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Intel NUC Mini Performance PC review – tiny computer offers big possibilities

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  • VERDICT

The Intel NUC Performance Mini PC is tiny but mighty and offers a great solution for everyday computing, consuming content and casual gaming.

The saying good things come in small packages is a perfect description of the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC – what it lacks in size it more than makes up in speed and performance.

Forget the big tower, the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC packs in a lot of features in its chassis which measures just 11.7cm wide, 11.3cm long and 5.1cm tall – the square footprint is smaller than a CD case.

NUC stands for Next Unit of Computing. Our review unit was powered by the Intel Core i7-10710U 6-core 1,10Ghz processor with 16GB RAM DDR4 SODIMM memory.

On the storage side there’s a 500GB 2.5-inch SATA SSD (solid state drive). And there’s still room for expansion for the RAM (up to 64GB) and the SSD.

For graphics, the GPU is integrated with the main processor instead of having its own card so if gaming or heavy duty video editing is your bag you might need to look for something that’s more specialised.

On the connectivity side, the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC has a HDMI 2.1a port, Thunderbolt 3, three rear USB 3.1 ports, Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack and two USB 2.0 via internal headers.

There is also a full size SD memory card reader on the left side of the device.

The front of the unit is where you’ll find the USB-C and USB 3.0 ports, the audio jack and the on button.

Intel NUC Performance Mini PC has ventilation grilles on the left, right and rear and the top of the unit can be removed to access the motherboard and expansion slots and ports.

Of course what you don’t get is a monitor, keyboard, mouse and connection cables.

For our review, we paired the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC with the 27-inch Samsung CT55 curved monitor (connected via HDMI), the Logitech MX Keys and MX Master 3 mouse.

The HDMI port can support a 4K monitor at up to 60hz while the Thunderbolt 3 can transfer data at up to 40Gbps as well as support two external 4K 60Hz displays.

Another big plus for the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC is the Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. This latest wireless standard offers faster throughput and higher capacity.

It also has Bluetooth 5.0 onboard to wirelessly connect your keyboard and mouse as well as speakers and headphones.

The real advantage of the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC, apart from the small size, is that it can be used in a variety of ways including as a 4K media server when connected to your smart TV.

If you’re looking for a PC that can be used in a number of ways and that won’t take up too much room then the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC will fit the bill.

This niche PC is quite powerful in its own right and it offer impressive performance but if you’re looking to play the latest cutting edge games and edit 4K and 8K video you might have to look elsewhere.

If it’s a sturdy discreet PC you’re after or a media server, for your home office and casual gaming, then the Intel NUC Performance Mini PC is ideal.

The Intel NUC Performance Mini PC comes with a three-year warranty and is priced from $1,069 for the i3 version. The model we reviewed with the i7 processor, 500GB SSD and 16GB RAM is priced at $1,249.

VERDICT

The Intel NUC Performance Mini PC is tiny but mighty and offers a great solution for everyday computing, consuming content and casual gaming.