Desktops don’t always have to look so traditional. They can also be modernized, for example in the way of compact little boxes like ASUS VM62N-G039R. Performance-wise, the ASUS is equipped with Core i3 processor and comes with a pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit). In this review, I’ll tell you most important facts about the desktop and how they might benefit you.
The main things
ASUS VM62N-G039R’s processor is Intel Core i3-4030U, a mid-range dual-core CPU of 1.9GHz clock speed. Based on the Haswell architecture, it features Hyperthreading although no turbo speed to momentarily up your clock frequency. That’s however no concern for most, as these i3 processors tend to be good for most uses (home, students, offices, movie watching) as they are.
The system has 4GB DDR3 memory which is a solid baseline amount. The ASUS supports up to 16GB memory and there’s one free slot on the mainboard – so adding more memory should be an effortless task if you wanted that.
The internal storage is a common 500GB 7200RPM hard drive. It’s not very large for a desktop, since many computers in this price range come with a 750GB – 1024GB drive. Still, hosting photos in tens of thousands is possible. The drive is slightly faster than basic 5400RPM HDDs but can’t keep up with the swift solid-state drives of the modern day.
The setup for storage is unique. The top panel opens, allowing you to install and use in total two storage drives on this desktop. As such, you can accompany the current hard drive with an SDD if you choose to. In addition, no matter what your local configuration is, 100GB free cloud storage is offered by ASUS.
How’s the gaming on it?
The graphics engine of ASUS VM62N-G039R isn’t actually that bad. At least compared to most budget desktop graphics. In this desktop, the chip is called NVIDIA GeForce 820M – a graphics card comparable to faster Intel HD 4600 chips. You should be able to play any games as of 2014 on it, but the heaviest titles like Thief and Watch Dogs would have barely playable frame rates around 20 on the lowest settings. Most games (including the popular Minecraft) however have far more FPS if you can keep the settings and resolution at bay.
There are two USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0s available on ASUS VM62N-G039R. For video, it offers HDMI and DisplayPort outs – connecting the desktop to a wide array of external monitors is thus possible.
For audio, there’s an optical SPDIF out and jacks for microphone and headphones.
The Ethernet port works up to 1000Mbps speed and there’s also a dual-band WiFi for your wireless needs. The WiFi can also act as a hotspot, so you can connect other devices of your household to Internet through this ASUS. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported out of box.
One thing these compact boxes (mini PCs or home theater PCs as some call them) sometimes miss is the optical drive. This ASUS doesn’t have one, but using an external DVD drive is your best alternative. There’s also a 4-in-1 media card reader with SD, SDHC, SDXC and MMC support which can offer some remedy but understandably can’t really replace good old discs.
What else to keep in mind?
If you’re comparing ASUS VM62N-G039R to regular desktop, you’ll notice the size difference. The ASUS weighs just 2.6 pounds – far less than desktops – and is advertised as having a footprint only tad larger than a DVD jewel case. Finding room for this computer should thus be easy, even in a cramped apartment.
ASUS VM62N-G039R is a desktop geared towards multimedia use. It’s probably best used as the heart of your home theater system. Somebody might also want to get it for everyday computing if space is limited – and a gamer would enjoy the upgraded graphics as long as he could play on low settings and resolution. The connectivity is also solid with 6 USB ports, HDMI, DP and SPDIF outs and a dual-band WiFi. If you’re building a home theater or just want a good-looking desktop replacement to your home, I’d imagine this ASUS would do you well.