Intel recently started shipping the first NUC mini computers with 8th-gen Core “Whiskey Lake” processors, but they’re not the only game in town… and certainly not the most affordable option.
Case in point: Bangood is taking pre-orders for a mini PC with an Intel Core i7-8565U processor for $430 and up. That price includes RAM and a solid state drive, and you can save an extra 10 percent when you use the coupon BGNV254 at checkout.
There are two configurations available at the moment, and given the small price difference, the only reason not to choose the model with more storage is if you plan to supply your own storage:
- NVISEN Mini PC w/Core i7-8565U/8GB/128GB for $430 ($387 w/coupon: BGNV254)
- NVISEN Mini PC w/Core i7-8565U/8GB/256GB for $443 ($399 w/coupon: BGNV254)
Both versions feature DDR4 memory, a 2.5 inch drive bay and m.2 slot for storage, and a bunch of ports:
- HDMI 2.0
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 3.5mm audio jack
- 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
- 2 x USB 2.0 type-A
The whole thing measures about 5.4″ x 4.9″ x 1.7″ and weighs about 1.9 pounds, making the computer compact enough to connect to the back of a monitor or tuck out of the way on a desk or media center setup.
A few things to keep in mind is that this system is not fanless, does not feature discrete graphics (or support external graphics docks), and strangely it comes with a wireless card that only supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. It’s unclear if you can replace that card with a model that supports 802.11ac, but I suppose you could always attach a USB WiFi adapter if you really need one.
While the sub-$400 price tag is rather attractive for a compact desktop computer with these specs, I haven’t ever heard of this particular brand, so I can’t vouch for the performance or build quality.
The back side is not shown at all.
These Chinese NUC-alternatives seem like good value, but missing something as simple as a Thunderbolt 3 connector is just an absolute nope for me.
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