Dawson Canyon is a winner. As the business NUC it has all the right features. What’s more, it makes a great PC replacement. It’s an all-around solid design from Intel. As much as I like it, though, it does have one small thing missing; audio. Yes, I know it has excellent audio through the HDMI ports, but I’m talking about the good old fashioned headphone jack kind of audio. For that you have to look to one of the consumer NUC models. Until now.
As I’ve discussed, Dawson Canyon has that large blank on the back, meant to take advantage of the on-board USB headers. I’ve already reviewed Gorite’s USB bracket, which I was impressed with and still use today. Now there’s something new, and it solves the audio jack problem perfectly. This bracket adds not only headphone and audio jacks, but a USB 3.0 port as well.
When I reviewed SimplyNUCs cool (pun intended) fanless NUC, one of these brackets was included. I finally found the time to install it, and I’m glad I did!
A big thanks to SimplyNUC for sending this to me. The bracket is an optional item you can add to your Dawson Canyon configuration before you buy, or you can buy it after the fact. It’s also available separately through Gorite.
Installation for this bracket is similar to the USB bracket, with a couple of additional steps. On each end of the bracket’s cable are grounding wires. These wires need to be attached to the bracket on one side and one of the NUC’s USB ports on the other (it’ll make more sense when you watch the video). They’ve made it a simple process by including a piece of conductive sticky tape at the end of the wires.
Watch the video below to see me install the bracket in the Porcoolpine NUC from SimplyNUC.
Windows automatically installs Realtek drivers for the audio, and adds the USB 3.0 port. Nothing else to do there. It just works:
Linux Mint 19.1 shows a similar reaction. Everything works with no help:
Not having to download drivers is a nice bonus.
The bracket is a perfect fit. If you hadn’t seen this NUC before, you’d look at the back and think it just came with built-in audio jacks.
One minor quibble: the bracket’s audio jacks aren’t color-coded. Over the years I’ve gotten used to green for headphone and red for microphone. These have no coloring.
They do have tiny stencils indicating which is which, but they’re not nearly as visible as color-coding. If nothing else, I’d advise coloring the stencils green and red.
This bracket is another excellent add-on for Dawson Canyon. Installation is straight-forward, even with the addition of the two grounding wires, and once it’s installed, it looks like part of the NUC. It doesn’t require extra drivers, at least for Windows 10 and Linux Mint 19.1, so there’s a good chance it’ll be plug & play for your chosen OS. If you’re looking to buy a Dawson Canyon from SimplyNUC, this is a great addition. If you already have a Dawson Canyon, and you want analog audio, this is the way to go.