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Intel NUC Elk Bay Review: Desktop power in an ultra-compact form factor

The new Elk Bay NUC arrives with Intel's latest Tiger Lake CPUs, but can they deliver?

October 29, 2021 / 03:46 PM IST

Intel is pushing the limits of just how much performance you can fit into an ultra-portable desktop. The Next Unit of Computing or NUC fits the power of a full-fledge desktop tower into a super-compact form factor.

Intel’s NUC units are primarily built for productivity without any powerful graphics hardware and the elaborate cooling tech to back it up. Our unit, the Intel NUC Elk Bay model arrived with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU with a boost clock of 4.7GHz paired with integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics. The NUC also featured 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Now, let’s take an in-depth look at the Elk Bay NUC from Intel.

Design

The design of the Elk Bay NUC is pretty standard, with the unit resembling a small box. The NUC was no larger than my Wi-Fi router and is quite easy to setup on a desk. However, if you have one too many wired devices, you will face some cable clutter. A mount also came in the box, in case you need to mount it on a wall. The NUC has a mesh covering on the sides for the air intakes. There’s a Kensington lock slot along the side as well. It also comes with a rather portable power brick, which is more or less the size of an adapter of a standard consumer notebook.