Why rename this device NucBox3? Because unlike the previous models equipped with the same processor, this one is now without ventilation. GMK released the first NucBox in October 2020 with exactly the same processor before turning with the NucBox2 to a Core i5 8th Gen. This come back to the Celeron J4125 seems like a step backwards.
After more than a year on the market, the feedback from the first generation of these machines running Celeron J4125 was often the same: these machines, declined in multiple versions under various brands, were quite efficient for a TV-Box use but quite noisy in use. The small fan used by the brand in this very small format tended to make itself heard. This is not the best argument to integrate this type of device in a living room where you don’t necessarily need raw performance but where discretion is very important.
The NucBox3 has the same technical fundamentals as the first model, with 8GB of DDR4 RAM soldered to the motherboard in a single channel – and apparently a free DDR4 slot to extend this storage to 16GB dual channel – and 256GB of M.2 2280 SATA storage. The format grows a bit since the device is now 12.8 cm on the side and 3.25 cm high. The previous model was 6.2 cm wide and 4.2 cm thick.
The counterpart of this change is in the absence of ventilation, the newcomer benefits from a large copper heatsink, or at least indicated as such, which comes to cap the processor. The Celeron chip is a quad-core running from 2 to 2.7 GHz with an Intel UHD 600 graphics. A solution that offers a TDP of 10 watts that this heatsink is supposed to take completely passively.
With a fairly complete connectivity including on the front three USB 3.0 Type-A ports and a MicroSDXC card reader in addition to the start button. On the back, a fourth USB 3.0 port, an HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort, a gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones and microphone and a power supply from a power supply. A Wifi5 and Bluetooth 4.2 module is also integrated into the machine.
The set is VESA 100 x 100 compatible and can therefore be easily mounted on a stand or behind a compatible TV. The NucBox3 is announced as Wake On Lan and Xe compatible, it is able to reboot after a power failure automatically and supports both Windows 10/11 and Linux. The device is offered at about 280€ directly on the GMKTek website. I don’t advise you to buy it for the moment, the object should be declined in many versions in the future and it seems quite relevant to wait for the feedback on the functioning of the device before investing. The positioning of this model is too expensive for the moment, other more scalable solutions like the Chuwi Herobox are efficient and also work with this type of chip in a passive way.