Intel will soon release three new NUC kits which will carry Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, though only the ULV CPUs currently found in Ultrabooks.
Intel's NUC, otherwise known as the "Next Unit of Computing," is a compact system that features most of the goodies that the average desktop user need. Previous models might have only carried the efficient Core i3 or Pentium CPUs, but the new models will sport up to i7 CPUs. Now that may sound impressive, but they are still the ULV models that we currently find in Ultrabooks.
The D53427RK, codenamed Rend Lake, will carry an i5-3427U, which would be soldered to the motherboard. Users can install up to 16 GB of memory in two DDR3 SODIMM slots, as well as two PCIe-mini devices. Connectivity is taken care of by a single Gbit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports on the rear I/O and one USB 3.0 port on the front of the board. Display connectivity is done through two mini DisplayPort connections and one HDMI port. One of the Mini-PCIe slots can be used as an mSATA slot for SSDs.
The Horse Canyon, D53427HYE, comes with an enclosure which actively cools the Core i5-3427U CPU.
The most powerful model, the D73537KK Skull Canyon, will come with an i7-3537U chip. Like the other NUC model, it features two DDR3 SODIMM slots good for up to 16 GB of memory. Likewise, on the front of the board there is a USB 3.0 port, but on the rear there are two USB 3.0 ports as opposed to USB 2.0. Storage is taken care of by an internal mSATA slot.
As the images show, all three kits will be launched somewhere in Q2 2013, but so far there has been no official word on pricing. Listings for the i5 model have shown up in Europe for prices between €350 and €400.