There's a new kid in Asus' PC lineup, and it's not part of the Eee series. Indeed, the new Essentio CS5110 PC Asus has announced appears to belong to a category of its own. Asus touts the machine as the world's smallest desktop PC to include a "fully embedded discrete graphics card," and it features home-theater-friendly features like support for a slim Blu-ray drive, HDMI video output, and a very small footprint.
Measuring only 7.9" x 11.4" x 3.1" (or 20 x 29 x 8 cm), the Essentio CS5110 includes an Intel G35 Express chipset, two DDR2-800 SO-DIMM memory slots, an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 256MB MXM graphics module, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.0, 7.1-channel S/PDIF audio output, and a copy of Windows Vista Home Premium. Users are free to install an Intel Core 2 Duo or Pentium processor of their choice together with one 3.5" 300MB/s Serial ATA hard drive, and Asus offers the system with either a Blu-ray "SuperMulti" drive or a DVD burner.
Despite the amount of hardware that little box can contain, Asus says it has gone to extra lengths to make it quiet. The company's press release mentions "the world's first 2-in-1 thermal module that insulates heat from the cooling fan," and it says the machine only has a noise level of 23.9dB when sitting at idle.
Asus hasn't announced any specifics regarding the system's launch date or price range just yet. That said, the Essentio CS5110 PC's spec sheet suggests it could become a "barebones" offering aimed at enthusiasts or system builders, and it definitely looks like a solid candidate for a media center PC.