Intel is launching at least four different brands of Intel NUC mini desktop computers powered by 11th-gen Intel Core “Tiger Lake” processors this year. But only three of them will be available worldwide.

The company has announced that the Intel NUC 11 Performance (formerly known by the code name “Panther Canyon“) will be available exclusively in the Asia Pacific region, which means that folks who want to buy a Tiger Lake NUC in the US, Europe, or other markets will have to opt for something a little different. Fortunately there are a few options.

Intel notes that it will still offer these three models globally:

  • Intel NUC 11 Pro (Tiger Canyon): This is a 4.6″ x 4.4″ mini PC similar to Panther Canyon, but with support for Intel chips with vPro.
  • Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast (Phantom Canyon): With a larger body (8.7″ x 5.6″) and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 discrete GPU, this model is designed for gamers and content creators.
  • Intel NUC 11 Compute Element (Elk Bay): This PC on a module can be used to add a Tiger Lake processor, memory, and other key hardware to computers or other devices when paired with a carrier board, chassis, or other hardware.

AnandTech first reported the news that Intel would limit availability of Panther Canyon systems, and when I reached out to Intel for comment, a spokesperson confirmed that the company made the decision  “based on current tight supply of a a few third-party components.”

For the most part it seems likely that Tiger Canyon will meet the needs of most folks who’d had their eye on Panther Canyon outside of the Asia Pacific region, since both models have the same basic shape, size, and similar processor options.

Intel Panther Canyon NUCs

Intel Tiger Canyon NUCs

Intel Phantom Canyon NUCs

Intel Elk Bay NUC Element

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  1. Based on those photos, it looks like the ugly gray ones get worldwide distribution while the sexy, all black ones won’t be available in the U.S. Smh.

  2. I’ve been meaning to buy a NUC for many years now, but the line-up is so convoluted I’ve never been sure which one to buy, so I haven’t. Not much seems to have changed this time round in terms of confusion, so I’ll probably not get round to it again.

    They really need to streamline the range.

  3. I wonder when Intel is going to notice that a computer, regardless of its size needs to have at least 4 USB’s. I like these small machines but I find so annoying they place only 1 USB on the front and 2 USB’s on the back that I bought the one with 8th gen processor instead of the last model just because of that. If you place only one USB on the front, place 4 on the back, if you place 2 on the back, place 2 on the front, end of story 🙁

    1. I agree completely. Now that they’ve started offering Thunderbolt connectors, I really struggle to see why they’ve wasted space on having 2x HDMI ports. I’d much sooner choose 1x HDMI, 2x Thunderbolt, and 4x USB type-A connectors.

      I think the standard NUC model’s dimensions need to be widened a bit. I’d greatly appreciate them offering more USB, and more audio IO connectors.

  4. Thats bad news for Intel. The Performance model was going to be the normal NUC lineup, and the Pro model is only available with the more expensive i5/i7 Vpro CPUs. I guess this means no i3 model for the rest of the world. Just some i5/i7 models that are even more overpriced than usual.

    I’m not too disappointed because I wasn’t planning on buying any of them myself. These are likely going to be priced with Intel’s typical gorilla math pricing structure. 200 bananas for each CPU core.

    There are some decent options out there for Ryzen 4000-series mini PCs, which are offering much better performance-for-dollar value. Just forget about that external Thunderbolt GPU that you were never going to buy anyways, because if you were, you would have been building a far more cost effective Mini-ITX PC.

      1. You’re right, Brad. I also just noticed this on a leaked pricing sheet. It seems they will have i3 models.

        Not nearly as bad of an announcement as I thought. I’ll have to wait for a better chance to slander Intel’s pricing.