Intel tasked its engineers with building the absolute smallest fully featured compute unit possible. The result is something Intel markets as the Next Unit of Computing. This isn't a standard form factor (yet), but it's fully featured. The 4" x 4" motherboard features an integrated Core i3 with 7-series chipset, mini-PCIe slot, mSATA slot, two SO-DIMM slots and three USB ports. Power is supplied by an external AC/DC adapter, but there's also a small 2-pin header for an optional internal power supply. There's also an ethernet jack and two HDMI outputs.

Since the NUC isn't yet a standard form factor, Intel had to work with a chassis vendor in putting together a reference platform. The result is this:

Later this year you'll be able to buy this chassis, power supply and Core i3 equipped motherboard for around $399. That price won't include an OS but it will include a smallish mSATA SSD. 

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  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Looks like it has thunderbolt. Not sure that was mentioned in the article.
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    1 model with thunderbolt and another with a ethernet port? are there 2 of these? check the gallery.
  • Captain Jackass - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Rather high pricepoint for such thing.

    People will spend $400 for this if:
    - it will have 2 SATA + mSATA, all 3 ports can work simultaneously, not mSATA+1 SATA enabled only. Better will be 1 SATA + 1 mSATA + eSATA
    - both USB will be 3.0, not 2.0
    - CPU is low voltage mobile Ivy, not worse than i3-3317U
    - good preinstalled cooling system
    - lots of compatible small cases at the market

    "Content streaming from NAS"
    NAS as it made nowadays is totally sucks.
    If it made with full RAID access speed via Thunderbolt networks up to 20-30 meters line - I will say yes to NAS.
    If it made like now - bottlenecked 60-70 Mbytes/sec via Ethernet for another $400 case without drives - I will say: "For WTF, 4 green drives will consume 30W at full load + NAS board consuming, such NAS will return its cost by electricity bills for 5-10 years, and all the time bottlenecked consuming? I will buy for this $400 another 2 x 2 Tb RE HDD drives to main desktop, they will run at full speed at main desktop and streams to another PC's via router with the same 60-70 Mbytes/sec of higher (depending on router)".
  • amarshonarbangla - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Does this use mobile or desktop i3?
  • sfprairie - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - link

    I would like to see a motherboard like this able to get its power from POE, instead from a power adapter.
  • Hrel - Saturday, October 6, 2012 - link

    200 seems like the max price, 100 seems like the sweet spot. Not sure how they expec to sell any of these at 400, without an OS. Too many other options at 100. Intel needs to let go of it's massive margins if it truly wants to take business away from ARM. You can get an entire quad core SOC for what? 30 bucks? Intel expects way too much from people, as far as ignoring price.

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