I write this article because of the lack of information about the Bevy branded NUC devices, specifically tech specs and other details.
Not long ago in early 2015 the Lineage Labs Bevy photo backup system launched to great reviews. It was a promising product that had raised more than four million in funding to get it off the ground. It was a slick product that backed up photos from an iOS or Android app; systems were available in one or two terabyte flavors, 2gb of RAM and came with your choice of a blue, black, or purple lid with the Bevy logo on top. At launch Systems were priced at $299 and $349 respectively.
Fast forward to December of 2016, existing Bevy customers receive emails notifying them that the service will be discontinued by end of year and to back up their data accordingly. A tragedy for many Bevy users, myself not included.
I picked up my Bevy on eBay in early February 2017 for just over $100 including shipping. Initially just searching ‘Intel NUC’ I stumbled upon it. The seller mentioned he had purchased it for a project maxed out the ram and now no longer needed it. The listing also flatly stated ‘It says Bevy on it, if you don’t like it don’t buy it‘ my kind of seller! There wasn’t a mention anywhere in the listing of actual RAM or if any HDD was included but I was willing to take a gamble because the Purple Bevy lid was interesting. When it arrived I was surprised it came loaded with 8gb of ram and a Westerndigital Blue 750gb hdd. For $100 it was a steal!
I had planned on running Windows 10 Pro, with Hyper-V running a Minecraft server, and another VM with Pi-hole. I stripped the unit of the 8gb of ram (using it in another machine) and replaced it with a smaller 4gb stick. Installed a 40gb Kingston SSD drive I had lying around and got to installing windows 10 from a bootable flash drive. First thing I noticed after installing windows? No need to activate Windows! I checked my activation window and Windows says it’s already activated. During installation I chose that I didn’t have a key.
Apparently Bevy devices originally ran Windows and the key is embedded. I could find no information online about the host OS for Bevy. I was able to extract a Windows 10 key with Magic Bean Key Finder.
Second note, I was unable to update the bios on the device by downloading the BIOS update file from Intel and running from the desktop. The unit restart installed and files extracted but the update failed. I haven’t attempted to update via flash drive at all; wondering if the bios is locked some how? At first boot instead of the Intel NUC logo it’s a purple circle with a B in it- the Bevy logo. Other than this and the bevy logo you’d never know it was a Bevy.
Next on the hardware list, the original advertisements for Bevy show an older NUC device with the Celeron N2820 processor. However the version that actually launched was the NUC5CPYH with the dual core Celeron N3050 processor, slightly lower TDP at 6w and slightly more powerful. Also note that while a single 2.5″ notebook drive will fit into the case it only has a single slot for RAM. So if your looking to use this as an every day PC you may want to think about purchasing an 8gb stick of ddr3l ram.
My Bevy, aptly named Bevy has been humming along for the past couple weeks serving as a Plex Media Player/Pihole/Minecraft/PlexPy server for my family. It’s got plenty of power to stream 1080p content from my Plex server, hasn’t had any issues serving as a DNS ad blocker, and has worked wonderfully as a Minecraft server. The Bevy device will work as an every day PC if you don’t mind waiting on occasion for apps to launch etc.
If you can find one for cheap pick it up as they’re well worth it!