What if you could have all the workings of a powerful computer housed in a compact box no bigger than your TV set top. The Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is Intel’s answer to Apple’s Mac mini form factor, now in its eighth generation. Intel’s space-saving NUC kits and NUC Mini PCs boast power and flexibility that fit in the palm of your hand – now powered by 8th Gen Intel Core processors and up to Intel Iris graphics.
I’ve been a fan of the Intel NUC since the sixth generation, especially the Skull Canyon kits. To explain, there are two ways to experience NUCs – either buy a NUC mini PC off-the-shelf, or build one using a NUC kit. I had the opportunity to see the 6th and 7th gen NUC Mini PCs up close at CES 2017.
Let’s start with the new Intel NUC kit. Formerly codenamed Bean Canyon, the new NUC kits (UC8i7BEH, NUC8i5BEH, NUC8i5BEK, NUC8i3BEH, NUC8i3BEK) are powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 “Coffee Lake” processors featuring Intel Iris graphics with eDRAM.
They’re great as home theatre systems, content creator boxes and even act as a personal voice assistant.
Intel NUC kits are great for integrators and DIY enthusiasts who love to customise their PCs – whether it’s memory, storage or operating system. There are various kits that offer different levels of price/performance to meet different user needs.
NUC kits can come with an 8th Gen Intel Core I processor, M.2 and/or 2.5-inch internal drive slots, HDMI 2.0a, USB-C (DP1.2) or 4-lane eDP 1.4 graphics output, and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Intel NUC Mini PCs on the other hand, come with Windows 10 and are ready to work out-of-the-box. The new Intel NUC Mini PCs (NUC8i3CYSM, NUC8i3CYSN) codenamed Crimson Canyon, are powered by 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8121U “Cannon Lake” processors and are the first mainstream NUCs to feature discrete graphics.
They’re great as an affordable mainstream gaming rig for playing popular 1080p games including League of Legends, TF2 and CS:GO.
The new NUCs come fully configured with 1TB of storage, either 8GB or 4GB of RAM, and runs Windows 10 Home. In terms of connectivity and expansion, they include Intel Wireless-AC 9560 CNVi 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5, tow HDMI 2.0a outputs, and four USB 3.0 ports.
Intel NUC kit and NUC Mini PC pricing and availability
The new Intel NUC kits and Intel NUC Mini PCs will be available worldwide through Intel distributors and online retailers starting September. The price range are as follows:
- Intel NUC kits: from USD300 (Core i3) to USD520 (Core i7)
- Intel NUC Mini PCs: from USD500 (4GB RAM) to USD550 (8GB RAM)
No news on Malaysian pricing and availability just yet.
For more information on Intel NUC kits, visit http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc/kits.html.
For info on Intel NUC Mini PCs, visit www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/boards-kits/nuc/mini-pcs.html.