The NUC: Not As Cheap As Thought, But Getting Good Reviews

December 12, 2012 by Dave Haynes

nucI wrote a little while back about Intel’s Next Unit of Computing, or NUC, and how it looked like an impressive little digital signage player for a very low price point of $300.

I put the caveat in there that I didn’t think an OS was in there, so the actual cost would be higher. Turns out really kitting up a NUC will substantially add to the price.

The bare bones version has a motherboard and soldered-down processor , but still needs an integrated hard drive, memory and operating system. So think $600, maybe more. The Amazon listing is a little vague on that, but a more careful read gets you realizing it’s not a full product as presented.

That said, I have now seen a NUC and talked to a software vendor that’s been testing units for several weeks. Their verdict so far: the things perform like champs, and nicely handle the typical demands of a digital signage system.

They are indeed tiny, and I’d compare the size to a pack of cheese slices. It’s that small.

Intel is also selling the motherboard/processor combination, so PC makers can do their own NUC in their own chassis. Seneca, for example, will have a custom-configured,  exclusive NUC coming out in January with an internal power source (the Intel NUC has a separate power supply, like a laptop) and serial/rs232 connections.


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