Intel has announced the launch of the NUC 11 Essential , the cheapest models of the reference line in compact computers.
The new NUC 11 Essential, codenamed ‘Atlas Canyon’, are based on Jasper Lake processors, intended to power budget PCs, netbook-type laptops or entry-level desktops including the mini-PCs that Intel now uses in its own developments.
We are talking about a computer with reduced dimensions to 135 x 115 x 36 mm , a size that allows them to be placed anywhere in a desk or living room. They support up to 32 Gbytes of DDR4-2933 memory and for storage, they have an M.2 connector for PCIe solid-state drives and optional support for 64 GB of eMMC storage.
It can power two screens simultaneously and has the following connectivity elements:
- Wi-Fi 5
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 4 USB 3.2 Type-A ports
- 2 USB 2.0 ports
- 1 HDMI 2.0b ports
- 1 DisplayPort 1.4 port
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 x 3.5mm audio output
- 1 x 3.5mm microphone input
Intel NUC 11 Essential Releases
Intel offers different models depending on the installed processor. The new chips are from the Jasper Lake series, manufactured in technological processes of 10 nm under the new “Tremont” architecture. Intel claimed they would provide a 30% performance boost over the previous “Goldmont” architecture and other improvements at the instruction set architecture (ISA) level, increased cache size, security features and power management, as well as the relative advantages of improving the process at 10 nm.
All are chips with a TDP consumption of 15 watts , with a base CPU frequency of 2 GHz and Intel UHD graphics with a base frequency of 450 MHz. But there are some key differences between the models, depending on the CPU:
- Pentium Silver N6005: 4 cores / 4 threads with frequency from 2 to 3.3 GHz. Intel Gen 11 integrated graphics. 4.5 MB L2 cache.
- Celeron N5105: 4 cores / 4 threads with frequency from 2 to 2.8 GHz. Intel Gen 11 integrated graphics. 4 MB L2 cache.
- Celeron N4505: 2 cores / 2 threads with frequency from 2 to 2.9 GHz. Intel Gen 11 integrated graphics. 4 MB L2 cache.
The new NUC 11 Essential will be delivered with Windows 11 in S mode preinstalled, although according to the manufacturer they will also be compatible with Windows 10 and Linux. We do not know official prices, but they must be the cheapest in the Intel mini-PC catalog.
If you are looking for something with higher performance, you can buy the NUC 11 that we reviewed with Tiger Lake processors, opt for the ‘Extreme’ series or wait for the NUC 12 , new generation that we hope will come with big changes such as the use of an LGA 1700 socket that for the first time would replace the BGA socket used to date in this line of compact computers.