Intel has shown off it's latest slab of silicone and it's far from it's desktop and server boards this time. This is the NUC.
Intel has dubbed it the Next Unit of Computing. NUC for short. It's powered by a 17-watt Core i3-3217U processor that is attached to the board. (second photo middle) It's clocked at 1.8Ghz so it looks to be a nice step up from the Atom processor that can be found in other "mini" computer boards. It supports up to 16GB of RAM on two SO-DIMM slots. It also has a mSATA slot for storage and a mini PCI-E slot for whatever else you can think of. I've seen reports saying it WILL be populated with RAM and a hard drive and some say it will not be. Either way, at it's estimated street price of $399 it could become a nice HTPC and I've read that it's mountable behind your flat screen.
A couple of things come to mind when I look at the NUC. Can I get enough HD space in there to satisfy my HTPC needs? I usually record and then auto transfer the file to a server but a single HD program that's an hour long can be upwards of 20GB. I wouldn't want to hang storage off of it via the USB ports. A large SSD will also boost the cost somewhat. I'm used to building HTPC's that have an SSD as the OS and a spindle drive as the recording target.
The other thing is the configuration. Intel has two boards, one with a dual HDMI and GigE port and another with a single HDMI and a Thunderbolt port. The Engadget video below leads me to believe that the GigE board is the higher end of the two and it makes me wonder if it will be priced higher. I certainly hope not.
Regardless, I look forward to seeing the NUC in action!