There has been a huge surge of DIY mini PCs hitting the market lately.
Although most are ARM-based, there are a number of x86-powered system out there, most notably Intel's Next Unit of Computing which is slated to roll out this month. Well, Asus is now stepping into the game with its own small form factor motherboard complete with a dual-core processor.
The board is dubbed the C60M1-I and retails for $80. Considering Asus is a well-known company that makes quality products and the device packs a dual core C-60 processor operating at 1 GHz, the price is impressively affordable. Meaning, the processor isn't some ARM offering more focused on low power consumption than performance like we find inside the Raspberry Pi and other devices. This is an actual AMD dual-core x86 processor that can run Windows if you want.
The board also offers AMD Radeon HD graphics and a number of different connectivity options. The integrated GPU is a Radeon HD 6290, which should be more than capable of streaming HD video. Connectivity options include six USB 2.0 ports, VGA out, DVI out, audio outputs, Ethernet, and the PS/2 port for old-school keyboards or mice.
The board also supports eight-channel audio out and the board should be very quiet as well. The CPU is covered by passive heatsink rather than a noisy fan. It looks like the mini-ITX mainboard has a single slot for a discrete video card and dual slots for additional memory. This has the makings of a very nice HTPC or small form factor desktop for moderate computing needs.
One potential pitfall? The processor doesn't (currently) work well for streaming HD video from Netflix, according to a report from Liliputing. Obviously, this could be a deal breaker for some people, at least until the issue is resolved.