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As with every year, stalking the floor at CES 2024 lets you spot some very cool products indeed — and in our case, we’re always looking for the best Mac alternatives and accessories that we can show you. This year there has been some very cool stuff, but none quite as cool as some of these mini-PCs that companies like ASUS have shown off.
These are looking to draw your attention away from the Mac Mini — and with some seriously attractive specs, they might just succeed.
The CES Mini PC Haul
The first Mini PC is perhaps the most exciting — the ASUS NUC. NUC stands for next unit of computing, and now that Intel has stopped making the systems, they’ve become even more gamery than before with RGB lights all over the place and some insane specs.
There’s an Intel processor on the inside, either an Intel Core Ultra 7 or an Intel Core Ultra 9, two empty RAM slots for as much RAM as you could ever need (or at least up to 64GB), and either a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 or a GeForce RTX 4070. Great gobbets of power on tap, although the price is yet to be announced. It’s not going to be cheap, however, so buckle up if you’ve got your eye on one.
Second off, (noticed by ETA Prime on Youtube) is the Geekom APro8Max, and it’s another gamer-oriented system. It looks pretty cool and is also packed with some impressive specs.
There’s an AMD Ryzen 9 8940HS at its heart, as well as a Radeon 7600M XT to keep those frames coming in-game. There are two M.2 slots for storage, and it runs on 5600MHz DDR5. Geekoms are priced very well, so even though this little PC is extremely powerful, it’s likely to come in at a much lower price than the Mac mini.
Finally, the EliteMini UM780 from Minisforum. This one is a little less in your face than the other two models, although it’s still rammed full with extremely powerful componentry. Running the machine and providing solid graphics performance is the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS, and there’s space inside for up to 64GB of RAM. You can opt for a barebones model of this one, letting you choose your SSD and RAM, or you can for a pre-specced model with either 32GB or 64GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
The mini PC category that the Mac mini occupies is always a super fun way of seeing how different manufacturers are packing power into small places, and this selection of new machines is shaping up to be a great start for 2024.