MSI has announced the impending launch of its first products based around Intel's ultra-compact 5x5 form factor, or STX as it is now known.
Some 29 per cent smaller than the existing mini-ITX standard, Intel's 5x5 form factor was unveiled in August last year
as the logical successor to its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range. Boasting a 140mm x 147mm footprint, the motherboard standard nevertheless includes a user-accessible CPU socket, two SODIMM slots, and SATA and M.2 storage options. Now, MSI is dipping its toes into the market with its first 5x5 products: The Cubi 2 Plus and Cubi 2 Plus vPro.
Identified under 5x5's new STX moniker, the Cubi 2 Plus is a svelte machine boasting Intel's latest low-power Skylake processor. Models based on the Core i3-6100T, Core i5-6500T and Core i7-6700T will be available, all using the integrated graphics. Each model supports up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, includes built-in 802.11b/g/n or 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 radio connectivity, and supports a single 2.5" SATA drive and M.2 SSD for storage. Ports include a top-mounted USB 2.0 port with charging function, three front-facing USB 2.0 and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port, analogue audio, wired Ethernet, HDMI and DisplayPort output, and a further USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A port at the rear.
The Cubi 2 Plus vPro, features the same hardware design as its home-oriented equivalent but includes support for Intel's vPro extensions, along with a screen-sharing virtual meeting platform dubbed Intel Unite. Pricing for all models has yet to be confirmed, with more information expected ahead of the official launch in March.