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Intel gives its NUC mini-PCs new processors, new ports and a new design

The latest Intel NUC PCs bring Thunderbolt 3 sockets.

When you're looking for a tiny desktop, Intel's NUC computers are something of a standard. These bare-bone PCs have made a name for themselves as affordable, reasonably powerful and adorably small. Now they're even better: Intel is giving its line of tiny computers new seventh-generation desktop CPUs, a fresh design and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

All told, Intel is introducing five NUC models: two using the new Core i3 desktop CPUs, two with Core i5 processors and a single machine with a Core i7. There are also two different case sizes: a larger version that supports 2.5-inch SATA storage devices, and a shorter enclosure designed for PCI Express SSDs. It's a little confusing, but at least they all look the same, sharing the same dark finish.

Intel's NUCs are, by definition, compact. But they offer plenty of connectivity, too. Each model boasts four USB 3.0 ports, as well as connections for Ethernet, HDMI and audio, not to mention a microSD card reader and a Thunderbolt 3.0 capable USB-C socket. Not bad. Now if only Intel would tell us how much they'll cost.

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