Mini PC GMKtec Nucbox5 pro mini pc

Nice AC only powered NUC
Intel or AMD mini PC's like the Intel NUC or the Quieter 3.

Item details

Item cost: 149.00
Where purchased: Amazon
The first order of business.. specs on this machine.

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I ordered one of these in to use as a Windows based NUC with N.I.N.A. Figured for the $150 for it new (8GB/512GB) and with it being a N5105 processor based unit should perform decent for captures. It was also advertised as coming with Windows 11 Pro (although some reviews report it's Windows 11 Home).
The unit arrived yesterday and upon unboxing, found that yes, it is powered from a USB C cable. But no, it will NOT work with a PD 3.0 USB C power supply. Apparently they use a propriety charger and you cannot use a very standard PD 3.0 capable plug to run this with (which is what you would frequently hook into a battery box).
The unit itself was very light and compact, which would make an ideal NUC to mount on the actual telescope rig when compared to something like the BeeLink U59 or the Intel NUC 11.
I did not spend any time with it since I was unable to confirm that it would run from a portable battery power unit, as that is one of the prime requirements I have. You can apparently create your own custom cable using a USB C trigger device (according to some comments on the Amazon comments), but I'm not going to jump through those kinds of hoops when one can go pay a little more for a base unit and get one that uses a standardized 5.5x2.5mm power plug. I have no aversion to using USB-C as a power supply. My issue is when its' not clearly documented on HOW that power can/should be supplied. This unit is apparently rarely used in astrophotography and it's lacking in reviews on how to power from a 12V battery based solution.
They advertise this as coming with Windows 11 Pro but some responses on the Amazon feedback report that theirs shipped with Windows 11 Home. I never got that far since as soon as I saw that information on powering it from a 12v solution was not easily obtainable, I realized it was not going to work for me.
The only other NUC that I have used that is similar is the MeLe Quieter units... but they will run from a PD 3.0 power port.
If you are going to only be running from AC power, this would probably be a very decent unit to use. But as I said, since it was not able to be easily ran from my 12v systems, it was immediately a no-go for me.
I probably should have done the OS install/setup and tested it out... but I didn't feel right about doing that since I knew it was going to be returned.

I would have loved to evaluate this unit further, but I had no reliable way to power it. I have since found 5.5x2.1mm and 5.5x2.5mm to USB-C connectors that may have worked (but cannot verify since I never tried them).
This is one of the downfalls of a site like ours... these items are purchased directly by the site owner, and since we ask for no community support it has to fall within the budget we can give this site. I have to budget my expenditures carefully.
Since we are a small site, it's hard to get any manufacturers to provide evaluation samples.

I have another GMKTek evaluation unit on order, so I am going to inquire if they can ship me one of these to do an updated review on since I have cabling now that should work with it from a battery powered solution.
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Item information

Category
Hardware
Added by
Tracy
Views
558
Last update

Additional information

Pro:
Very compact and light weight.

Con:
Non-standard power supply requiring careful sourcing of a power cable to supply power from a 12 volt battery systemm.

Would recommend:  Undecided

Rating: 3.00 star(s)
Vendor Evaluation Unit: No

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