DESPITE BEING BRANDED as the Next Unit of Computing, Intel’s NUC wasn’t actually a new idea. It simply formalized an approach other PC makers had been taking for years: squeezing lower-power notebook chips into tiny chassis that make even Mini-ITX rigs look morbidly obese. Some horsepower and expansion are inevitably lost versus small-form-factor desktops, but modern mobile chips are fast enough—and integrated enough—to let palm-sized PCs deliver a good experience for most common computing tasks.
The last NUC to pass through our labs was a slim Broadwell unit that wraps a 15W Core i5 processor in a palm-sized package just 1.4″ thick. Today, we’re taking a closer look at its big brother, the NUC5i7RYH. This model expands the formula slightly to accommodate not only additional storage, but also a beefier Core i7 with a 28W TDP. Those perks make the machine a more well-rounded proposition than its predecessor—and a potentially better fit for a wider range of applications.