Intel had a demo unit running Windows 7 at IDF 2012 that was running nicely and was pretty quiet from what we could tell. Keep in mind there were hundreds of people in the room, so you can’t hear that much of anything!
This demo unit was running the Thunderbolt version of the board and was hooked up to an external Thunderbolt storage unit with a Seagate 2.5″ hard drive in it. We weren’t allowed to do any speed tests though.
We found the power brick that powers the NUC behind the monitor and grabbed it for a quick picture. The power brick is nearly as large as the NUC!
We like what we see with the NUC and we can see this little PC really taking off if the price is right. The $400 price tag is a bit high, but that is the MSRP and it could come down. When we sat down and talked with Intel we asked about future versions of this board and found out that the ‘Haswell’ version of this board won’t need the chipset, so that will open up quite a bit of free space on the PCB for new features. They also mentioned that SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is coming and that they are looking into the DisplayPort video connector. We could tell that Intel was very cautious on what they were telling us, so we are sure more things are in the works!
The Intel NUC should begin shipping next month and we hope to get our hands on this little PC to try it out and see how it performs and what the user experience is like. Ever since we built up an Ivy Bridge Mini-ITX SFF system, we just can’t get enough of small systems! The only thing on the market that comes close to this is the Zotac ZBOX nano XS. The ZBOX nano XS measures in at 4.173 x 4.173 x 1.46 inches and is only available with the AMD E-450 dual-core APU (1.65GHz). The Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 retails for $340 shipped fully configured, so the Intel NUC has a shot at $399 if the performance is right!