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indifferentiable to a router - Asus' new miniPC

williamcll
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56-110-225-V02.jpg

While Tiger Lake Mini PCs have existed for some time, this one certainly stands out from the crowd by the fact that it looks exactly like a router.

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Another ASUS mini-PC has arrived, roughly two weeks after the company announced the PN52 and PN64. However, while the PN52 and PN64 will not be available until Q2 2022, Newegg has started selling the ASUS PL63 in multiple configurations. The ASUS PL63 starts at US$508 as a barebones machine and US$650 if you want pre-installed RAM, storage and an OS. All configurations come with the Core i5-1135G7 though, a quad-core processor from Intel's Tiger Lake family. The Core i5-1135G7 also has an Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs iGPU and can boost its four CPU cores to 4.2 GHz when needed. For some reason, ASUS has not listed the PL63 on its website. According to Newegg, the mini-PC is available with up to 32 GB of RAM, a 4 TB NVMe SSD and a Windows 10 Pro licence. This configuration costs US$1,299.99 for reference.

pl63_06_780x220.jpg

The ASUS PL63 comes with the following ports too and relies on a 90 W power adapter. 1x 3.5 mm audio 1x DisplayPort 1x Gigabit Ethernet 1x HDMI 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C 4x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A 2x Wi-Fi antennas

 

My thoughts

If it had more LAN port this would be a fantastic soft router since most wireless devices can't even hit a Gigabit with 3 antennas anyways. The additon of a USB4 port is pretty good too, this would make a nice high speed NAS. The price is a bit overboard however.

 

Sources

https://www.notebookcheck.net/ASUS-PL63-mini-PC-launches-with-an-Intel-Core-i5-1135G7-processor-from-US-508.593849.0.html

https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=ASUS+PL63

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I don't know about looking exactly like a router.... maybe 25 years ago... but these days, we have to deal with these monstrosities:

asus_rt_ac5300_tri_band_wireless_ac5300_1194741.jpg.3bd8f205173564831fc10233515287e0.jpggrouter1-1.thumb.jpg.2f505dd5cdf4111dd1655d614caa7067.jpgLinksys-EA8500.jpg.7d843bf6bfb5ea12fb8f32fdaa44da77.jpg

'cause more antennas = more better, apparently. And of course, bigger is always more better.

 


When all one needs is something like this:

google-smart-routers-accessories-ga00157-us-64_1000.jpg.9d96faba07b1f936ce4ae21aa58c9969.jpgAmplifi-White-Hero_1024x1024.png.5f094e2a9740393d9b11a6c87c1a7119.png
 

Anyways:

 

To me, the casing of the ASUS looks like the way it does because they were able to use a generic enclosure to save every penny they can.

All they need to do is front plate. So they take the sheet of metal, whole punch the openings for the ports that they need, paint, and your done. Need different placements? Just adjust the punching machine. Rapid, low cost casing. I mean it's great, but for the price, I expected more effort, especially that you can find more effort done on mini-PCs on AliExpress. Or at least, they could have spent a bit, and make the port casing black instead of the standard silver color, just to make it look reasonable (something that Razer, Apple, Microsoft, are doing with their systems, and ASUS has done it in the past with its previous mini-PCs... so it's not this impossible feat).

 

All to say: it's cool, but I have seen better from competitors.

To me, this is a low effort design... a shame.. I am sure the engineering work at the inside is very impressive to cram everything in, but the out side.... clearly didn't bother getting their product design team on board... maybe they see it as being used in the commercial space only, and so, who cares, as it would probably be behind the monitor or hidden away.

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3 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

I don't know about looking exactly like a router.... maybe 25 years ago... but these days, we have to deal with these monstrosities:

asus_rt_ac5300_tri_band_wireless_ac5300_1194741.jpg.3bd8f205173564831fc10233515287e0.jpggrouter1-1.thumb.jpg.2f505dd5cdf4111dd1655d614caa7067.jpgLinksys-EA8500.jpg.7d843bf6bfb5ea12fb8f32fdaa44da77.jpg

'cause more antennas = more better, apparently. And of course, bigger is always more better.

Every time I look into better networking than just a stock ISP box rental or something similar from BestBuy I come across these things and cringe. I understand they're marketed as "gaming" but dang, do people actually buy these?

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6 hours ago, thechinchinsong said:

Every time I look into better networking than just a stock ISP box rental or something similar from BestBuy I come across these things and cringe. I understand they're marketed as "gaming" but dang, do people actually buy these?

When my AC66U died I just went out and got a used AC68U cause they're, ya know, not stupid.

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On 1/23/2022 at 3:00 PM, thechinchinsong said:

Every time I look into better networking than just a stock ISP box rental or something similar from BestBuy I come across these things and cringe. I understand they're marketed as "gaming" but dang, do people actually buy these?

Some people have a 2000sq ft house.

 

Your average ISP router is good for about 4 rooms on the same floor. Like my parents friends have wifi extender lightbulbs in all their rooms because their 2-story homes can't deal with it.

 

These larger routers with the several antennas give you far more range from a single device, but also do things the ISP routers won't do. 

 

However, overall, an ISP router is fine if you're only a 1200sq ft single-floor home.

 

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Ah yes, as we know, antennas = router

3 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Some people have a 2000sq ft house.

 

Your average ISP router is good for about 4 rooms on the same floor. Like my parents friends have wifi extender lightbulbs in all their rooms because their 2-story homes can't deal with it.

 

These larger routers with the several antennas give you far more range from a single device, but also do things the ISP routers won't do. 

 

However, overall, an ISP router is fine if you're only a 1200sq ft single-floor home.

Dedicated access points often have equal or better range even without a dozen protruding antennas - and if you need to extend your range you can just add more to your network. These "gaming" combined router+ap boxes often cost more than a decent solution with dedicated router + dedicated ap(s).

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-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

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A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

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Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

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-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

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A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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On 1/22/2022 at 2:24 PM, williamcll said:

it looks exactly like a router.

Funny because my router looks like a desktop pc.... 😄
 

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router.jpg

 

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4 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

Funny because my router looks like a desktop pc.... 😄

My NAS looks like a console

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13 minutes ago, Arika S said:

My NAS looks like a console

Repurposed some old HW?

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7 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

Repurposed some old HW?

yup. my "old" 7600k with a z270 became my hugely overkill NAS in a silverstone ML04

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On 1/23/2022 at 8:33 PM, GoodBytes said:

'cause more antennas = more better, apparently.

It actually is.

 

On 1/23/2022 at 8:33 PM, GoodBytes said:

And of course, bigger is always more better.

Actually yes.

Bigger area that is covered by antennas = higher chance of some antenna picking up a clean signal. If all antennas are in the same spot then they will all pick up the same signals and the point of multiple antennas are lost.

 

There is some logic behind the stupid looks of "gaming routers".

Not saying that they are good or that we shouldn't ridicule them for some things, but size and antenna count are not the issues with them.

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16 minutes ago, Arika S said:

yup. my "old" 7600k with a z270 became my hugely overkill NAS in a silverstone ML04

Not much space for storage though.... My NAS is in a aerocool rs9 running on a 1700X.

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Just now, jagdtigger said:

Not much space for storage though.... My NAS is in a aerocool rs9 running on a 1700X.

it's got about 10TB of storage in it (2x 3.5"s and 3x 2.5"s). it's honestly more than i need.

 

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