I've been playing with PC components and building my own PCs for nearly as long as I can remember. Sifting back through my posts on several forums, I find one post in particular, back before NVidia's NForce3 chipset was made public. I had envisioned a day where homes had compute devices all over, with a main super-computer in a closet and people in the house going about their day with their lesser devices all serviced by that one machine—tablets, phones, light-weight desktops all managed by a single powerful PC. If you want to play a videogame, it can do that too. Back then, not every house had a PC of some sort like they do today. Social media wasn't even a phrase, never mind the powerful thing it is today. Yet I knew the day would come when daily life relied on technology in ways never seen before.
Fast forward to 2015 and that is more than a reality. It is a daily occurrence. I just finished walking around my house, controller in one hand, tablet in the other, with Metal Gear Solid V playing on the screen. My tablet isn't powerful; it is more of a portable display than anything else. It is my gaming desktop that runs my games, but more often than not, I'm in a completely different room in my house than that PC. Shortly after, I sat down in the living room, fired up STEAM on my Beebox, and was playing the very same session of MGSV that was on my tablet on my TV via my Beebox. What's a Beebox, you ask?
ASRock is my favorite company for engineering prowess. They release crazy board products that do things no other brand does, like hold 22 disc drives. When it comes to that ideal of mine, ASRock has a place there too, providing those boards for that supercomputer, and now, with the Beebox, those lightweight desktops as well. The ASRock Beebox is an Intel NUC-based device, but unlike other NUC devices, the ASRock Beebox is capable of 4K playback, along with STEAM streaming, Netflix, and everything else you might need a PC in your livingroom for. The Beebox is a compact device that can disappear on your desk, with the ability to run full Windows software, a USB Type-C port, and the ability to act as a wireless access point. The biggest feature, though, is that ability to do 4K playback.
*Specifications vary by model.
|ASRock Beebox Mini PC*|
|CPU:||Intel Braswell SoC|
|MEMORY:||4 GB DDR3L|
|Audio:||Realtek ALC283 (HD Audio)|
|NETWORKING:||Gigabit LAN & 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0|
|STORAGE:||128GB mSATA SSD + 1 x 2.5" SATA HDD (optional)|
|PORTS:||D-Sub, HDMI, 2x USB 2.0 port (rear), 1x USB 3.0 (rear), Audio, 1x LAN|
|GRAPHIC OUTPUT:||2 x HDMI & 1 x DisplayPort|
|DIMENSIONS:||117mm(W) x 110mm(L) x 48mm(H)|