Intel seems to like things that are small like the Intel compute stick (Deer, 2015, April 6) now available on NewEgg and Amazon. But some of us want something with a familiar form factor, like the mini PC , but running the latest version of Windows 10.
There are already mini-Pc on the market, such as the US$295 CompuLab’s MintBox Mini (Deer, 2015, January 22) but this machine runs Linux. Windows variants also exist, such as the US$249 Acer Revo One (Deer, 2015, June 21), but that runs Windows 8.1.
So can Intel shake up the Mini-PC market with a Windows 10 Mini PC (Newman, 2015, November 13) with the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) PC kits as well as the US$255 Intel Grass Canyon NUC (Burlacu, 2015, October 20)?
Intel’s NUC PC – Build-a-Bear Broadwell-based kits with Core i3 and Core i5 Processors
The four (4) new models of Intel’s NUC (Tyson, 2015, November 16) are the first to include Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake Processors. They will still have Core i3 and Core i5 versions, with Iris 520 graphics included in the Core i5 NUC mini PC’s.
The concept of the Intel NUC kits, which they’ve been selling for the past three (3) years, is that they supply the Processor, ports, connectivity and power supply included; you’ll supply the RAM, storage, and operating system. Sorta like building your own PC from scratch!
The NUC kits now come in two sizes; the taller supports 2.5-inch hard drivers and the shorter supports M.2 SSD. These pint sized PC’s can be built with any OS and Memory combination you want, including Windows 10, giving you the feel of building your own High-end Gaming and streaming Console!
Both the Core i3 and Core i5 will have the same specs as the previous Broadwell-based kits, with two USB 3.0 ports in front and two in the back. There will also be a Mini DisplayPort out, Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1.
What’s new is that both the Core i3 and Core i5 will be getting the SDXC card slots and will feature full-sized HDMI output instead of mini-HDMI. Throw in the inclusion of 4K video and 7.1 surround sound supports, and you can basically use the HDTV in your living room as the display for an excellent streaming and powerful gaming Rig.
Intel Grass Canyon NUC – For those you just like to plug and play
If you’re the lazy type, you also have the option to purchase the US$255 Intel Grass Canyon NUC (Burlacu, 2015, October 20) that comes with everything built in ready to use.
Like the Intel NUC kits you have to bring your own wireless of USB keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor. Still the 11.43 x 11.176 x 5.08 cm (4.5 x 4.4 x 2 inch) minicomputer comes with some impressive specs.
It has a Quad-Core Intel Pentium N3700 Braswell Processor with 2 GB of RAM that can be upgraded to 8GB RAM. You initially get a 32GB eMMC storage with an additional drive bay to add an extra hard drive or SSD.
You also get a how cornucopia of ports including four USB 3.0, VGA and HDMI. For those of you audiophiliacs who love to video chat, the headphone/TOSLINK jack on its rear and a headset hack on its front making this mighty convenient. The rear headphone jack supports 5.1 channel output, resulting in superb quality sound.
This machine is built for speed, as US$255 Intel Grass Canyon NUC comes packing Gigabit Ethernet but also features Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth connectivity so you can use your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. But the icing on the cake is the OS options; you can choose from Windows 8, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Fedora, OpenSUSE, as well as Android.
So whether you chose to build your own Intel NUC kit with Core i3 and Core i5 or buy the US$255 Intel Grass Canyon NUC, know that you’ll be getting a PC with the latest version of Windows 10 at a significant deal.
- Deer, L. (2015, January 22).US$295 CompuLab’s MintBox Mini – Great start to a MintBox Mini Dynasty of Linux PC’s. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/us295-compulabs-mintbox-mini-great-start-to-a-mintbox-mini-dynasty-of-linux-pcs/
- Deer, L. (2015, April 6). US$150 Intel Compute Stick launches on NewEgg and Amazon. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/intel-compute-stick-hdmi-newegg-amazon/
- Deer, L. (2015, June 21). US$249 Acer Revo One is Windows 8.1 Mini PC Home Entertainment Center. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/acer-revo-one-windows-8-1-mini-pc/
- Burlacu, A. (2015, October 20). Intel Launches $255 Windows 10 Mini PC: Meet The Grass Canyon NUC. Retrieved from http://www.techtimes.com/articles/97008/20151020/intel-launches-255-windows-10-mini-pc-meet-the-grass-canyon-nuc.htm
- Newman, J. (2015, November 13). Intel NUC mini-PCs with Skylake chips inbound. Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/3004646/computers/intel-nuc-mini-pcs-with-skylake-chips-inbound.html
- Tyson, M. (2015, November 16). Intel NUC range updated with quartet of Skylake machines. Retrieved from http://hexus.net/tech/news/systems/88130-intel-nuc-range-updated-quartet-skylake-machines/