Asus Partners with Intel to Save the NUC Line of Compact PCs

Intel NUC PC

Intel and Asus have come to a mutual agreement that will see the two continue to manufacture, sell, and support the Next Unit of Compute (NUC) line of compact desktop PCs.

Last week, Intel announced that it would no longer directly invest in the manufacture of the NUC line of PCs but instead would seek to find a partner to carry on the brand. Intel did not provide a specific reason for why it had made this decision, but it very likely had to do with a struggling computer market combined with Intel’s dipping revenue over the last two quarters.

It did not take long for Intel to find that partner, as the company has today announced that it had come to an agreement with Asus that will allow it to carry on the NUC systems product line forward.

Intel says that it is pivoting its strategy to enable ecosystem partners to continue the NUC line and Asus was an ideal partner because of its “expertise and track record delivering industry-leading mini PCs to customers.”

“Our NUC systems product team delivered unique products that spurred innovation in the ultra-small form factor market. As we pivot our strategy to enable ecosystem partners to continue NUC systems product innovation and growth, our priority is to ensure a smooth transition for our customers and partners. I am looking forward to ASUS continuing to deliver exceptional products and supporting our NUC systems customers,” Sam Gao, Intel’s vice president, and general manager of its Client Platform Solutions, says.

“Thank you, Intel, for your confidence in us to take the NUC systems product line forward. I am confident that this collaboration will enhance and accelerate our vision for the mini PC – greatly expanding our footprint in areas such as AI and AIoT,” Joe Hsieh, ASUS chief operating officer, says.

“We are committed to ensuring the excellent support and service that NUC systems customers expect.”

Under the proposed agreement, ASUS will receive a non-exclusive license to Intel’s NUC systems product line designs, enabling it to manufacture and sell 10th to 13th Gen NUC systems products and develop future designs, Intel explains. Additionally, this will enable ASUS to provide product and support continuity for Intel NUC systems customers. ASUS will establish a new business unit called ASUS NUC BU.

For PC fans, this is great news. Intel’s NUC line is perhaps the closest thing to a PC version of Apple’s compact desktop computers, and its latest — the NUC 13 Extreme — tested extremely well in PetaPixel‘s benchmarks. With Asus at the helm, it remains to be seen if any part of the NUC sales strategy will shift. To this point, the NUC PCs haven’t shipped as complete “out of the box” solutions. For example, the NUC 13 Extreme required buyers to pick up a license for Windows, RAM, an SSD, and a GPU before it would be up and running. That’s a bit more work than some buyers were likely interested in putting in, and those that would do so are probably building their entire units from scratch. That left the NUC in a bit of an awkward position in the market. With ASUS managing the line now, that could stand to change.

Image credits: Photo by Jaron Schneider for PetaPixel