ASUS has taken the wraps off of its newest Windows-powered compact PC, the ASUSPRO E420 Mini PC. The diminutive system will be available in South African retail outlets in January, 2018.
The first ASUSPRO boxes to land at local retail will be powered a 7th-generation Intel Celeron processor, the 3865U; it’s a 1.8GHz dual-core/two-thread chip with a 15W TDP. It’s not a heavyweight processor designed for intensive work tasks, but it’s perfect to power a system intended for light use – office apps, web-surfing, point of sale, video-watching, etc. Configurations with faster Core i5 and i7 processors can be custom-ordered, if that’s what your business needs.
Under the hood
The unit ships with 4GB of DDR4-2133 RAM, and a 32GB solid-state M.2 SATA SSD. If more storage is needed, there is room inside the enclosure for an additional 2.5-inch drive. Should your storage and performance requirements exceed the initial unit’s specs, the E420 can be kitted out with up to a 512GB SSD and up to a 1TB mechanical hard drive, or any mix of the two.
The beauty of the ASUSPRO’s design is that it’s incredibly compact – it’s not even as thick as the average romance novel, and weighs next to nothing. It’s been designed that way so it can be easily mounted behind a monitor with the included – and rotatable – VESA mount, where it remains hidden away and doesn’t contribute to desktop clutter – perfect for space-challenged retail environments.
Despite its compact design, the E420 has ports aplenty: you’re looking at four easy-to-reach front-mounted USB 3.0 ports along with a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI output, a VGA port, the usual audio out and mic jacks, and of course, a 4-in-1 SD card reader. The HDMI port supports 4K/2K at 30fps (the VGA port doesn’t), and up to two screens can be connected at once.
Many and varied uses
There’s even an older serial port, handy for connecting handheld scanners and other hardware used in retail and point-of-sale operations. Thanks to its compact build, light weight, low cost, and efficient power usage, the E420 is also suitable for use in kiosks, call centres, in educational situations, and digital signage.
And because WiFi is so prevalent, but good reception isn’t, the E420 also comes with a wireless antenna jack where an external antenna can be plugged in to boost WiFi signal reception. So feel free to place the machine even in locations covered by weak WiFi signal.
Lastly, ASUS includes access to its Corporate Stable Model programme with every E420 purchased. It’s an initiative designed to provide businesses with stable product supply and enhanced after sales support.
Each CSM mini PC purchase entitles buyers to the ASUS Control Centre IT-management software suite (software that costs $60/R820 on its own) that provides comprehensive control and monitoring.
ASUS CSM products also include a stable roadmap and assured 36-month supply availability to ensure customers need not worry about material-supply gaps or extended supply.
And small business owners get the excellent ASUS Business Manager software with their ASUSPRO PCs as well, which facilitates quick and easy management of their systems’ power, update, backup and recovery, security, BIOS tools, and support.
Ideal for SMBs and startups
This isn’t a computer intended for heavy lifting; rather, it’s an entry level machine ideal for small businesses and startups, that’s great for low-fi tasks like point of sale and terminal services.
It’s also backed by fantastic after-sales service and manageability functionality that should please any IT manager, making it an easy addition to any business’s IT arsenal.
- Gorgeous design
- Thin and light
- VESA-mountable via included rotatable mount
- Easily-accessible USB ports
- COM port for older peripherals
- WiFi Antenna to boost signal
- Dual-screen capable via HDMI and VGA
- HMDI can do 4K/2K at 30fps
- Core i5/i7 config on request
- Accommodates two storage devices
- Celerons are not hugely powerful
- Default SSD config offers minimal capacity