Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) Mini PC’s are very interesting beasts. They’re not the most powerful PC you can get your hands on — not far off though — and they’re far from the cheapest you can buy. The NUC10i7FNH with 16GB of RAM and a 500GB M.2 SSD arrived on Thursday so I got to testing straight away and on first impression packs quite a punch.

The first generation of NUC was pretty much based on delivering the smallest footprint possible, with a lot of concessions on performance. With the latest version, delivering i7 CPU performance and the Hades Canyon capable of gaming – that approach has very clearly changed.

The hardware

The review model sent to us is the 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10710U processor, Intel UHD graphics as a base kit. The M.2 SSD and DDR4 slots allow you to add your desired storage and memory, then choose your operating system.

There’s a pretty impressive suite of connectivity, both physical and wireless. The box comes equipped with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 as well as an IR sensor for home entertainment purposes. There are ports aplenty on both the front and rear of the NUC including:

  • SD card slot
  • Two rear USB ports, one front
  • Ethernet
  • Rear Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI
  • Front USB-C
  • Setup is remarkably simple, just plug it in and go! Of course, I had to use existing hardware I had on hand but that’s fine, I have random hardware lying around. To get a good impression of its capacity, I have avoided using my laptop for a few days now and am not really missing it aside from the portability.

    We’ve somewhat skimmed over it above but in the current market, the inclusion of USB-C cannot be overrated. It’s so important for compatibility and connectivity moving forward, showing Intel has done their homework on future-proofing the hardware.

    Looks and performance

    The NUC10i7FNH packs a big punch for something that is packed into such a minimalist body. It’s dark coloured in presentation and measuring a minuscule 117 x 112 x 51mm it will fit in the palm of your hand and fit in nearly any space, including a home entertainment unit. The NUC has some great specs and is able to deliver what almost any user would need of it.

    As a test case, I rendered a couple of H.264 videos of over 7 minutes and the task took around 30 minutes – a solid result. Running the NUC with two or three 4K monitors is no problem to give you a hugely functional workstation.

    We’ve got a full review underway which will be up on our site soon. If the first impression is anything to go by, there’s a lot to like about this generation of NUC. If you’ve got any questions you want to be answered about the NUC in the full review, let us know in the comments below.

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Paul
Paul
3 months ago

Is this NUC noisy at different load?

Paul
Paul
3 months ago

Can I ask where you source the NUC please? I am looking for a place I can customise it a little.
Cheers

Igor
Igor
3 months ago

which is better to take on 10710u or 8559u. me for office tasks.

fred nerk
fred nerk
3 months ago

Is there a lower spec cheaper version that would be perfectly good for office workstation? i.e. don’t care about gaming. Does it have a speaker for OS sounds?? (Not bios beep noise)

Bilgin Ozkan
Bilgin Ozkan
Reply to  fred nerk
3 months ago

They also have an i3 and i5 version. I’ve been rocking the same one being “reviewed” here for the past 2 months or so and I am simply using it for my HomeAssistant (via virtual machine) setup and as my Roon core audio server. I think it is an overkill, but boy is it fast and snappy when I need it.

GregE
GregE
3 months ago

Still no rear port for audio so if you add speakers they have to be plugged in to the front (ugly) or use one of your USB ports at the back for an external DAC.

Gregoz
Gregoz
Reply to  GregE
3 months ago

You can use hdmi audio to send signal to pc screen and if pc screen has audio output, you can connect speakers to your screen et voilà !

Bilgin Ozkan
Bilgin Ozkan
Reply to  GregE
3 months ago

My old NUC with a Pentium processor actually has a rear 3.5mm/optical audio port at the rear. So they “used” to do it. Just stopped doing it, it seems.