Intel's NUC platform is putting in a strong showing of late. You can pick one up with Windows 10 for $232, and there's a range of 7th generation Kaby Lake models now on the market, starting at $295 for the Core i3 version.
These tiny PCs typically ship with a small fan inside for cooling the processor, but a few companies offer completely fanless cases for NUCs. Akasa is one of those companies, and its latest case will silently cool a Kaby Lake Core i7 NUC.
The most impressive Akasa NUC case (both in terms of cooling offered and overall design) is its fanless case for the Skull Canyon NUC. This latest case is called the Plato X7, and it's been made specifically for the Kaby Lake NUCs, including the Core i7 NUC7i7BNH ($482), Core i5 NUC7i5BNH ($397) and NUC7i5BNK ($397), and the Core i3 NUC7i3BNH ($298).
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Cooling is managed through the use of aluminum fins that form part of the casing along with a large heatsink mounted over the processor. Akasa achieves enough cooling while keeping the case only 38.5mm tall, which is impressive (the case is 247mm wide and 240mm deep). There's also two front USB 3.0 ports, support for a 2.5-inch hard drive/SSD inside, and infrared remote support so you can use your NUC as a media box.
The one negative point of the Akasa Plato X7 is its price. According to FanlessTech, it will be available for $200 later this month. That's a lot of money to pay to make a NUC run silent. But if you want a Core i7 PC without any fan noise, it could still be a tempting purchase.
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