Most Shuttle XPC small form-factor systems such as the SN27P2 and the SN37PS look like a cut-down PC tower, but the XPC mini X100HA sets a new standard. It's absolutely tiny. We previewed the X100 here and now we've got our mitts on a real, live working example... The photos don't do the tiny size justice, so to put things in …
it even runs XP these days
But what about video playback performance?
The XPC X100 (and other systems like this) seems to be ideal for use in the living room, maybe as an media extender for a larger video system.
However, you didn't review the video performance. Things that might be important for this sort of application are: video playback performance at HD resolutions such as 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
The 3d-graphics performance is really irrelevant for this type of usage.
Maybe you could include this type of testing in future reviews of HTPC-type equipment ?
Mine is even smaller
The PC that I'm sending this from is even smaller, at approximately 22 x 21 x 4.5 cm. Appearance is similar to the Shuttle reviewed here. It has no moving parts at all and is very nearly totally silent: sometimes I can hear a tiny buzzing noise from the inductors in the power supply.
The processor is a 1 GHz VIA C3 which is passively cooled with a suprisingly small heatsink. This is more than adequate for email, web browsing and so on. In fact it's a lot more than adequate for that: I use this machine for everything including software development.
The disk is a 4GByte IDE flash drive. That's sufficient, but I do need to purge old junk from time to time. It seems to me that the density and price of flash is falling faster than software bloat is growing, so this is becoming a more and more practical alternative to a hard disk. This box can also network boot so you could operate with no disk at all in a networked environment.
More details here:
Only £139, excluding RAM and disk.
You say that the pictures won't do it's size justice, so why not include a picture of it beside a 17" TFT and standard keyboard and mouse? Maybe even an El Reg coffee mug... Then we'd have a real world idea of how small it is.
The AOpen miniPC is only 165mm x 165mm x 50mm ...
...and I absolutely love it. (I have two of them.)
Besides, it only costs about $275 as a bare-bone without CPU / RAM / harddisk, bringing up the cost for a fully configured system to only approx. $450 (Celeron M 410 + 512 MBytes RAM + 60 GByte 2.5" harddisk).
It is basically a knockoff of the Apple MAC mini, but has a regular PC BIOS, not the 'weird' Apple BIOS, and is fully configurable from a Celeron M 410 up to a Merom T7600, up to 1 GByte [SODIMM] DDR2 RAM, up to a 200GB 2.5" harddisk.
The model numbers for the barebones are: MP945-X (with a CDR writer / DVD reader), MP945-VX (with a DVD writer) and MP945-VXR (with a DVD writer and a remote control receiver+transmitter).
What a rip off! $2K -> Core Duo
Shuttle must want to go out of business with prices like this. Apple are known to be expensive but this Shuttle is 2x-4X more expensive than the comparible Mini Mac. One of these for $2K...come on! Thats like a Mac Pro, or a killer Core2Duo Dell XPS with a free 20" widescreen LCD monitor. Companies like Apple, Dell and even HP can sell expensive systems becuase they are QUALITY and GOOD terch support. Shuttle quality is not good and the support is TERRIBLE. Don't make the same mistake I did.
Just hope it doesn't fail on you
No matter how good it is, just hope it doesn't break. Unlike other manufacturers I've dealt with, to get anything fixed or replaced it requires sending the unit back to Shuttle and waiting about a month or more to get it back. If you want a part shipped to you before you ship the old part back, you have to pay a service charge. In all cases you have to pay the shipping to them.
The Shuttle X100 is overpriced. Compare to the Apple Mac Mini or even the lowest end iMac. I found the low end Core Duo version of the X100 on newegg recently for $1049. However, I can get a Mac Mini for under $600 (smaller HD though) or for the same money I can get an iMac which has a 17" LCD monitor and includes lots of great MacOS software and has the capability of running WindowsXP. Why would I pay the same amount for the Shuttle? Answer is... I won't.