Kid ASUS VivoMini UN65U, or in search of the incredible
Back in 2001, VIA Technologies announced a new format for promoting the C3 processor – ITX (215 × 191 mm), but this didn’t seem enough and subsequently even smaller ones were developed: Mini-ITX (170 × 170 mm), nano-ITX (120 × 120 mm), Pico-ITX (72 × 100 mm) and Mobile-ITX (45 × 75 mm). However, as often happens, such standardization is ahead of its time. Later, users were offered more advanced nettop models based on Atom processors, which, due to their mediocre performance, could not turn the tide of history and gradually left the stage. AMD, after the failure of nettops, tried to take the initiative into its own hands and for a long time promoted similar solutions, but already on the basis of its processors, which are able to play video content and even play games at least quite tolerably. Alas, AMD’s venture also failed, because their processors still did not reach the required performance level. And finally, the time for compact computers has come: Intel has launched its first NUC series mini-computer on the market. The company believes that such systems are the future, not trying to make another reincarnation of the concept of nettop. This is already in the NUC name itself, which stands for Next Unit of Computer. NUC computers are based on a proprietary motherboard – UCFF (4 × 4 inches), which has now become the basis for most "kids." Intel’s breakthrough was picked up by many leading companies, because in fact Intel provides a very high-quality base for creating, if not the most, but very productive computer, including Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 processors and the whole range of modern PC components on one board. Of course, ASUS, as one of the world leaders, could not stay away and has recently launched a series of mini-computers called VivoMini. In this review we will talk about one of the latest models – ASUS VivoMini UN65U, which is based on the Intel Core i3-7100U processor of the Kaby Lake family.
The computer comes even in a modest, but not without grace box made of simple corrugated cardboard in dark gray colors. On the front side – a large slogan "In search of the incredible" and the ASUS logo. Simple, but immediately attracts attention. However, on the flip side there is nothing interesting, except for a lot of badges, a company logo and a sticker indicating that this product is made in China, its serial number and, of course, the model name of this computer is UN65U.
Inside the box in the injection-molded cardboard boxes are located both the PC itself with the power supply, and the minimum set of all that is urgently needed – a metal plate for mounting the microcomputer on the VESA bracket with detailed instructions and screw sets, as well as a brief user manual. Nothing extra. Note that a similar set is inherent in all similar ASUS VivoMini supply packages. The network adapter (W15-065N1B) works in AC networks with voltages from 100 to 240 V with a frequency of 50-60 Hz and provides an output voltage of 19 V at a current of up to 3.42 A (i.e. almost 65 W). Modern laptop models of power supplies have similar characteristics, since the hardware component of these types of PCs is almost the same.
Technical specifications VivoMini UN65U
Intel Core i3-7100U (in the tested model). Possible processor options: Intel Core i7-7500U, Intel Core i5-7200U
Windows 10 Home (Pro – Recommended)
Intel HD Graphics 620
4 GB (DDR4, 2133 MHz) (maximum 32 GB). Two SO-DIMM sockets
2.5-inch SATA III hard drive with a capacity of up to 1 TB (500 GB of Hitachi production installed) and / or SATA SSD-drive with a capacity of 32 to 256 GB for the M.2 connector
Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n with Bluetooth 4.0 on the Realtek controller (installed in this model) or Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac with Bluetooth 4.1
4 × USB 3.0 (of which two support Battery Charging 1.2)
1 × HDMI (with 4K UHD support)
1 × DisplayPort (with 4K UHD support)
1 × RJ45 LAN (Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps)
1 × Audio Jack (s)
4 in 1 (SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC)
up to 23 dB (at rest), up to 38 dB (at full load)
131 × 131 × 52 mm
VivoMini UN65U has the same appearance as its predecessors. The top cover is covered with concentric circles, therefore, depending on the viewing angle, it changes color from dark blue to black. In the center is the ASUS logo. Such a design will be very attractive on the table of any office and at the same time not too conspicuous.
On the front panel are located: a power button, two USB 3.0 ports with support for Battery Charging 1.2 and an indicator of the disk subsystem. In addition, there are stickers with the Windows and HDMI logos, the last of which indicates that the computer has an interface for high-definition multimedia, which allows transmitting high-resolution digital video data and copy-protected multi-channel digital audio signals.
On the left side there is a 4-in-1 universal card reader connector (SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC). There is also a sticker informing that the heart of this computer is based on a full-fledged Intel Core i3 processor (other models of this line are based on Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7).
The right side of the system unit also has only one connector – Kensington Security Slot or Kensington lock. Such fasteners, as a rule, have devices originally oriented by the manufacturer for the corporate market. The castle is not any reliable protection against targeted theft, but it often saves from "passing".
All the main connectors, as is customary, are located on the back of the VivoMini UN65U computer. We list them from left to right: a power connector, HDMI and DisplayPort ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an RJ-45 network connector (Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbit / s), a combined audio jack (microphone input / headphone output). This set allows you to fully use the computer not only in the office, but also at home to work with documents, search for information on the Internet, and simply as a low-noise and non-cluttering apartment multimedia center.
