Intel’s NUC line of tiny desktop computers have been around for years… and they’ve also inspired a bunch of third-party alternatives.

One of the latest is a Windows 10 mini PC called the AK3V which is a model that ships with 10 watt Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core “Apollo Lake” processor.

Gearbest is selling the AK3V for $190 and up.

The entry-level price gets you a model with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Or you can pay $220 for a model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

By comparison, an Intel NUC6CAYS with a Celeron J3455 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Windows 10 sells for about $240.

I have no first-hand experience with the AK3V, so I can’t say anything about how it stacks up against the NUC in terms of build quality or reliability. But if you’re willing to take the risk, the little PC does seem to offer a bit more bang for the buck, at least on paper.

The little PC has dual HDMI 1.4 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a microSD card reader, a headset jack and room under the hood for an optional hard drive or SSD. It supports dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1

Then again, the specs listed on Gearbest seem a little fishy in at least one respect: there’s a graphic suggesting that the computer supports up to three 4K displays thanks to two HDMI ports and a VGA port. Not only does there not seem to be a VGA port anywhere on the AK3V computer, but even if there was, VGA can’t handle 4K content anyway.


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7 replies on “AK3V mini PC is a cheap Intel NUC alternative (with decent specs)”

  1. HDMI 1.4 only handles 4K @30 Hz. Personally i like Beelink NUCs X Gemini series more because they can really drive up to dual 4K @60Hz using HDMI 2.0.

  2. The J3455 NUC can be had barebones for $130 new nowadays (shown in that Amazon link) which is the model the smart money buys. I understand why you chose the overpriced ready to run model as an example but no sane person is going to pay $110 for 2GB of RAM and slow 32GB eMMC storage. Grab a cheap used 4GB or 8GB set of DDR3L and a larger SATA SSD (if you didn’t have either of those lying around already) and you’ll still come in at or under both price points while having the flexibility to choose what you want in your build.

    That being said the J3455 is currently the hidden bargain chipset for general computing and I’m certainly happy to see another box using it albeit with wacky launch pricing. These make great little server boxes for the right price, just need to get it down to a more reasonable level to pull people away from not only competitors but retired enterprise desktops.

      1. Good point, I glossed over it but I see where it would be useful. These are definitely passable as a basic browsing/media desktop for normal consumers.

    1. Rob, you might want to look at the GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BLCE-4105-BW. It has the newer and faster J4105 CPU and NewEgg has it for $140.

      1. Sounds like a decent option although used DDR4 is considerably more expensive ($20 for 2GB instead of 4GB for DDR3). When memory prices come back down and used DDR4 starts to saturate the second hand market that’ll be a winner.

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