The world of mini PCs is expanding, and Asus is ready to make its mark. Recently, Intel handed over its NUC business to Asus, sparking curiosity among enthusiasts and professionals alike. While NUCs are often associated with consumer use, Asus is focusing on catering to the commercial and enterprise markets as well. Senior Vice President Jacky Hsu revealed that Asus has ambitious plans to develop custom machines for various commercial clients, targeting industries such as digital signage, point-of-sale, cloud, AI, and warehouse and factory applications.
When we think of NUCs, we often picture a cuboid or book-sized device. However, Asus intends to challenge these expectations by introducing different form factors tailored to specific use cases. By designing custom solutions with different input/output (I/O) considerations and motherboards, Asus can create NUCs that fit seamlessly into various environments. This means offering different Ethernet standards, SFP connections, D-SUB, Serial, DIN, or any other type of connection required by a particular industry. Whether a client needs 10,000 NUCs with FireWire connections or a specific set of ports, Asus is ready to provide the necessary customization.
Gaming NUCs have gained popularity over the years, with various manufacturers offering powerful mini-PC options. Although Asus has not yet unveiled concrete details about its plans for gaming NUCs, KW Chao, the general manager of Asus’s NUC business unit, hinted at the possibility of ROG branded NUCs. Considering Intel’s recent announcement that their upcoming Meteor Lake family won’t be available for the DIY market, it is highly likely that these processors will find their way into embedded, all-in-one (AIO), or NUC solutions. Therefore, the idea of a ROG branded NUC featuring a high-performance CPU and graphics card built around a modified Meteor Lake chip is enticing. This would enable users to enjoy the performance of a desktop-class gaming rig in a compact form factor without the heat and noise associated with traditional desktop CPUs.
While Asus is not the first to venture into the realm of high-performance mini-PCs, their expertise and reputation in the industry give them a competitive edge. Other companies, such as MSI with its Trident PCs, have already established themselves in this market segment. However, there are only a few examples of pairing a laptop chip with a desktop-class GPU, which leaves room for Asus to carve out its niche. If Asus manages to attract enough large clients and generate substantial revenue, it is highly likely that we will see ROG NUCs hitting the market in the near future. With their sleek design, powerful performance, and potential for customization, these Asus NUCs could redefine the mini PC landscape.
Enthusiasts and professionals eagerly await the release of Asus’s custom NUC devices. The possibilities unlocked by this collaboration between Intel and Asus are exciting, as they offer enhanced capabilities and tailor-made solutions for a wide range of industries. Whether it’s a compact digital signage solution, an AI-powered NUC for advanced analytics, or a gaming NUC that can rival traditional desktops, Asus has the potential to revolutionize the mini PC market. As a dedicated follower of mini PCs, I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of Asus’s NUCs and the technological advancements they will bring. With the right amount of fanfare and market success, Asus could become the go-to brand for high-performance, customized mini PCs. Until then, we’ll patiently wait for the next game-changing innovation from Asus in the NUC realm.