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PC Specialist NUC Lite review

Katharine Byrne
10 Feb 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
449
inc VAT

Its graphics performance could be better, but this mini PC is fast and versatile, making it a great companion for both office and home

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Specifications

1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8.1

Intel's NUC Kit is generally sold as a barebones unit you build yourself, but if the thought of assembling your own mini PC is a little daunting, there are an increasing number of system builders who will build a NUC for you, as well as install Windows. PC Specialist's NUC Lite is based on Intel's Core i3 NUC Kit barebones, and comes in a standard NUC chassis, measuring a tiny 35x117x112mm. It remains one of the smallest mini PCs available, beaten only by the Chillblast Fusion Brix.

PC Specialist NUC Lite

With a barebones NUC, you'd have to add your own RAM, storage, wireless card and operating system, but these all come as standard on the NUC Lite. Alongside its 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U processor, PC Specialist has included 8GB of RAM, a 120GB Kingston SMS200S3120G mSATA SSD and an Intel Centrino Wireless-N 135 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adaptor, and has installed Windows 8.1.

PC Specialist NUC Lite

Of course, a barebones NUC gives you greater flexibility in adding or removing your own components, but when we priced up the same components and operating system inside the NUC Lite on top of a Core i3 NUC Kit (£225 from www.dabs.com), it came out almost £10 more expensive doing it ourselves. Building one yourself would also mean the extra step of installing Windows 8, so you're definitely getting a good value system with the NUC Lite.

PC Specialist NUC Lite

The only thing we would have liked to have seen included is a mini HDMI to HDMI adaptor, to make it easy to plug into a TV or a non-DisplayPort monitor. These are cheap and easy to come by, though; for example, www.ebuyer.com sells a Belkin model for as little as £3.60. Along with its graphics outputs, the NUC has four USB3 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a combined headphone and microphone jack.

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