Quiet PC UltraNUC Pro XL review

Quiet PC UltraNUC Pro XL review

Based on Intel's NUC form factor, the UltraNUC Pro XL is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Suitable for the smallest of desks, it's extremely portable. See also: What's the best family PC?

That may even be a disadvantage for a family PC where you may want to keep the PC in a fixed place in the living room where its use can be observed. But should you wish to place the family PC out of bounds for any reason, you can simply pick it up and lock it in a drawer. See all PC reviews.

Despite its tiny size, the UltraNUC Pro XL finds room for four USB 3.0 ports. Mini HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs allow it to drive a pair of attached monitors – although note that no monitor is included in our review system.

The UltraNUC Pro XL is all about convenience and simplicity and efficiency. Its ultra-low voltage 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3-4010U processor offers enough performance for casual home use, web browsing and the like, but falls short of the full-sized PCs in terms of performance. That’s especially so in the area of graphics which here are serviced by the CPU's integrated graphics processor.

This might be a good thing if it will prevent the PC from being used for games which you may deem inappropriate for your family. The size of the PC means there's no prospect of adding a graphics card later; in fact you won’t be upgrading this PC much at all internally. If you want an optical drive you can hook one up via USB.

Fitted with today's now-standard 8GB of memory, this PC uses a 1 TB hybrid SSHD which adds fast flash storage to a hard disk mechanism to deliver improved performance and responsiveness. It can’t keep up with a proper SSD, but it delivers noticeably better speeds than a standard hard drive such as that found in Wired2Fire's Diablo Reactor.

When it comes to power consumption, the UltraNUC Pro XL is in a class of its own, consuming only 8 W at idle and a maximum of 27 W under full load. This is around one-fifth of the power used by its nearest rival from Arbico. This also enables it to operate in near silence, so it won't disturb you or other family members while in use.

Quiet PC UltraNUC Pro XL: Specs

  • 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U (2 cores / 4 threads)
  • 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
  • 1TB Seagate SSHD (ST1000LM014)
  • Intel external 19VDC, 65W
  • Intel D34010WYB
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • Intel Graphics HD4400
  • Onboard sound
  • Gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac
  • 3.5" jack headphone/speaker out, Mini HDMI and Mini DP audio
  • 3.5" jack mic in
  • Mini HDMI 1.4a, Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • Internal infra-red receiver
  • Intel 4th Generation NUC
  • Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 mouse and keyboard
  • Windows 8.1 Update 1
  • Malwarebytes PRO Lifetime Licence
  • Free lifetime telephone / email support for original purchaser
  • 2 years collect and return warranty
  • 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U (2 cores / 4 threads)
  • 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
  • 1TB Seagate SSHD (ST1000LM014)
  • Intel external 19VDC, 65W
  • Intel D34010WYB
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • Intel Graphics HD4400
  • Onboard sound
  • Gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac
  • 3.5" jack headphone/speaker out, Mini HDMI and Mini DP audio
  • 3.5" jack mic in
  • Mini HDMI 1.4a, Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • Internal infra-red receiver
  • Intel 4th Generation NUC
  • Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 mouse and keyboard
  • Windows 8.1 Update 1
  • Malwarebytes PRO Lifetime Licence
  • Free lifetime telephone / email support for original purchaser
  • 2 years collect and return warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Quiet PC UltraNUC Pro XL is a great choice if you don't have the space for a full-sized PC and is especially good if you plan to use your TV as a monitor as it can be tucked away out of sight. Performance is adequate for most everyday tasks except gaming, and it runs quietly with minimal power consumption.

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