At CES, Asrock told us about a new SFF PC in the works that uses Intel's mini-STX form factor. After a few more months of development, Asrock has new details to share on this system, which it has named "DeskMini."
The design doesn't appear to have changed much from what we were shown before. The 1.82L case is large enough to just barely fit in the motherboard, Intel stock cooler and two 2.5-inch storage drives. There isn't enough space for any PCI-E devices, but there are two M.2 slots, one configured for M.2 SATA devices and the other an M.2 Key E.
Although this system isn't the first to be sold in such a small form factor, Asrock is relying on the performance of socketed desktop CPUs to beat out the competition. Most if not all other systems produced at this size use soldered CPUs, typically mobile or ultra-low power chips in order to keep the heat production inside of the case down.
Asrock, however, feels confident that it will be able to keep desktop Skylake CPUs cool. This makes the design more user-friendly for enthusiasts that may want to upgrade the CPU later. It also keeps end users' options open, as they aren't limited to a handful of SKUs.
Asrock has not set a price nor release date yet for its DeskMini products. We expect to learn more at Computex in June.