The thin Mini-ITX form-factor has numerous dimensions-related advantages over regular Mini-ITX for all-in-one and miniature desktops. But thin Mini-ITX motherboards are rare in retail (since many of us enjoy having loads of ports on the back of our PCs), which is why the form-factor has not received wide adoption in the DIY market. Fortunately, Asus quietly unveiled one of the industry's first thin Mini-ITX motherboards for LGA1700 CPUs. Alder Lake, welcome to the ultra-compact desktop class!
Since it's aimed primarily at small business desktops, the Asus Pro H610T D4-CSM motherboard is rather unpretentious in terms of features and capabilities. It supports all 12th Generation Core, Pentium, and Celeron LGA1700 processors (up to 65W TDP) and comes with a six-phase digital VRM that uses "high-quality components and rigorous testing to help ensure durability in harsh environments."
FanlessTech suggests to use this motherboard for fanless Alder Lake builds, which might be a good idea for HTPCs give Alder Lake's advanced Xe-LP GPU with premium media processing capabilities (12-bit end-to-end video pipeline, AV1/H.264/H.265 decoding, BT.2020 support, HDR10/Dolby Vision,4K/8Kp60 playback).
As the Pro H610T D4-CSM name suggests, the motherboard uses an entry-level Intel H610 chipset (so do not expect any premium functionality here) and supports up to 64GB of widely available DDR4-3200 memory (using two SO-DIMM modules). In addition, the mainboard has an M.2-2230 slot for a Wi-Fi module, an M.2-2280 slot for an SSD featuring a PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA interface, and two SATA ports. There is also an LVDS connector for built-in display for cases when the motherboard is used for an AIO desktop or an embedded machine (keep in mind that this motherboard does not come with a watchdog timer, so it is not exactly designed for embedded applications).
The connectivity department is relatively modest and comprises a GbE port (using a Realtek controller), two USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectors, two USB 2.0 ports, two display outputs (DisplayPort 1.4a and HDMI 2.1), 3.5-mm audio connectors, and a 19V DC input.
Meanwhile, the CSM moniker means that the platform belongs to the Asus CSM (corporate stable model) program that ensures continuous 36-months availability, a 6-month end-of-life notification, and Asus Control Center Express software optimized for business/commercial environments to make serviceability easier. Also, the motherboard comes with a TPM module header, has a self-recovering BIOS with event log, a Q-LED diagnostic display, and even a COM debug header.
Asus provides no availability timeframe or pricing for the Pro H610T D4 motherboard, but expect the unit to arrive soon and relatively cheap given its modest capabilities.