Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is a line of small-form-factor computers and barebone computer kits designed by Intel. NUC systems offer surprising levels of power and utility in compact, complete systems you can hold in one hand. In hardware terms, it might be simplest to think of a NUC as a laptop, minus the built-in screen and battery. Indeed, many of the same technologies that have allowed laptops to shrink in size and increase in performance are leveraged in the design of the NUC. Modern NUC models commonly have one or more M.2 slots, and can also often accommodate a 2.5” SATA storage drive. NUCs almost uniformly use 260-pin SODIMM memory modules, and the latest ones support DDR4 memory.
NUCs come in a variety of offerings, the most common being fully functioning systems. Another offering which has become quite popular are NUC kits, which come without RAM, storage, or a preinstalled operating system. The kits are much less expensive than full systems of equivalent power, and thus a tech-savvy consumer gains the flexibility to buy components that better fit their needs. Some of the higher end NUC kits, such as the Skull Canyon, offer enough power to run a gaming monitor through a MiniDisplayport, all in a box smaller than an external DVD player.