So, let's have a look at the thing. When you open the package, it will play the Intel tune (seriously) and reveal a power cord, power brick, some quick start guides and warranty papers and the NUC itself. I had seen all the pictures online before, but it's still hard to comprehend how small the thing is before you actually see it live. For perspective I placed a PS3 controller next to the thing.
|D34010WYK NUC next to a PS3 controller|
So let's have a look at the chassis. The glossy black top looks rather nice with aluminum chassis, even if I would have preferred a full aluminum chassis. The front side houses 2 USB 3.0 connectors, combined heaphone/microphone jack and the IR receiver. The power button sits on the top.
|The front side|
In the rear we have a 19-volt DC connector, mini DisplayPort 1.2a connector, mini HDMI 1.4a connector, RJ45 Ethernet connector and 2 USB 3.0 ports. It's worth noting that all external USB ports are of the latest 3.0 type. There's an internal USB 2.0 header on the mainboard, that's currently unused in my setup.
|Connectivity on the back side|
There are 4 regular Phillips-head screws on the bottom, one inside each rubber foot. After popping off the bottom cover the mainboard is exposed. As you probably already know, you will need to install at least a single DDR3L (1.35V) memory module in the NUC, but you can install another one to enable dual channel memory mode, which is a bit faster as well as an mSATA SSD disk and a WiFi card. Or you could think of something else to put in the full and half size mini PCIe slots.
|The mainboard with the components|
My WiFi card and mSATA SSD drive had not arrived yet, so I only had to install my memory at this point. Installing the memory is easy, just insert it in a slight angle and push down until it clicks down. There's a good pictured quick start guide with the NUC that will explain you all this in details. Even if you've never built a PC yourself, it's fairly simple to build the NUC.
On the top side of the board you have the CPU and the fan assembly as well as a custom solutions header, which will give you additional possibilities if you're building a system in a custom casing instead of the Intel provided one. I did not have any use for it, so I did not take off the board to see the other side.
|Single DDR3L 1.35V SODIMM module installed|
Allright, that's it for now, I'll have a look at the BIOS settings later on and talk about installing the OpenELEC operating system which is the soul of my future home theater machine. My first impressions of the latest OpenELEC nightly are very positive - after a bit of tweaking almost everything works as I want.