NUCs are small form factor computers, for which you need to add memory and storage. They can be used for light-use living room PCs, streaming boxes, to power kiosks and so on.
In addition to its fifth generation of Core processors, Intel also announced its new lineup of NUCs (Next Unit of Computing). Naturally, these NUCs run on the new Broadwell processors, specifically the U-series parts for efficient operation with a low heat output.
Compared to their predecessors, the new NUCs feature a couple of small changes. Visually, they're slightly shorter than the last generation, with a 30 mm Z-height, and they have a new black area around the front I/O. The new NUCs also now have a yellow USB port, which is a charging-capable USB 3.0 port. The I/O remained consistent with the previous lineup, with four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, an audio jack that doubles as a microphone jack, mini-HDMI and mini-DisplayPort.
We would have liked to see Intel return to the standard HDMI port plug, as it appears that it would fit just fine, but it offers much greater cable compatibility.
The tops of the NUCs are swappable, and one of them was demonstrated with NFC capabilities and another with a Hauppauge! TV tuner. Additionally, the NUCs will be available in variants with support for a 2.5-inch drive, Core i5 or Core i3 processors, and an i5 version with Intel vPro. There is also a variant with an extra DisplayPort 1.2 port for extended multi-monitor support. For connectivity, there's 802.11ac (Intel's dual-band 7265).
A bit later on down the road, Intel said that there will be a Core i7 version with HD 6000 graphics.
All things considered, this isn't a major or revolutionary new launch, but rather just an incremental update. If you were in the market for a NUC before, and were happy with what the previous NUCs offered, don't feel bad for grabbing one for the cost savings they will potentially offer. If you were looking for a bit more power, however, the new models will probably offer a decent percentage increase over their predecessors, as we saw in the benchmarking of the new U-series processors.