I bought a NUC this spring to use as our ship's computer after using my laptop for years. Also installed an industrial 12V 1080p touchscreen monitor in the nav station to use with it. Absolutely love this setup so far.
The specs indicate the input voltage can be 12-19V so I found a 5mm barrel plug
with 8' of wire that fits the NUC and wired it and the monitor into their own circuit on the 12V power panel... no need for AC or an intermediate power supply. If the computer loses power, it means my house bank is down and I have bigger problems than losing the computer.
As you mention, the VESA mount works great to keep the NUC in place. I mounted mine inside the nav station table, easy access but out of the way. Best of all, I unplug three wires (USB to hub, HDMI to monitor and power) and I can slip it out of the mount and take it home for updates or other work like planning routes ahead of time. I have Coastal Explorer installed on it.
I also have a USB multi port interface attached and mounted in the face of the nav station. It has three USB jacks, audio in and out plugs, and an SD card reader so I don't have to get into the nav station to plug
any of that stuff in. Very handy for updating my Navionics charts
or downloading photos or videos.
Not sure why barnakiel feels they lack as a nav appendage. The setup with the NUC is way nicer to work with than my B&G Zeus2 (that I also like), especially for route
planning using Coastal Explorer. And we can use it for email
, web browsing and N2K troubleshooting and analysis using Maretron's N2K Analyzer software
and a USB100 N2K/USB interface. We keep our ship's inventory and maintenance
log on it, and work when we have to using Microsoft Office (an unfortunate but necessary evil for us). We also use it to post-process photos and videos. You can do all this with a laptop, but having a dedicated and semi-fixed solution with a dedicated monitor has proven to be really nice. Having a touch screen
lets us stow the keyboard and mouse when underway and still use the computer easily... Windows 10 and Coastal Explorer work great in touch only mode.
Now that I think about it, after almost a year of use I have no complaints about the NUC at all... I think you will be very happy with it!