Apple (AAPL) has had a pretty good thing going with the Mac Mini, the mini PC that’s become a favorite for driving home theater setups. It’s also Apple’s cheapest Mac option — although buyers need to add a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Intel (INTC) decided to try its hand at tapping this market, taking the unusual step of releasing its own mini PC, the Next Unit of Computing (or NUC). I guess if Microsoft (MSFT) can release tablets, then a CPU maker can release its own computer.
The newest edition of the NUC was recently released, and I had the opportunity to try it out. If you thought adding peripherals to a Mac Mini was a pain, Intel’s extreme approach of supplying nothing but the case, motherboard and power adapter may make you think twice.
Is it worth buying this $399 Mini PC over something like a barebones, $299 desktop PC from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)? Read our Intel NUC review to find out.