Reviewing ASUS VivoMini UN65U - A small PC with a big heart
Some people love a clean, tidy and clutter-free working space more than anything. If you're one of them and you do most of your work on the same desk every day, using a big desktop PC, you might want to consider the idea of buying an all-in-one or a mini PC to unclutter your space. The good news is that there are many options available on the market. One of the smallest devices is called ASUS VivoMini UN65U. It's a mini PC that doesn't compromise on performance, design or connectivity options. We used for an entire week, and today we'd like to share with you, our opinions about it. Read our review, and you'll know if it fits your needs and wishes:
Unboxing the ASUS VivoMini UN65U
The ASUS VivoMini UN65U comes in a premium black box made from high-quality cardboard. On one of its sides, it has a small plastic handle which makes it easy to carry, like a suitcase. There's not much information printed on the box: just the ASUS logo and the company motto.
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Inside the box, you'll find the ASUS VivoMini UN65U computer, its power adaptor, a VESA mount kit and all the usual documentation: the user manual and the warranty card.
The ASUS VivoMini UN65U arrives in a package with a minimalist design, which looks good and it is pleasant to unbox.
ASUS VivoMini UN65U PC is available in multiple hardware configurations. For starters, you can choose between three different processors, all based on an Intel Kaby Lake chipset, generation 7. From low-end to high-end, you can buy this mini PC with an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, or an Intel Core i3-7100U processor. The version we tested came with the most powerful of the lot - the Intel Core i7-7500U processor, running at a base frequency of 2.70 GHz and up to 3.50 GHz in turbo mode. It's worth noting that this processor has two physical cores and four threads.
All the processors available for the ASUS VivoMini UN65U PC include the same graphics chip: Intel HD Graphics 620, which offers support for 4K resolutions, up to a maximum of 4096 x 2304 pixels at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. This chip won't be of help in playing any modern video games, but this mini PC wasn't designed for that.
Regarding memory, the ASUS VivoMini UN65U PC can be equipped with as little as 4 GB up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM memory, working in Dual Channel mode at a frequency of 2133 MHz. The model we tested had 16GB of RAM memory installed.
As for the storage options you get, on the ASUS VivoMini UN65U, you can mount a 2.5" hard drive of 500GB up to 1TB, and an M.2 SSD drive of 32GB up to 256 GB. If you're wondering, yes, you can mount both at the same time: although the ASUS VivoMini UN65U PC is tiny, it still has space to accommodate both a hard drive and an SSD. The model we tested came with a 256GB solid-state drive from Intel, and a 1TB hard disk drive from HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital.
To connect to the world, the ASUS VivoMini UN65U PC comes with a wired Ethernet card, as well as a wireless network card. You can't choose the Ethernet network card you'll get, but you can choose the Wi-Fi network card: a wireless network card with support for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth V4.1, or a network card with support for 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth V4.0. Our recommendation is to go with the wireless card that offers support for the 802.11ac wireless standard because it will offer higher connection speeds. The model we tested came with the wireless network card with support for the 802.11ac standard.
Although it's a small device, the ASUS VivoMini UN65U also offers a wealth of ports. You'll get four USB 3.0 ports with fast charging, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort, one RJ45 LAN port for connecting to wired Ethernet networks, one audio jack, one Kensington lock, and one 4-in-1 SD card reader. Another plus is that this device includes a TPM chip for BitLocker encryption.
ASUS VivoMini UN65U is a small PC, designed for businesses where work space matters, but also for people who want to work on their computers in a tidy, clutter-free, and quiet environment. It is only 5.15 inches (131 mm) in width and depth, and 2.05 inches (52mm) in height. And it weighs a mere 1.54 lb or 0.7 kg.
As for the operating system, you can buy the ASUS VivoMini UN65U mini PC with Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro installed. The model we reviewed had Windows 10 Home installed on it.
You can find the official hardware specifications, here: VivoMini UN65U (commercial) - Specifications.
Using the ASUS VivoMini UN65U
The ASUS VivoMini UN65U is designed to be as small as possible, while at the same time packing some serious hardware. During our testing, we used it daily for all kinds of computing activities. For instance, this review was written on the ASUS VivoMini UN65U. We also used it for browsing the web, writing documents, chatting on Slack and Skype, watching videos and movies, and even for playing a few less demanding video games.
Except for games, the performance you get from the Intel Core i7 processor is very impressive. And even more so if you add the 16 GB of RAM memory that handles any multitasking situation with ease, and the fast SSD that offers fast access times and data reading speeds. The result is a small yet powerful computer that will have no problem in doing anything you'll ask. However, if that means playing games, don't expect it to play modern games at high settings. To do its job, this mini PC relies solely on the integrated graphics chip. It's powerful enough to let you play less demanding games at normal or low settings, but it won't be able to run any new modern games decently. Out of curiosity, I did play League of Legends on it at medium-high settings, without any stuttering. That's a pretty impressive achievement for an integrated video chip!
One other thing that impressed me quite a bit is how beautiful the design of the ASUS VivoMini UN65U is. It's a small, simple and stylish device, with no hard edges, only rounded corners, a textured top cover with the company's logo embossed in the middle, and well-placed ports on all sides. If you look at it from the front, you'll see the storage drives LED light, the power button, and two USB 3.0 ports for easy access.
On its right side, there's the Kensington Lock, and on the left side, there's the SD card reader. The bulk of the ports is found on the back: the power port, the HDMI and the DisplayPort ports, the other two USB 3.0 ports, the Ethernet port, and the audio jack.
The ASUS VivoMini UN65U is a great where working space matters a lot and it's a perfect fit for small desks.
The ASUS VivoMini UN65U is also VESA-mount compatible. That means that you can stick it to the back of a monitor and create your own all-in-one PC. This is great because you get to choose your monitor and you can replace it anytime you want. That's not something you can change in a true all-in-one PC. Here's what the ASUS VivoMini UN65U looks like on the back of one of our monitors:
By the way, you can attach this mini PC to the back of a TV too. Consider the fact that it's also powerful enough to play 4K content, and you'll see why it's also an excellent choice if you want to create a home theater setup.
The ASUS VivoMini UN65U is a mini PC that looks good and works great. It was a pleasure to work on it, and it managed to impress in more than one way. The high performance, the small size, the solid design and build quality, the placement of the ports and the fact that you can mount it on the back of a display, these are all things that are worth appreciating.
On the next page of this review, you can find out more about the apps bundled with the ASUS VivoMini UN65U, the performance we measured in various benchmarks, and our final verdict.