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Asus takes over Intel's NUC tiny PC business

Intel NUC PC familyImage: Intel

Intel’s NUC, short for “Next Unit of Computing,” is a funky series of teeny-tiny PCs packed with the latest tech the company can offer. It’s also dead… but only “mostly dead.” Shortly after Intel announced that it was done making the NUC hardware line, Asus said that it was happy to take over, via a “non-exclusive license” to Intel’s designs. That agreement has come to fruition and Asus is now the official home on NUC sales.

So sayeth the company’s promotional tweet (spotted by AnandTech), which links to a page on the Asus online store. At the moment, Asus is showing seven different NUC packages across Intel’s 11th, 12th, and 13th-generation designs, including the NUC 12 Extreme, which has room for a discrete desktop GPU and the modular NUC Compute Element that powers it. It doesn’t look like you can actually buy any of them at the time of writing, but placeholder pages indicate that you should be able to at some point. Corporate clients might want to “Request A Quote,” as directed by the store links.

Asus may not be the only company that offers NUC designs in the future. The deal is non-exclusive, according to the July announcement, so companies like Acer or Lenovo might be able to take up the reins at some point. But without Intel supplying the R&D for any future models, that seems unlikely, as most of the larger players already offer their own tiny PC designs for corporate customers and consumers who only need low-power designs. To say nothing of the SFF enthusiasts out there, who are happy to build their own crazy-powerful tiny desktops or buy them from boutique manufacturers like Falcon Northwest.

Even with Asus selling the latest models, it looks like curtains for NUC past the 13th generation. The line spanned ten years and dozens of different models with some really fascinating hardware coming out of Intel’s design labs. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies picking up the slack like MinisForum and Beelink. If you’re searching for a teeny-tiny PC that can run Windows and other full desktop operating systems, you won’t be lacking for choice.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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