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Asus takes on the HTPC market

The Taiwanese PC maker's new VivoPC and VivoMouse are designed with the home theater PC user in mind.

TAIPEI -- In addition to new laptops and tablets, Asus also showcased its latest home theater PC (HTPC) offerings, the VivoPC and VivoMouse, at Computex.

Philip Wong/CNET

The VivoPC appears somewhat larger than the Mac mini, but it has a high-quality metal chassis and is designed to blend easily among A/V devices. Other key differentiators include a pair of front speakers and 3.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD) support. This is unlike most small form factor PCs, which can accept only 2.5-inch HDDs.

Update: This article was originally posted on June 5, 2013 7:58 AM PDT.

Updated on June 5, 2013 8:32 AM PDT: The article has been updated to reflect a better comparison using the Mac mini rather than an Apple TV.

Related links
• Asus developing a 39-inch UHD monitor
• Asus refreshes Android tablets; low-cost MeMo Pad to start at $129
• Computex 2013: All the latest news

Hardware-wise, the VivoPC can support an Intel Core i-series processor with integrated graphics and 16GB of RAM. If you're concerned about heat buildup, a quiet fan cooling system is used to keep the chip cool, according to an Asus representative. As for connectivity options, this model has most of the usual ports and wireless functions, ranging from an HDMI output to USB 3.0 ports and Wi-Fi.

The top cover can be easily removed to access the HDD. Philip Wong/CNET

The VivoMouse is simply a wireless optical mouse with a huge touch pad. Additional multitouch gestures can be used to switch between applications (think: Alt + Tab for Windows), scroll Web pages, and magnify a photo. Ironically, you'll still need a separate keyboard for easy text entry, which is oddly not part of the whole VivoPC-VivoMouse package.

The Asus VivoPC and VivoMouse are expected to be available worldwide in Q3 of this year and July, respectively. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.