I think when you look at what the Shuttle XPC Nano NC01U5 barebones can do as opposed to what it can’t, it makes it a very attractive space saving option for the home or office. The benefit of barebones is it allows you to add certain parts yourself, but doing this does add a little to the cost.
Starting out with the major issue for me here (pricing), the Shuttle NC01U5 certainly isn’t cheap and overall, it’s hard to really commend Shuttle here at all in terms of value for money. Sure, looking at it from a logical perspective, you’re paying extra for all the cool features and plus points such as the small size and the VESA mounting capability including mount itself. £360 in the UK depending on your choice of retailer or $400 in the US might not seem too appealing, but it’s not THAT bad when you look at everything you get including the low power drawing Intel Core i5 5200U processor on top of everything else. I have certainly seen worse £/performance systems and barebones options on the market.
Performance wise, with our chosen parts which included 8GB of Crucial 1600MHz DDR3L and ADATA 120GB SSD, did a pretty good job across the board. CPU performance and memory performance on the NC01U5 is relative to what you would expect to find within a simulary spec’d laptop/notebook. It’s a more than acceptable result for Shuttle here, but as I said above, it is a little expensive so with a small price reduction, it would certainly go a long way way in my opinion.
Touching more on the design, the Shuttle NC01U5 is a smart, sophisticated and sleek looking micro PC; the black gloss goes a long way in making the overall look, but it is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. The included VESA-compatible mount really does add a ton of function to this and if you’re unsure what this actually does, it allows you to mount this XPC Nano system to the back of a VESA-compatible monitor. Not only does this save space on your desk for people with space limitations, but it also looks swish!
To sum the Shuttle NC01U5 barebones up, I think there is a huge market for small bespoke systems like this. Of course there are improvements which could be made such as the costs involved for the consumer, but as nano PCs start becoming more common, there is still a premium to be paid. Out of all the small micro PCs I have came across over the last few years, the Shuttle NC01U5 is certainly the best of the bunch and I have no problems awarding Shuttle with our brilliant gold award. If you’re in the market for a small space saving option with the ability to add your own 2.5″ storage drive or your own DDR3L memory, then the NC01U5 is certainly one to consider; just don’t expect a great price to performance ratio!
If you’re in the market for a small space saving option with the ability to add your own 2.5″ storage drive or your own DDR3L memory, then the NC01U5 is certainly one to consider; just don’t expect a great price to performance ratio!
Huge thanks to Shuttle for sending the NC01U5 barebones system into us for the review!
Note: The reason we didn’t run any 3D or gaming benchmarks is that this particular system isn’t really powerful enough, nor does it really suit gaming. We did run a number of games on the NC01U5, but none of the results were acceptable to make it viable for us to consider using them. On that note, with medium settings at 1080p, it does run CS:GO at decent enough frames rates if you’re wondering!
– Fantastic overall look
– Very powerful for its size
– Has oodles of features including 4 USB ports
– Easy to install memory and 2.5″ storage drive
– VESA mount is a great addition to a great barebones system
– Very costly
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