There are plenty of excellent laptops for productivity work, but sometimes it still makes sense to go with a desktop PC. ASUS has now announced the ExpertCenter D7 SFF, a Windows desktop with a slim design and a few interesting features.
ASUS announced the ExpertCenter today, even though it has been on sale since August, as a slim PC tower aimed at businesses. That might explain the strange mix of connectivity options — there are 11 USB ports in total, PS/2 connectors for legacy keyboards and accessories (no adapter needed for that Model M), HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, and Ethernet. The front has easy access to SD card slots, USB devices, and headphones — take that, 24-inch iMac.
ASUS is allowing companies to customize their builds, but the $879.99 model available through Amazon has a 12th-generation Intel Core i5-12400 processor (with six cores and 12 threads), Windows 11 Pro, 512GB of NVMe storage, and 16 GB RAM. There’s no dedicated graphics card in the entry-level model — it’s strictly a productivity PC.
There’s also a DVD drive, which might be unnecessary for most people at this point, but can still be handy for ripping DVDs. We would have liked to see a Blu-ray drive at this price, though.
ASUS ExpertCenter D700SD
This slim desktop PC is built for businesses, but it's a capable option for home use if you don't want a gaming PC.
Admittedly, the $880 price tag makes the ExpertCenter PC a poor value for most people. You can buy a decent pre-built gaming PC for around the same price, and if you’re not against buying a Mac, the base Mac Mini is much smaller and almost $200 cheaper. There are reasons for it to exist, though — not everyone can use (or wants to use) a Mac, and this is likely quieter and more power-efficient than most gaming PCs. The built-in DVD drive and legacy ports also makes the PC more convenient for anyone frequently using older hardware, though you could also build a custom PC with a drive.