ASUS NUC 14 Pro Review: A Compact Powerhouse?

The ASUS NUC series has carved a niche for itself in the PC market, offering miniature powerhouses ideal for space-constrained environments or those seeking a minimalist desktop setup. The latest iteration, the NUC 14 Pro, boasts the latest Intel Core Ultra processors and promises desktop-caliber performance in a tiny footprint. But is smaller truly better in every situation? Let’s check out the NUC 14 Pro’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you decide if this pint-sized PC packs the punch you need.

Design and Build Quality
The NUC 14 Pro maintains the familiar compact design synonymous with the series. Its sleek black chassis is constructed from a lightweight yet sturdy plastic, making it both portable and unobtrusive. While some might yearn for the premium feel of metal, the plastic keeps the weight down to a mere 1.2kg, perfect for tight spaces or frequent travel.

The front panel provides easy access to two USB-A ports and a single USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support. The inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 is a welcome addition, opening doors to high-speed data transfer, external displays, and even powerful external graphics cards. The rear houses additional USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, two HDMI 2.1 ports, an Ethernet jack for wired connectivity, and a power port.

While the design is minimalist and functional, some users might find the lack of an SD card reader inconvenient. Additionally, the internal layout, while accessible for RAM and storage upgrades, requires some disassembly.

The NUC 14 Pro comes in various configurations, with the 12th Gen Intel Core Ultra processors ranging from the i5-1550U to the i7-1585H. In everyday tasks such as web browsing, document editing, and video streaming, the NUC 14 Pro shines. It handles these tasks with ease, delivering a smooth and responsive experience.

However, pushing the limits exposes some limitations. Content creation applications like photo editing and video rendering require more processing power. While the NUC 14 Pro can handle them, expect longer render times compared to bulkier desktops with dedicated graphics cards. The integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics are sufficient for casual gaming but struggle with demanding titles.

Upgrading the RAM and storage is a possibility, with the NUC 14 Pro supporting up to 96GB of DDR5 memory and two M.2 SSD slots. This allows for customisation based on your specific needs, but it’s worth noting that these upgrades can add to the overall cost.

Thermals and Noise
The NUC 14 Pro utilises a small internal fan to keep things cool. Under typical workloads, the fan noise is minimal and unobtrusive. However, under heavy load, the fan can become noticeably audible. While not a dealbreaker, it’s something to consider if silence is paramount in your workspace. Thermally, the NUC 14 Pro manages heat adequately. The chassis can get warm under heavy processing, but it never reaches concerning temperatures.

Connectivity and Features
As mentioned earlier, the NUC 14 Pro boasts a good selection of ports, including the versatile Thunderbolt 4 port. This allows for a plethora of connection options, from external displays and high-speed storage to docking stations and even external graphics enclosures for a performance boost.

Wi-Fi 6E ensures a fast and stable wireless connection, while Bluetooth 5.3 provides seamless pairing with wireless peripherals. The included Kensington lock slot adds a layer of security for those concerned about physical theft in public spaces. The lack of an integrated DVD drive is unsurprising given the miniaturized form factor. However, for those who still require a physical disc drive, external options are readily available.

Software and Upgradability
The NUC 14 Pro ships with Windows 11 pre-installed, allowing you to hit the ground running immediately. Bloatware is minimal, and ASUS provides its own utility for managing system updates and monitoring performance. Upgradability is a double-edged sword. While the NUC 14 Pro allows for RAM and storage upgrades, the process involves some disassembly.

The ASUS NUC 14 Pro is a compelling option for users seeking a powerful yet miniature PC. Its sleek design, excellent port selection with Thunderbolt 4, and the option for powerful Intel Core Ultra processors make it ideal for space-constrained environments or minimalist setups.

The ASUS NUC 14 Pro succeeds in delivering desktop-calibre performance in a compact form factor. For those who prioritise a small footprint, powerful performance for everyday tasks, and excellent connectivity, the NUC 14 Pro is a strong contender, especially for those who can take advantage of the Thunderbolt 4 capabilities for further expansion.

Price: AED 2000 onwards

ASUS NUC 14 Pro AED 2000 onwards
  • Final Rating


The NUC 14 Pro comes in various configurations, with the 12th Gen Intel Core Ultra processors ranging from the i5-1550U to the i7-1585H.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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