ASRock has beefed up its line of mini PCs with a new VisionX Series that combines Haswell horsepower with Radeon graphics. The 7.9" x 7.9" x 2.8" systems are available with a range of mobile CPUs capped by the Core i7-4712MQ, a 37W chip with quad cores clocked up to 3.3GHz. Graphics grunt is provided by a GCN-based R9 M270X GPU with 1GB of dedicated memory.
The VisionX looks fairly nice from the outside, and it's loaded with connectivity. Up front, you get a USB 3.0 port, an SD reader, and a "MHSL" connector of ASRock's own design. This "Mobile High Speed Link" is compatible with the MHL standard, and it can sync data in addition to handling display signals.
There's a little bit of everything around back, including HDMI, DVI, S/PDIF, eSATA, and loads of USB. Gigabit Ethernet is included, as well, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Inside, the chassis has room for dual SO-DIMMs, dual 2.5" hard drives, and one mSATA SSD. The top configuration comes with 8GB of RAM, a 2TB mechanical drive, and a 256GB SSD. A "DVD Super Multi" drive is also listed in the spec sheet, but it's not entirely clear whether Blu-ray discs are supported. One would hope.
ASRock includes an MCE-compatible remote in the box, making the VisionX particularly well-suited to home-theater PC duty. I hope the system isn't too loud for the living room, though. The chassis appears to have very little ventilation, which means the internal blower will probably have to work reasonably hard to expel heat from inside the case.