Whilst going from one trade show to another we’ve been slow on getting new articles out, so we just wanted to give all of you some input on what we have in store for the next few weeks. The first article that’ll go up is our evaluation of Shuttle’s Zen XPC, the first Shuttle ever to feature an external powersupply. It’s a nifty little case which will appeal to those looking for a quiet and fast office pc and not another lan party box. The Zen lacks an AGP slot as that would simply be too much to ask from the external powersupply. However the integrated graphics of the ATi Radeon 9100 IGP are fast enough for occasionally playing a game, and certainly fast enough for all of your office work.
Fig 1. Shuttle' Zen XPC, the first with an external powersupply.
What we liked most about the Zen is the fact that it can be made virtually silent by picking the right components for it. Obviously an office pc doesn’t need a 3.2GHz Pentium 4, so a 2GHz Celeron will do nicely. Add to that a quiet Samsung 5400-rpm harddisk and you’ve got yourself a desktop pc that is almost noiseless. We’ll have to be honest though and comment that the AOpen XC Cube we recently looked at is just a tad bit noisier, but does offer and AGP slot and the ability to operate with a high-performance graphics card. It looks like the Zen is mostly intended for office applications, or isn’t it? We’ll have more about Shuttle’ latest sibling soon, once we have a number of international press briefings behind us, get over the jetlag and things are back to normal again at the office.