Report: Bay Trail NUC to cost $139, support 2.5-inch drives

Intel has already revealed a couple of NUC barebones systems with Haswell CPUs. It's also prepping at least one based on Bay Trail, and that system could cost as little as $139. Hexus has posted an IDF slide revealing Forest Canyon, the NUC otherwise known by model number DN2810FYK. This mini PC is based on the Celeron N2810, which is reportedly a Bay Trail-M variant meant for notebooks.

According to the slide, the Celeron has dual cores clocked at up to 2GHz. I'm a little surprised Intel didn't opt for a quad-core chip, but other Bay Trail NUCs could be in the pipeline. The Bay Trail Atom Z3770 we reviewed has quad cores that scale up to 2.4GHz, and it fit in a tablet. Intel would surely have no problem cramming a comparable processor into its ultrabox chassis.

Interestingly, the Bay Trail NUC is nearly an inch thicker than its Haswell counterparts. The enclosure has apparently been expanded to accept 2.5" SATA hard drives rather than the mSATA SSDs required by existing NUC systems. Supporting standard notebook drives makes sense given the budget price tag. SSDs may be getting cheaper, but mechanical storage remains much more affordable.

Otherwise, the Forest Canyon NUC is about what you'd expect. It has an empty SO-DIMM slot and a half-height Mini PCIe slot populated by an 802.11n Wi-Fi card. The port selection is somewhat sparse—you're limited to HDMI video output and a single USB 3.0 port—but at least there's a Gigabit Ethernet port onboard. Intriguingly, the slide suggests Android support is coming in the second quarter of next year.

Bay Trail looks poised to revolutionize netbooks and budget convertibles, so it will be interesting to see how the chip fares in the mini desktop PC market. We should have a better idea in the first quarter of next year, which is when the Forest Canyon NUC is set to arrive.

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