The GMK NucBox is a tiny desktop computer small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, but powerful enough to handle 4K video playback and many common tasks thanks to its 10-watt Intel Celeron J4125 quad-core processor.

GMK plans to begin taking pre-orders for $159 and up through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that begins August 25th, and the company recently shipped me a demo unit to test.

GMK NucBox

First announced in July, the little computer measures 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″ and weighs about 4.4 ounces. In addition to an Intel Gemini Lake processor with Intel UHD 600 graphics, the little computer features 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a microSD card reader, WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 support, an HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a headphone jack, and a USB-C port (for power only).

GMK will offer three prices/configurations of the NucBox:

128GB SSD256GB SSD512GB SSD
Super Early Bird price$159$175$205
Retail price$209$229$269

The GMK NucBox is a tiny bit smaller than the Chuwi LarkBox I reviewed earlier this year, but otherwise the two devices are very, very similar. They both have the same basic shape and size and the same port selection.

But GMK’s version stands out in a few ways. It has a metal-and-plastic body (rather than all plastic). There’s a two-color design of grey and black (rather than all black). The power button is smaller. There’s a circular vent above the fan (instead of a rectangle). And you have to remove the small padded feet on the bottom of the case in order to open it up and access the M.2 2242 SSD slot.

The NucBox is clearly based on the same design as the Chuwi LarkBox and several other recent 2.4 inch mini PCs. But this tiny computer is one of the most powerful devices in this emerging category thanks to its 10-watt Intel Gemini Lake processor with a base speed of 2 GHz and turbo speeds up to 2.7 GHz.

GMK NucBox

It also ships standard with an SSD rather than cheaper, slower eMMC storage. According to CrystalDiskMark, the Chuwi LarkBox has top sequential read/write speeds of 211 MB/s and 57 MB/S. The GMK NucBox tops out at 516 MB/s and 470 MB/s.

You can remove four screws on the bottom of the computer to remove and replace the SSD, but that’s just about the only simple upgrade option.

GMK NucBox

The little computer also comes with a 12V/2A power adapter that looks more like a smartphone charger than a typical PC power brick.

GMK NucBox

I’ll share more benchmark results and performance notes after I’ve spent more time using the NucBox. For now I’ll say that it feels reasonably snappy, but the little computer’s fan runs nearly constantly. I can’t hear it over the air conditioning in my office, but if I turn off the window A/C unit, the fan noise is audible and a little louder than what I’ve come to expect from the Chuwi LarkBox (although the LarkBox fan makes a higher-pitched sound, which may be a little more annoying, if quieter).

For now, here’s a spec comparison between the GMK NucBox and several other 2.4 inch mini PCs:

GMK 4K mini PCXCY X51Chuwi LarkBox
ProcessorIntel Celeron J4125
4-cores/4-threads
2.5 GHz base
2.7 boost
10W TDP
Intel Celeron N4100
4-cores/4-threads
1.1 GHz base
2.4 GHz boost
6W TDP
Intel Celeron J4115
4-cores/4-threads
1.8 GHz base
2.5 GHz boost
10W TDP
GPUIntel UHD 600
250 MHz base
750 MHz boost
Intel UHD 600
200 MHz base
700 MHz boost
Intel UHD 600
250 MHz base
750 MHz boost
RAM8GB  LPDDR48GB  LPDDR46GB  LPDDR4
Storage128GB SSD128GB M.2 2242 SSD128GB eMMC
M.2 2242 SSD slot
Ports1 x USB Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
1 x USB Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
1 x USB Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
WirelessWiFi 5 (2×2)
Bluetooth 4.2
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 4.2
WiFi 5 (1×1)
Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions62mm x 62mm x 42mm (2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″)62mm x 62mm x 42mm (2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″)62mm x 62mm x 42mm (2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″)
Weight125 grams (4.4 oz)121 grams (4.3 oz)127 grams (4.5 oz)

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13 Comments

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    1. Why? 2260 seems the right balance (can use both 2242 and 2260).
      It’s funny how the same OEM goes with little cosmetic customisations for different brands.
      Dear China thanks, keep up, good work,

      1. Because there are almost no good choices for M.2 SSDs in the 2242 and 2260 sizes. Not unless you’re okay with buying an off-brand SSD with reject-quality components, and pay 3x more money for it.

        Goto Pcpartpicker.com and look at the variety of M.2 2242 and 2260 SSDs. Also check out any other computer component retailer.

        Transcend is the only recognizable brand making them, and they are very low-performing SSDs. Most eMMC chips perform better than them.

        Aside from Transcend, your options are from fly-by-night companies like “Gamerking” or “Kingspec” on Amazon. You’ll struggle to find a 250gb 2260 SSD for under $100. They’re more commonly around $150. Sometimes you will see a Transcend on sale under $75, but most of the time these aren’t consumer products with a warranty, theyre often OEM components that weren’t meant for consumer sale.

        Look at the variety of 2280 SSDs available. You can get a 250gb 2280 SSD for around $40 from a reputable company like WD. Samsung 250gb models start around $65. Some of the highest performance 250gb models start around $70.

        Another problem with 2242 and 2260 is that the SSDs available in those sizes are very restrictive with performance. They don’t have enough physical room for components, so they often are designed to use some caching techniques like SLC-cache that lacks an actual DRAM module, their performance is often terrible because they are busy cleaning up garbage data at the same time as writing data.

        TLDR; you’re going to pay 3x the price for the amount of storage, you might not get a warranty, and its going to perform like eMMC, or worse.

      2. @guiliver,

        I agree. I hope OEMs continue to make these ultra small form factor PCs despite these compromises.

    2. I hope China doesn’t listen to you at all and keeps producing super small PCs like these. There are other larger devices to choose from already.

    3. Dear China,

      Please ignore Grant Russell. I’d like to keep seeing these ultra compact PCs.

  1. So I was curious about the XCY X50 and decided to get one especially that my 1st gen Intel compute stick is on its last leg. I received skynew replica offering instead, M1K. I booted up and it directly showed my the desktop of a Windows Pro, “activated by you company account”, meaning it’s not licensed and it was 1803 version.

    I opened an image of Windows 10-2004 and setup would not start, indicating that a dll was corrupt. I reimaged it was a clean install and, not surprisingly, it said Windows was not activated. I put in an activation code and things ran smoothly afterwards.

    I teek some side-by-side photos with the Intel compute stick for comparison I’ll try to upload them sometime later and share them.