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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ej24 - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    I'd prefer to buy this as a barebones kit and supply my own memory and drives. Otherwise this looks fantastic.
  • Gadgety - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    Great form factor and packaging. That RS-232 could serve me well. Too bad the UHD drive is only available in Japan, an odd decision.
  • Gadgety - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    I agree.
  • Samus - Monday, January 28, 2019 - link

    I think they totally nailed it. Internal PSU, RS232, compact size, HDMI 2.0, powerful low-watt cpu...Asus totally hit it out of the park
  • osamabinrobot - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    is that a fuckin serial port????
  • Inteli - Friday, January 25, 2019 - link

    I'd say so. How dare they put a potentially useful legacy port on a computer?
  • Lord of the Bored - Saturday, January 26, 2019 - link

    RS-232 for life, brother!

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