Intel’s NUCs (Next Unit of Computing) have been a niche but successful project by intel that offers a fully-functional desktop computer in an extremely small form factor. They have proven particularly popular with HTPC enthusiasts.
The latest offering from Intel is the most powerful yet that is aimed at gamers and is expandable with an external graphics card using Thunderbolt 3.
Based around a Skylake Intel Core i7-6770HQ processor with a 45W thermal design profile (TDP) and Iris Pro 580 integrated graphics, the Skull Canyon includes a USB 3.1 Type-C port connected to a Thunderbolt 3 controller for full compatibility with external graphics card enclosures. Internally, the bare-bones system includes support for 32GB of DDR4 memory, two M.2 slots for solid-state storage, an Intel 8260 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 radio module, and integrated gigabit wired Ethernet port.
The system also has an infra-red sensor, four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0 and Mini DisplayPort 1.2, analogue audio in and out, and an SD Card slot.
The unit can come with a skull design, or none.
Overall, the system measures 216mm x 116mm x 23mm – 0.69 litres in volume. No UK pricing but it will be $650 is the US and should be available in the next few weeks.
While this does look like a great bit of kit, we are not sure who it really is aimed at. Gamers would probably be better off going with a mini-ITX rig, and casual users will be put off with the price. It would make a great HTPC if budget is no option though!