Fit-PC2 review: The world’s smallest desktop PC

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Hardware
Ubuntu

The Fit-PC2 is the world’s smallest fully functional desktop PC. It’s about 1/4 the volume of a Mac Mini, and it still has all the necessary connections and features to be used as a home or office computer. It’s also the most energy efficient PC I know of, using only six watt when idle and eight when playing full resolution HD video (1080p). Yes, it does that. But more about that later.

When Intel launched it’s Atom series of processors, it coupled them with the rather ancient 945G chipset. This combo is inside most netbook and nettop PCs. Not only is the 945 an older chipset, it also uses a lot of energy. More in fact than the Atom chip itself. Basically, it let the Atom both down in terms of energy efficiency and performance. nVidia’s ION platform proved that it was possible to create a much more powerful chipset without needing extra juice. The US15W chipset found in the Fit-PC2 however is extremely energy efficient. It tops out at 2.3 watts, less even than the CPU.

Specs

My review unit was a ‘fit-PC2 Linux’ with the following specs. It retails for $359 when ordered directly from CompuLab.

Fit-PC2 Linux specifications
CPU Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz
Motherboard chipset Intel US15W SCH
Storage 160GB SATA hard disk
WiFi 802.11b/g
OS Ubuntu Linux 8.04
Memory 1GB DDR2
Display DVI up to 1920×1080 (I’ve tested 1920×1200, works!)
Audio High definition 2.0
LAN 1000 BaseT Ethernet
USB 6 USB
Other features IR Receiver, miniSD socket, 12V power supply

rest here