Asus has announced Xonar Essence STU, very interesting DAC with integrated headphone amplifier. The device, according to Asus, has the same internal design as the critically acclaimed Xonar Essence ST/STX Series sound cards for audiophiles.
One of the big (or is it small) things that re-emerged on the market last year was the reintroduction of Via’s Mini-ITX form factor for motherboards. We have had a few of these in the lab and they are very fun to play with. So far we have had boards from J&W Technology Limited and Gigabyte so now it is time for use to throw one up from Asus. The board we have is part of their MiniMAX lineup. It is the P8H67-I Deluxe. As you might have imagined this has an H67 chipset onboard so it is all read for the Sandy Bridge Core i7/i5 of your choice. We have seen what the H55 could do in this form factor so we are excited to see what Asus can do with the more efficient H67 and Sandy Bridge combination. We are going to take a look at the design and features of this board now and then run it through the wringer later.