ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Review A Different Type of Fanless Mini PC


Power Consumption

The ASUS PN42 came with a 65W power brick that was a nice Delta power supply. This has a far more complete set of regulatory markings and certifications than many mini PCs that we have seen.

ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 65W PSU
ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 65W PSU

Idle power consumption was in the 5-6W range. Under load, the system would boost up to 22W for a few seconds. After those few seconds were up, the system would settle into power consumption of around 12W.

As a fanless unit, this did not have a fan to make noise.

Key Lessons Learned

There are several great points of this system, three display outputs (if you are still using VGA) and two 2.5GbE ports are standout features. Heck, there is even an IR receiver.

ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Rear Angle
ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Rear Angle

Our configuration of 4GB of RAM felt like too little for Windows 11 Pro, but it worked in Ubuntu. Still, these days, we would strongly suggest 8GB. On the subject of RAM though, now that DDR5 prices have fallen, it would have been nice to see DDR5 instead of DDR4 here. Between that and the constrained TDP, the performance was a bit lower than the DDR5 systems we have looked at.

ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Internal Angle
ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Internal Angle

Perhaps our biggest area for improvement here is that it would have been nice to see a larger cooler and the ability to keep clock speeds higher longer as a result. That may have impacted the chassis size and design, but it feels like that would be worth it in this case.

Final Words

Overall, the Intel N200 is a great low-power CPU, and a big update from the N5105/ J6413 generations.

ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 CPU Heatsink
ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 CPU Heatsink

As much as we wish this was a DDR5 system, it is hard to not recognize that ASUS had the goal of creating a silent and low-power system. It is also balancing cost optimization while providing features like WiFi 6E, dual 2.5GbE, and so forth. The overall fit and finish of this compared to some other mini PCs is surprisingly good, even if we would want a larger heatsink.

ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Internal DDR4
ASUS ExpertCenter PN42 Internal DDR4

When we review fanless mini PCs, we are often asked about other options for higher quality, so that is why we included this one in the review. The ASUS PN42 is a step above cheaper N200 systems in terms of quality.


  1. Ok, Real World. My Neosway 5105 beat the N200. first, it was 2 GHz and the N200 is listed as 1 GHz. When running CPU-intensive apps (Playon recording from On Demand and Video Download helper recording 4k video) the 5105 clocked at 60% to 70% of CPU, the N200 smashed 100% and stayed there and mostly failed the recording.

  2. At bottom of page 3 there is Geekbench 5 comparison between this and Asus PN51-S1. Can you clarify which CPU the selected configuration had? I have PN51-S1 with 5500u but it comes with other CPUs too.

  3. Are you in contact with ASUS and can get a list of SKUs/part numbers with the different configurations available?
    There are different versions available, e.g. not all versions have a second LAN port.
    ASUS support was unable to provide a list to me.

  4. A wasted opportunity.. the market is flooded with the low-price low-low-corees boxes.

    What people, especially homelabbers are screaming out more cores.. and this was the perfect opportunity to use the N305, which offer 8 cores.. and though Intel states max 16GB RAM… it works really well.with 32GB… and.i’m wondering if 48GB would also fly.


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