Intel’s Hades Canyon NUC may be the most powerful mini-desktop the company has ever built, but it’s not the only mini PC Intel brought to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
I got a chance to sit down with Intel’s John Deatherage to talk about the company’s other mini PCs, and he laid out the roadmap for 2018.
Later this year we’ll see “Bean Canyon” NUC models based on the same design as last year’s “Baby Canyon.” But the new models will have 8th-gen Intel Core “Coffee Lake” chips rather than 7th-gen Kaby Lake processors.
And then there’s the new entry-level model, code-named “June Canyon.” It should be available very soon.
Deatherage says the company actually started shipping June Canyon at the end of 2017, although I don’t think any retailers are actually selling it yet. That should happen any day now.
The new June Canyon NUC features Celeron and Pentium processors based on Intel’s Gemini Lake design, which means you should see about a 10 percent performance boost over previous-gen models with “Apollo Lake” chips and support for new features including native support for HDMI 2.0.
June Canyon NUC models are expected to sell for around $150 to $250, depending on the configuration. And like most NUC models, it will come in two heights. The version shown in these pictures is the tall model, which has room for both an M.2 solid state drive and a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD. But there will also be slimmer models that take only M.2 SSD storage.
Intel also recently launched a new commercial version of its NUC called “Dawson Canyon.” It’s basically a version of last year’s Baby Canyon aimed at enterprise customers with support for features like Intel vPro.
It’ll also be updated to support 8th-gen Coffee Lake chips later this year.
The company is also working behind the scenes to build out the ecosystem for its Compute Card platform, first unveiled last year. It sounds like several devices powered by the removable PC-on-a-card modules will be coming to market in the future, but Intel isn’t allowed to disclose any of those partnerships yet.
The idea is that you can buy a smart TV, desktop dock, or other gadget that works with a Compute Card and swap out cards as needed. You could upgrade to a more powerful model when a new Compute Card is available. You could use the same card with home and work docking stations and carry your computer back and forth in your pocket. Or multiple users could share the same workstation, swapping out cards to change from one user’s setup to another’s.
As for the Intel Compute Stick, it hasn’t exactly been discontinued, but Intel has no plans to launch an update. Demand for the PC-on-a-stick hasn’t picked up, but it hasn’t really dropped off either. So the company plans to continue selling the current model at least through the end of 2018.
But if you want a more powerful version, you may need to look to third-party hardware.