The Intel Core i5-8259U processor is a 28-watt, quad-core CPU paired with Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics. released in 2018, it’s the processor that powered the Intel Bean Canyon NUC mini-desktop computer I reviewed that year, and it offered performance that was pretty hard to beat at the time.

Now two Chinese PC makers have introduced their own mini PCs powered by the Core i5-8259U processor.

While the chip might not be best-in-class anymore, it’s still no slouch. So for the right price, the upcoming GMK NucBox2 and Beelink SEI and Beelink GTI mini PCs might be attractive options for folks looking for a small computer for home or work.

GMK NucBox2

GMK is the company that released the NucBox mini PC with an Intel Celeron processor and a 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″ that I reviewed last summer.

The company’s new NucBox2 is a larger PC that has room for additional ports and more options for memory and storage. But it’s still small enough to easily pick up and hold in one hand.

Among other things, GMK says the NucBox2 will have:

  • Intel Core i5-8259U processor
  • DDR4 dual-channel RAM (8GB to 32GB)
  • M.2 2280 slot for PCIe NVMe storage (256GB to 1TB)
  • 2.5 inch SATA drive bay (500GB to 2TB HDD)
  • 2 x HDMI 1.4 ports
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Gen 2 Type-C port
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.1

GMK says the computer should be available for purchase in late January or early February. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.

Beelink SEI and GTI Series with Core i5-8259U

The latest PCs from Beelink will actually be available with several different processor options. There’s a version with a 10th-gen Intel Core i3-10110U Comet Lake dual-core processor, and another version with an 8th-gen Core i5-8259U quad-core chip.

Despite the older processor, the Core i5-8259U model should be significantly more powerful.

Beelink’s SEI i5-8259U mini PC measures 4.9″ x 4.4″ x 1.6″ and features:

  • Intel Core i5-8259U
  • DDR4-2400 memory (up to 32GB via 2 x SODIMM slots)
  • M.2 2280 for PCIe NVMe SSD (up to 2TB)
  • 2 x HDMI
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x USB-C
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1 x microSD card reader
  • WiFi 6

The computer features dual heat pipes and a “quiet large fan,” but does not appear to have room for a hard drive.

Beelink’s new GTI i5-8259U mini PC has a wider case that provides room for a couple of extra goodies.

So this model has:

  • Intel Core i5-8259U
  • DDR4-2400 memory (up to 32GB via 2 x SODIMM slots)
  • 1 x M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe slot
  • 1 x M.2 2280 SATA 3 slot
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x USB Type-C
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • Stereo microphones
  • Fingerprint reader

The larger model also has two heat pipes and two fans for cooling.

via @Beelinkofficial (1)(2)(3) and GMK 

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  1. I don’t understand how these Chinese mini PCs (not just these two brands and these three models in particular but many similar ones in general) are competitive compared to well established players such as the OG Intel NUC you linked to. They are not cheaper at all as far as I can see, they come with presumably less supported and compatible hardware in general, without a Thunderbolt port if you care about that (why wouldn’t you?), not to mention general support, driver, and warranty issues.