Intel plans to update its NUC line of mini-desktops in 2015, and the company is encouraging other PC makers to develop their own small form-factor PCs.

Now Intel is starting to show what its next-gen NUC systems will look like.

PC World
PC World

PC World spotted a few NUC prototypes at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week.

Intel has at least two different configurations planned. The first looks a lot like today’s NUC systems with Intel Haswell processors. That means they’re small enough to hold in your hand, but will feature a decent range of HDMI, DisplayPort and USB ports as well as support for an Intel Broadwell-U 15 watt dual-core processor.

But Intel is also working on something called a “half-NUC” which is about half the size.

It’s powered by an Intel Atom processor, features USB, HDMI, and VGA ports, but there’s no room for a normal hard drive or for fans, so the system will likely use solid state storage and passive cooling.

PC World says Intel is also showing off NUC prototypes featuring microphones for voice controls and touch controls that let you do things like adjust the volume by swiping your finger across the top of the PC case.

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15 replies on “This is how Intel’s Broadwell-powered NUC mini PCs will look”

  1. Only useful if they include SPDIF. Been an omission on the previous NUC boxes and small form factor Windows boxes

    1. You can get usb to SPDIF interfaces from ebay for cheap. There’s even 192khz/24bit for $30

  2. I prefered the old 2-toned box look. This reminds me of an old Coca Cola fridge…

  3. So, a “half NUC?” I thought the “UC” was “unit of computing.” Put on your lead pants, sounds like Intel is splitting the Atom!

  4. I prefer third-party manufacturers because you seem to get a lot more options and more bang for the buck. I just replaced a slimline tower HTPC with an ASUS chromebox dual booting Openelec (XBMC) and Chrome and works great for HD multimedia and light web browsing. Its nice black finish and small footprint complements newer TVs so it doesn’t look out of place. Best of all, it includes WIFI and has 4 USB 3.0 ports for faster connectivity. For a desktop replacement, I would still prefer better options for SSD drives and possibly higher-powered low profile graphics cards like the Nvidia GTX 750 Maxwell series. M.2 drive performance and reliability still leave a lot to be desired compared to Sandisk, Intel, Samsung and the lot 2.5 inch form factor SATA SSDs. This may change with time but for now, I believe 2.5 inch SATA SSDs still have the edge on price, size, performance, reliability and support.

  5. What are the options for pre-built (apart from RAM and storage drive) NUC sized fanless boxes with Core i chips?

  6. The front panel looks a lot like the ECS LIVA… the power button and the headphone jack layout are identical.

    1. I love the LIVA! It is exactly what I expect from a small desktop both price and performance.

      Putting a Core ix into a small case is like putting a V8 into a motorcycle, it makes no sense.

      1. It starts to make sense with things like Iris Pro. BRIX Pro showed you can get all the benefits of an i7 provided you don’t care about PCI slots.

    1. This. I try not to buy devices if I can’t remove or easily block their logos. I have a nice Star Trek chief engineer decal covering the logo on the back of my phone. Even cases leave a lame hole for the logo to show.

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