Businesses looking for an extremely durable desktop have a new and intriguing option in Asus's ExpertCenter D700SA (opens in new tab). Arriving at an undisclosed date with a starting price of $699, this small form factor desktop features enterprise-grade TPM 2.0 security and meets MIL-STD 810G durability standards. Asus doesn't say specifically which tests it passed, but the MIL-STD standards usually require some protection against shocks, vibrations and extreme temperatures.
The D700SA runs on the new six-core 12 threaded Intel Core i5-10400 (opens in new tab) CPU with a 65W TDP. The CPU is a solid upgrade over previous-gen Core i5-9400s which are widely used in small form factor workstations. The unit also comes with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD.
One of the best selling points of this SFF unit is its upgradability. The chassis features a tool-free design allowing you to open up the system without needing a screwdriver. Once inside you can access 4 DIMM slots (maxing out at 128GB capacity), 3.5" and 2.5 HDD mounts, and all the motherboards PCI-E expansion slots.
The Asus D700SA features three M.2 storage slots, two for storage and one for Wi-Fi, two PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots, 1 standard PCI slot, and finally one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot. This is great if you need to install a low profile graphics card for extra monitors/rendering or some gaming.
The Asus ExpertCenter D700SA's I/O is extensive, featuring 11 USB ports in all. Six of them are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, plus one type-C, and the rest are USB 2.0 ports. For video, you have one HDMI 1.4 port, one VGA port, and one Display Port. For audio, you have three audio jacks, 3.5mm one combo audio jack, and one headphone jack.
Plus you get two old school PS2 connectors if you need to hook up outdated peripherals (all the best mechanical keyboards now use USB). If you need wireless support the D700SA supports WiFi 6 and dual-band Bluetooth 5.0. Plus an RJ-45 ethernet jack. On top of that all, it includes an 8x S-M DL optical drive which can be desirable in the workspace for running older software that needs to be installed via CD/DVD.
This is one of the best solutions out there for a workstation PC, it's very rare to find an SFF unit which has the upgradability and connectivity of a DIY computer, all at the price of $699.99. Asus says the D700SA is coming soon with no arrival date revealed at this time.