A while ago, Intel introduced its NUC, the Next Unit Computing platform. The NUC is to provide an Intel-based system at an affordable price, combining a relatively fast Core i3 Mobile processor with the HM65 chipset in a compact 4-inch chassis. Originally, the systems were intended for small and medium-sized business, where they could be used to power billboards or kiosk news monitors. It turns out however that consumers are also interested in a compact computer.
While the Raspberry Pi is most interesting for its price, Intel aims to create a system which offers enough performance to run Windows without any issues. The NUC will have two HDMI outputs, which immediately makes us think of media center applications. The system will feature 4 GB of DDR3 memory and a 40 GB mSATA SSD. WiFi and Bluetooth are present for wireless networking. Optionally, a mini-PCI Express card can be added.
The first model of the NUC will have a recommended price of $400 (£258). Intel plans to launch several models, including a barebone model and just a separate motherboard, which can then be used by other manufacturers in their compact systems. Apart from the Core i3 processor, models with an Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processor are expected, for extra performance. A cheaper version with an Intel Celeron chip will also be launched.