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 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I wonder why just core i3. Hopefully there would be other options at different price points. Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    It's got everything to do with TDP.

    AMD partners have this exact same thing already based on the E-350 though (Zotac and ASRock boxes come to mind)
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    VIA already had this in 2003.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nano-ITX

    Then they went smaller
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico-ITX

    Anand, are you able to ask Intel why they picked 4" rather than an existing similar standard such as Pico or Nano ITX?
    Reply
  • mcturkey2 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I'd wager because 4x4 is roughly the size of a VESA mount, making this much easier to integrate into the back of an LCD. It may also just be that it was the smallest they could squeeze memory slots, mSATA slot, and all those connectors on. Pico-ITX doesn't seem to have the same capacity as a full-featured computer the way that NUC does. Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Except that this PC can probably deal properly with HD YouTube and HD Netflix unlike E-350 / E-450 based units. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Actually....No problems running HD content on an E-450 system. Making sure you have the correct drivers is always key with any system.

    399.00 for this?

    I'll PASS.

    You can buy a Raspberry PI for $35.00 and run Linux on it for XBMC. Intel should have targeted a more realistic $200.00 price point to make it more attractive....at least to me.

    Best wishes,
    Reply
  • bznotins - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Except that XBMC on the RPi is a laggy mess (interface wise) right now with limited format support (e.g. ISO). And barely any compatible addons. Speaking from firsthand experience. It isn't half the HTPC my i3 rig is.

    This form factor is designed to run like a real full-featured HTPC.

    $399 is a bit steep, but comparing an i3-powered HTPC to a RPi is truly apples and oranges.
    Reply
  • JNo - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    True but compare it to the tegra 3 based Ouya console that's coming out which will be $100 and have a dedicated xbmc build coded for it and should be able to handle 1080p no problem, it still seems expensive if you just want the media playing abilities of an HTPC... Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Doesn't matter if its a 'laggy mess', it still works for practical applications like playing movies or serving content. What does the extra 350$ get me exactly? Does it suck my dick? This thing is priced far too high and needs to be shrunk down and put in an attractive package with a lot of development potential if they want people to buy it, because we already have HTPC size devices. Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Makes sense. But with Haswell coming out, TDP isn't really as big of an issue as before. I understand going for gold but I'm sure an i5 would still be pretty energy efficient. Reply

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