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GMK NucBox review: A pocket-sized Windows 10 PC, but you need a bag for peripherals

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Topic: Hardware
GMK NucBox Review Pocket-sized Windows 10 PC–but you will need a bag for its peripherals zdnet

The NucBox from GMK is a compact mini PC running Windows 10 Home Edition that you can take anywhere with you. It is tiny at only 62mm x 62mm x 42mm (2.4 x 2.4 x 1.6 inches) and it weighs 125g.

On one side of the box, there is a slot for a TF card and a 35mm headphone jack. On another side, there is an HDMI port, a USB type C port for power, and two USB 3.0 ports.

The cooling fan is unobtrusive with vent slots on the top and side of the box. The only other button is the power button.

Inside the NucBox an Intel Celeron Gemini Lake J4125 quad-core processor is running at up to 2.7GHz and an Intel Graphics UHD 600 chip.

The NucBox has 8GB DDR4 memory and an SSD with 128GB or 512GB internal storage options, which is extendable using the TF card for up to another 128GB of storage.

The box containing the NucBox also has a power input with a transformer and a user guide. The user guide is extremely basic, and it will not help those who have never seen a mini PC before.

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To install Windows 10 Home Edition, you will also need to find a keyboard to plug into the box, a mouse, and an external screen. Then, you can install Windows 10 and configure a Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth keyboard, screen, and mouse if you choose.

In use, the NucBox is extremely quiet with minimal fan noise. The fan does spin often, but as it is so quiet, it is not really intrusive.

Performance is reasonable, but it was not blisteringly fast, and Microsoft Teams left running overnight soon slowed things down -- as it does on far more powerful laptops. The Wi-Fi is quick to connect and the Bluetooth signal is good.

I like the fact that it is unobtrusive on my desk, but I do have some bugbears.

Although the NucBox is ultra-portable, the amount of peripherals I now need to remember to take with me is a pain. Instead of taking a mini-tablet with me like the Vastking (yes, I know it is an Android tablet) or my Microsoft Surface tablet, I now need to remember not only my mouse but also my Mako monitor, a Bluetooth speaker, earbuds, and a mini keyboard.

However, If you have a touchscreen monitor -- even better if it has an onboard speaker -- then you can significantly reduce the number of extras you need to carry with you.

The other thing that concerns me is that while the NucBox is ultra-portable, it is so simple to put it in your pocket and disappear with it. There is no security port if you need to lock it to your desk in the office. But for home use this little box is good. The sound is adequate -- through the connected speaker -- and the onboard sound through the 3.5mm headset is OK (albeit a little tinny).

If you configure this for home and use a Bluetooth keyboard, speaker and mouse, and a decent screen there is little not to like.

Taking the NucBox out and about means you will also need to take a bag full of accessories with you. You might want to grab a laptop or tablet and take that instead. For under $190, the GMK NucBox is a really cheap Windows 10 PC that performs well and looks good on your desk. 

Hide the peripherals, and you will have a talking point in your home office or living room. There is a further $20 discount using the coupon code NucBox20OFF on the GMK website and the Amazon store this week to make it even more of a bargain.

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