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Asus’ tiny 2.5-liter gaming NUC tentatively starts at $1,629 in the US

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When Asus rescued Intel’s NUC brand of compact computers from the dumpster, I held out hope that the company might also revive Intel’s ambitious miniature gaming PCs. It did, but prepare for a little sticker shock — these systems may cost as much or more than a comparable gaming laptop.

The company’s website currently lists two models of the ROG NUC, with what Asus tells us are tentative prices of $1,629 and $2,199. The entry-level model sports an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics, 16GB of 5600MHz DDR5 RAM and 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, while the advanced config bumps that up to an Core Ultra 9 185H, RTX 4070, and 32GB / 1TB of RAM and storage respectively.

Since you can easily find Asus’ popular Zephyrus G14 and G16 laptops with similar specs for that price or less — despite also getting a battery and screen — these aren’t exactly the barebone budget gaming picks that an Intel gaming NUC could sometimes have been in the past.

The ports of the Asus ROG NUC.
Image: Asus

But you do get decent connectivity in a box just two inches thick. There are six USB-A ports, four of them at 10Gbps speeds, an SD Express 8.0 card reader, a Thunderbolt 4 port with up to 12V fast charging for USB-C PD devices, 3.5mm headset, and 2.5Gbps Ethernet, in addition to two DisplayPort 1.4a sockets and an HDMI 2.1 port. Wirelessly, there’s an Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1690i and Bluetooth 5.3.

Me, I would have liked more USB-C ports — and you’ll note that it uses a 330-watt external DC power brick. It also comes with the vertical stand you see in the image atop this story.

We still haven’t seen what it looks like inside yet, but there’s a single button on the rear to pop open the panel so you can swap RAM and add SSDs at a minimum. It comes with three M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4x4 slots, so adding lots of speedy storage should be easy.

Asus tells us it hasn’t firmed up when the ROG NUC will ship, but that it’ll probably come alongside or shortly after non-gaming NUC 14 Pro Plus models it plans to release in April or May.

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