After launching the VR-ready Hades Canyon NUC earlier this year, Intel is back with another upgrade to its barebones mini-PC lineup. While not as powerful as the Hades Canyon Next Unit of Computing, which managed to squeeze an Nvidia discrete graphics card into its svelte housing, the new Bean Canyon NUC systems will offer greater performance than previous mainstream NUCs.
The new NUCs get a boost from eighth-generation Core processor options, which also feature upgraded Iris Plus Graphics 655 integrated graphics. Like some of the current NUCs powered by seventh-generation Core i7 CPUs, these so-called Coffee Lake processors need 28 watts of power, requiring additional passive cooling measures and a 90-watt power supply.
Intel put out extensive documentation of the Bean Canyon NUC specs, and not long after, online provider Simply NUC began listing the new configurations. Starting at $489.95, the NUC8i3BEH and low-profile NUC8i3BEK include a Core i3-8109U, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive. At $649.95, the NUC8i5BEH and NUC8i5BEK come with the Core i5-8259U and the same amount of memory and storage, while the NUC8i7BEH bumps things up to the Core i7-8559U for $50 more than the Core i5 models.
As part of their barebones nature, the Coffee Lake NUCs do not ship with an operating system installed, though Simply NUC will add Windows 10 Home for $120 or the Pro version for $150. Simply NUC also provides the option to customize one of the new NUCs with additional RAM and storage options. If you want the bones even barer, the $299 8i3BEK kit includes the Core i3-8109U CPU but doesn't provide any RAM or SSD storage pre-installed.
The new NUCs come with the usual array of ports and connections, including a Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C port that supports DisplayPort 1.2, four USB 3.0 inputs, an SD card slot, HDMI, and 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi.
Simply NUC says it expects the NUC8i7BEH to ship by the end of September, with the NUC8i5BEH, NUC8i5BEK, and NUC8i3BEH following the next month. You'll have to wait until November to receive the NUC8i3BEK and the NUC8i3BEK barebones kit. While pre-order pages have popped up in a few other spots, no North America retailer has yet posted pre-order information for the new NUCs.