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ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC Review

7.8 Total Score
GOOD

The Asus ExpertCenter ‎D500SC is a well-rounded, capable SFF PC suitable for cramped offices or other space-constrained work environs. It nails the best configuration around at a very reasonable price.

PROS
  • Includes security features for businesses
  • Chassis is compact, rugged, and easily serviced
  • Plenty of ports
  • Runs quietly
CONS
  • Minimal room for internal expansion, beyond 2.5-inch bay
  • Bundled keyboard and mouse are wired and subpar

The ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC is just the sort of small-form-factor (SFF) desktop you want for your business, small, versatile, capable, and packed with all the ports you might need from day to day.

Asus’ desktop line has been in standard gaming towers and laptops for all categories, but the ExpertCenter line blends the small size with the sort of power you’d expect from a much bigger tower. The result is a class-leading compact PC for business we’ve seen, taking on the likes of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M720s and the Dell OptiPlex 3080 on both performance and price.

ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC Specs

  • Desktop Class: Personal, Business
  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11400
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • Graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 730
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5; Bluetooth 5.0
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Weight: 12.13 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎3.72 x 12.58 x 12.62 inches

Design

As compact PCs go, the ExpertCenter ‎D500SC-AB504 isn’t much bigger than a hardcover book, measuring just ‎3.72 x 12.58 x 12.62 inches and weighing 12.13 pounds. Although that’s bigger than the hardware-packed HP Z2 Mini G3, the ExpertCenter D500SC lacks the discrete graphics card and easily accessible internal design of the HP workstation.

The ExpertCenter D500SC has a simple metal chassis with a plastic front panel. Asus adds a dash of flair with a patterned grille and an ExpertCenter accent, but this is a compact black box for the most part. That design makes a lot of sense since the tiny size lends itself to being stashed away from the desk, maybe behind a monitor or the underside of a desk, putting your PC hardware mainly out of sight.  

ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC Review

Despite its small size, the D500SC-AB504 packs in the ports. You’ll find an optical disk drive bay, four USB 3.2 ports, and a headphone/mic combo on the front. I appreciate the comprehensive mix on the small front panel; having an optical drive will save you from needing an external drive should you need it for your business applications.

You have full-size DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, an Ethernet jack, and four straight USB 2.0 ports on the rear. Other options for these panels include legacy connectors such as VGA and PS/2 ports and audio connectors.

Also bundled into the package are a standard wired mouse and keyboard, but the monitor is sold separately; something like the 24-inch Sceptre E248W-19203R should be acceptable.

Performance

Our review unit, the Asus ExpertCenter ‎D500SC-AB504, comes with an 11th generation Intel Core i5-11400 processor, 16GB RAM, and 256GB + 1TB hard drive with Windows 10 Home preinstalled (but supports a free upgrade to Windows 11 Home). Even with 20 tabs open and streaming both video and music, you won’t notice a bit of lag as you browse online.

With the 256GB SSD, the ExpertCenter ‎D500SC moves data quickly, copying a 4.97GB file in 30 seconds, which works out to 169 MBps. That

S faster than even the HP Z2 Mini G3 (101 MBps) and the office-centric HP Elite Slice (96MBps). The addition of a 1TB hard drive gives you sufficient storage for all your business files and pretty everything you’d need to store on the side.

ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC ports

Overall, don’t discount the ExpertCenter D500SC because of its small size – this is a capable office PC, and only the physical dimensions are small. The system’s hexacore, 4.4Hz 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11400 processor, and 16GB of memory make the Asus ExpertCenter well suited to the demands of office productivity.

It’s a better option over most office desktop PCs we’ve reviewed recently, including the Acer Aspire TC-1660-UA92 and the Lenovo IdeaCentre 3, with standard tower designs. The differences are apparent when comparing these desktops’ performance, but the ExpertCenter D500SC sits right at the center of the business category as most standard office desktops.

Should you buy the ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC?

If you’re after a compact office/business PC, the ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC should fit the bill. The pint-size design combines power and flexibility, giving you almost all the ports you need and a design small enough to tuck out of sight. Should you need more than the average office PC, consider the workstation-class  HP Z2 Mini G3 for a similarly compact system that packs more powerful graphics capability. But for most offices, the Asus ExpertCenter ‎D500SC-AB504 desktop is the productivity machine you may ever need.

OUR PICK

ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC Small Form Factor Desktop PC, Intel Core i5-11400, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD, TPM, Windows 10 Home, Black, D500SC-AB504

$642.28  in stock
8 new from $641.29
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of January 24, 2022 4:05 pm
ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC Review
ASUS ExpertCenter D500SC Review
$642.28

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