This latest incarnation of Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) platform, is an evolution of the Ivy Bridge-based PC we reviewed previously. The D55250WYK updates the processor to a fourth-generation "Haswell" model, as well as providing many other notable improvements to the design of this business PC.
The new NUC features a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-4250U processor which can turbo boost up to 2.6GHz under load. This enables very low power consumption of only 7W at idle, but excellent performance when required.
The NUC is sold as a "barebones" kit without memory or storage, and because it's so new at the time of writing, we've had to configure this system together ourselves. We've included storage and wireless components from Intel and 8GB of DDR3 memory from Crucial.
The tiny form-factor of the standard NUC case won't allow for a 2.5in hard drive, so we've fitted a 180GB Intel 530 series mSATA SSD. However, the board itself includes standard SATA connections, so it would be possible to build a larger version including a full-sized drive. This isn't much room for external connections so, to save space, mini-HDMI and mini-DisplayPort video connectors have been used. However, there's still room for a gigabit ethernet port and four USB 3.0 sockets – double the number you might expect in a mini PC. It also includes an infrared sensor and combined headphone/microphone jack. See also: Group test: What's the best Mini PC?
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are provided by an internal Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac card, which adds around £20 to the price. In all we've added around £230 worth of components to the £295 price of the barebones kit, reaching a price comparable with other mini PCs.
In this configuration, the NUC simply flies. PCMark 7 turns in a score of 4681 points which is considerably faster than any of the competition.
The processor also includes Intel's HD graphics 5000, the most powerful integrated graphics of any of the mini PCs in this round-up. See all budget PCs reviews.