ASUS PN41 mini PC offers 2.5GbE networking for $169 and up

When I looked for an SBC or a mini PC with 2.5GbE networking following the discontinuance of ODROID-H2+ SBC, I focused on systems with dual 2.5GbE ports to closely match Hardkernel’s SBC specifications, and most of those systems were rather expensive.

But if a single 2.5 GbE port is enough for your application, then there’s a good alternative to ODROID-H2+ with ASUS PN41 mini PC powered by a choice of Jasper Lake processors, and pricing starting at $169 on Amazon for a barebone model with an Intel Celeron N4500 dual-core processor.

2.5GbE mini PCASUS PN41 mini PC specifications:

  • Jasper Lake N-Series SoC (one or the other)
    • Pentium Silver N6005 quad-core processor @ 2.0GHz / 3.3GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD graphics; 10W TDP
    • Celeron N5105 quad-core processor @  2.0GHz / 2.9GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 10W TDP
    • Celeron N4505 dual-core processor @ 2.0GHz / 2.9GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 10W TDP
    • Pentium Silver N6000 quad-core processor @ 1.1GHz / 3.1GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 6W TDP
    • Celeron N5100 quad-core processor @ 1.1GHz / 2.8GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 6W TDP
    • Celeron N4500 dual-core processor @ 1.1GHz / 2.8GHz with Intel UHD graphics; 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 2x SO-DIMM memory slots with optional 4GB or 8GB DDR4 memory (32GB RAM max)
  • Storage
    • 64GB or 128GB eMMC flash (optional?)
    • Optional 3-in-1 card reader
    • Optional M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD with 128GB or 256GB capacity
    • Optional 2.5-inch 1TB SATA III drive
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4 (can be changed to VGA, COM, or LAN as an option), 1x USB-C port with DisplayPort 1.4
  • Audio
    • 3.5mm mic+headphone audio jack
    • Microphone array
    • Realtek ALC3251 or ALC3236-VB2 HD Audio codec (optional)
  • Networking
    • 2.5GbE RJ45 port via Realtek RTL8125B-CG controller
    • Optional 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB – 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C ports with quick charge support (one with DP Alt mode), 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
  • Security – Optional TPM 2.0
  • Misc – Optional IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 19V DC, 3.42A (65W Power Adapter)
  • Power Consumption – 3.69W at idle
  • Dimensions – 115 x 115 x 49 mm (Barebone)
  • Weight – 700g when fitted with a 2.5-inch HDD
  • Certificates – BSMI/CB/CE/FCC/UL/CCC/Energy Star/C-Tick/WiFi/RF/VCCI

ASUS PN41 mini PCThere appear to be many variants of the ASUS PN41, and it’s even possible to get two Ethernet ports, but it’s unclear whether that would be dual 2.5GbE, or 2.5GbE + Gigabit Ethernet. I could not find such a model for sale, and I don’t understand how ASUS SKU nomemclature works. Nevertheless, the specifications are quite close to ODROID-H2+, and with a quad-core model, you’ll certainly get noticeable performance, typically around 30%, over the Gemini Lake SBC depending on the selected Jasper Lake SoC. The price for the barebone model also includes an enclosure and a power adapter, so it looks good value for money.

ASUS PN41 configurable portsWhat you may miss from Hardkernel’s offering are the dual SATA ports and enclosures for two 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives as I used in ODROID-H2 review. The ASUS mini PC relies on the same RTL8125B controller for 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, so you may expect similar performance and/or issues.

Models fitted with memory and storage ship with either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home, and a free upgrade to Windows 11 will be delivered to qualifying devices in late 2021 into 2022. Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 20.04 should also work, and ODROID-H2/H2+ Wiki may be a source of information for settings.

More details can be found on the product page.

ASUS PN41 SSD SATA storage

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