Shuttle, the company that can be named responsible for the original explosion of small-form-factor desktop computing, is bringing out a new series of XPC SFF PCs. However, unlike the XPCs you might be familiar with from the days of yore, these little computers are more akin to the Intel NUC than something like those Syber Cs from yesterday.
Shuttle describes its XPC nano NC02U series as "palm-sized 4K portable" PCs. These machines come in four separate bare-bones configurations, all revolving around Intel Skylake SoCs. The base NC02U model uses the Celeron 3855U, a dual-core unit clocked at 1.6GHz. Things get a little more interesting going up the range. The NC02U3 packs a Core i3-6100U with two cores and four threads clocked at 2.3GHz, while the NC02U5 goes with a Core i5-6200U that's roughly similar to the previous model but can hit Turbo speeds up to 2.8GHz. Finally, the high-end NC02U7 contains a Core i7-6500U SoC, a dual-core, four-thread unit with 4MB of cache, 2.5GHz base clocks and Turbo clocks up to 3.1GHz.
Aside from the SoC used, all four configurations are equivalent. Graphics are handled by the Intel SoC, and the little barebones machines support up to 32GB of DDR3L-1600 via a pair of SODIMM slots. An Intel I211 adapter handles Gigabit Ethernet duties, while Realtek supplies the chips for the audio section and the M.2 802.11n Wi-Fi card. Users can store data on M.2 SSDs (residing on a slot separate from the Wi-Fi adapter), or use a 2.5" SATA disk. Unusually, the NC02U offers support for 15-mm-tall 2.5" devices, too.
While the modern Intel SoCs on offer can certainly pull HTPC duty in the living room, the inclusion of a decidedly old-school DB9 serial port on one side marks the NC02U series as potentially ready for commercial and industrial markets. Shuttle says that these little PCs are well-suited for signage, kiosks, and point-of-sale systems.
Besides the retro serial port, the NC02Us include four USB 2.0 ports as well as USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C connectors. Video output comes by way of HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, although Shuttle doesn't specify version numbers for those. A regular old 3.5mm audio jack rounds out the external connectivity. Shuttle says the XPC nano NC02U mini-PCs are available now.
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