On the back of the computer, in its central part, there are stickers that indicate the serial number of the product, the country of manufacture and many icons that indicate which standards it supports. Rubberized legs are also placed here. They are not conspicuous, as they are made as some “growths” on the square frame of this central part. The square rubberized plugs are not legs, but screws are hidden under them, removing which you can access the inside of the VivoMini UN65U.
The motherboard of this mini-computer occupies the entire area and is fixed on a metal chassis. There are two SO-DIMM slots for installing memory modules. In our case, only one of them is busy (4 GB). The maximum memory capacity supported by VivoMini UN65U is 32 GB, which is very important for such a device. The memory operates in dual channel mode, provided that both slots are occupied.
The disk subsystem allows you to install not only a 2.5-inch hard drive up to 1 TB. Winchester is installed on a separate metal chassis and does not have an active heat sink. Additionally (or instead), you can connect an SSD drive through the M.2 connector with SATA 6 Gb / s interface. The capacity of the flash drive cannot exceed 256 GB. By today's standards, this is not too much, but given the size of the computer, we can say that this is a huge amount, which is enough not only for office applications, but also for a dozen or two films in high resolution.
The second port M.2 is used to install expansion cards. In our case, this connector is occupied by a wireless adapter based on the Realtek controller (RTL8723BE chip), which provides support for the Bluetooth V4.0 and Wi-Fi (802.11a / b / g / n) standards.
On the reverse side of the motherboard, a low-profile processor cooling system is mounted, consisting of a radial fan and a copper radiator large enough in area. This whole structure is closed by a metal casing, which is also a passive heat sink and at the same time acts as an antenna for wireless connections. Since the used Intel Core i3-7100U processor was originally designed for mobile systems and includes a thermal monitoring function, it has a very low heat dissipation (up to 15 W). All this makes the VivoMini UN65 U computer very, very quiet.
The PC is based on a proprietary motherboard, which is called ASUS UN65. It can not be purchased separately, it is supplied only with computers of this series. Its BIOS / UEFI interface is practically no different from ordinary desktop boards, with the exception of some overclocking settings, which are not relevant at all here.
According to the BIOS, the idle temperature is around 50 ° C, but it is possible to control the built-in fan using PWM. The first nettops didn’t have such luxury, and Atom processors warmed up much more.
As already mentioned, the VivoMini UN65U model that came to us is based on the Intel Core i3-7100U processor. This model was released last fall as one of the first new generation processors, code-named Kaby Lake. Recall that the processors of this family are characterized by improved power consumption without switching to a new process. Since the Intel Core i3-7100U is the youngest in the lineup, it has very modest power consumption, but it also has a good integrated graphics core – Intel HD Graphics 620.
At peak load, the processor heats up to 72 ° C, and the cooling system begins to make quite a clear noise. However, the cooling system is designed for even more powerful processors, so it copes with the task.
The memory in this PC is represented by a single 4-GB SO-DIMM SK hynix HMA851S6AFR6N-UH bracket. Of course, by modern standards, such a volume is not very relevant, so the ability to equip the computer with another module is a big plus for this model.
The youngest model is equipped with one 500 GB HGST HTS545050A7E680 SATA drive. This is quite enough for an office PC, but its performance against modern SSDs is, of course, very modest. Still, installing an SSD, albeit a smaller one, is preferable here.
In general, judging by the characteristics of the VivoMini UN65U model we reviewed, this is an excellent solution for replacing an office PC. The device is equipped with all modern interfaces, including wireless, a good processor and ultra-compact design. Nevertheless, such a computer is not yet able to compete in price with monoblocks – after all, often more efficient processors are installed in the monoblock, and its cost, even taking into account the monitor, may be lower. That is why the new generation of mini-computers can be positioned precisely as a replacement for a traditional PC.
We can confidently say that the VivoMini UN65U is a worthy successor to the series of compact computers from ASUS. The device has a balanced set of extensions and capabilities with a very small volume. In addition, it is so quiet that it can even be used in a children's room. Yes, since the device is very limited in size, it does not initially provide for the modernization capabilities that the vast majority of PCs have. But in everyday life, at home or at work, we don’t need super-super-calculating powers or exotic opportunities that we, at best, can take advantage of once a year, if we ever need them. Therefore, such a “baby” is of considerable interest both for the average user and for entrepreneurs who want to have small and reliable devices in their offices. The cost of a VivoMini UN65U PC, according to Yandex.Market, is about 30 thousand rubles. (depending on configuration), which is not so expensive, given its capabilities and dimensions.
. (tagsToTranslate) ASUS (t) micro (t) Intel (t) office (t) game (t) motherboard (t) UCFF (t) 4 × 4 inch (t) mini (t) office (t) education (t ) multimedia (t) network (t) Internet (t) home (t) PC (t) PC (t) Kaby Lake