Miniature desktops have come into their own, with Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) being the unsung champion of the category. They started as workstation machine but gradually turned into the relatively affordable and powerful bare-bone PCs you can hold in your palm, and now, there are new ones sporting seventh-generation Core CPUs and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
For the most part, the look is mildly different in both standard and extended sizes: with two Core i3 models, two Core i5 models, and now one with a new Core i7 processor. Like before, the physical differences are in the case sizes where the shorter model solely fits PCI-Express M.2 SSDs and the larger can house a 2.5-inch hard drive. That silver coating has also been ditched for a more appealing dark charcoal-like exterior, which should encourage a more gamer-friendly feel.
If you read our previous review on the Skylake-based NUK6I5SYK, then you can probably figure out that the biggest addition is Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C). This makes it compatible with workstation HDDs and external graphics card enclosures, for both professional and gaming applications.
Last year, the NUC6I7KYK was released and was the first consumer model to have that nifty port included, but remained too niche and cost-prohibitive to actually recommend. However, these upcoming NUCs could remedy that dilemma… as soon as Intel decides to announce pricing and availability, that is. Stay tuned.