF) product category is really heating up!

Apple pioneered the mass market consumer small computer arena with the original G4 based Mac Mini way back in 2005. Recently Intel took it a step further with their Next Unit of Computing (NUC), releasing a machine considerably smaller than the Mac Mini: 31.3 cubic inches vs. 85.5 cubic inches… yet it still packs significant computing power.

This is becoming less of a niche market and much more mainstream. There is definitely a market for SFF computers, for example the latest Mac Mini is currently the #1 PC sold on Amazon!

Of course there have been other entrants in the Mac Mini sized field, personally I have been a fan of the Zotac line of SFF PCs. However the NUC seems to strike a particularly strong note with its capable performance and very compact size.

So, with all that being said, ASUS is releasing their entrant in the SFF market:

ASUS VivoPC Feature highlights:

  • Slim & stylish Zen design.
  • High-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi HD streaming.
  • Integrated SonicMaster speakers for premium audio.
  • Easy setup with sliding top for quick access to the hard drive bay and memory slots.

Highlights via: ASUS Innovation Showcase at COMPUTEX 2013.

Press images:

The VivoPC supports a 3.5" SATA hard drive! (currently 4TB max)

The VivoPC supports a 3.5″ SATA hard drive! (currently 4TB max)

Front/rear view of stylish VivoPC

Front/rear view of stylish VivoPC

ASUS VivoPC Technical Specs:

Processor Intel® Processor
Memory 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, MAX 16GB
Graphic Intel® HD Integrated Graphics
Storage 3.5/2.5 inch SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD/SSD support
Connectivity 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 4.0
Audio Integrated SonicMaster speakers
Interface 2 x USB3
4 x USB2
1 x HDMI
1 x VGA
3 x Audio Jacks
1 x SPDIF Out
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
Dimension 190(l) X 190(w) X 56.2(h) mm

Summary: VivoPC is a welcome entry into the burgeoning SFF category 🙂

The VivoPC is reported to be Haswell ready and has the unique advantage (compared to NUC and Brix) of supporting an internal 3.5″ SATA hard drive. In this day and age of cloud storage who knows how many people want a giant hard drive in their SFF box, but I know personally I would love a 256GB  mSATA SSD for OS and programs with a 3TB or 4TB 3.5″ drive for media storage and the VivoPC fits that bill nicely 🙂

NOTE: the main drawback to me is the limitation of HDMI and VGA only 🙁 whereas the Rend Lake NUC supports TRIPLE display output (1) HDMI, (2) Mini-DisplayPort.

VivoPC Reviews:

(to be added when units are available for evaluation)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *