The latest range of Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) desktops has been revealed, most of which feature processors upgraded to the new fifth generation Broadwell chips. However, there is also a new version that sports an Intel Core i7 and space for a 2.5-inch drive.
Intel’s NUC is pretty much the same thing as a Mac mini, minus the optical disk drive. Due to limitations in the form factor, these tiny computers have traditionally used mid- to low end processors like the i5 and Celeron. The addition of a Core i7 to the lineup presents an interesting change of pace.
Alongside the new i7 model are six other refreshes of the NUC with Broadwell chips. All of these support up to 16GB RAM and M.2 solid state storage, although four of the six also include the option for a full size 2.5-inch drive as well. Two of the i5 models, the NUC5i5RYH and NUC5i5RYK, both feature the new Intel HD Graphics 6000 and complement it with a mini-HDMI 1.4a port.
Unfortunately, specifications for the Core i7 NUC have not been revealed; although the Intel website lists the computer as being available in Q2 2015, which is still some way off.
Upgraded versions of the NUC are not surprising as Intel has been keeping these devices up to date with its latest offerings. However, increasing the specifications at the upper end is an interesting turn of events; and having an i7 in a small box may appeal to certain productivity minded organisations and individuals.