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5 Little Linux Computers - page 2

Linutop, Fit PC2

  • July 1, 2010
  • By Paul Ferrill

Via has been turning out x86 CPU chips for quite some time and also has a line of computer products based on those chips. The ARTiGO A1100 DIY kit crams their 64-bit 1.2 GHz Nano processor into a tiny pico-itx form factor. The box size measures a tiny 5.7 by 2.0 by 3.9 inches. On the front panel there are two full-size USB 2.0 ports, a mini-USB port plus audio line in, line out and mic in. The rear panel includes two more USB ports, a GB Ethernet port, HDMI and VGA video connectors and a power plug. This unit uses an external power brick like a laptop power supply to reduce the heat generated inside the box. The ARTiGO retails for $243 US and can be had directly from the VIA company store or other vendors in the US and Europe.

Shuttle Computer X350

Shuttle was one of the first companies to deliver a compact PC and has continued to roll out new models ever since. The upcoming X350 brings Shuttle into the slim PC market in style. Performance will not be a problem with the latest Intel Pinetrail CPUs and an optional NVIDIA ION graphics processor. On the rear panel there are four USB 2.0 ports, a GB Ethernet port, audio in and out, two VGA ports and HDMI. The front panel includes a single USB port along with a 4-in-1 card reader, making it super simple to transfer photos and videos from a memory card. Built-in 802.11n wireless support tops off this power-packed device. Final prices haven't been set but expect the Ion-based unit to run roughly $100 more than the Intel-based unit.

Dell Zino HD

If you want to buy a small-form-factor PC from a big-box vendor, then Dell has what you've been looking for. The Zino HD is a solid system with features like an AMD Athlon 1.6 GHz CPU, 2 GB of memory and a 250GB SATA hard drive. It comes with Windows Vista as a standard option, but you can always load your own OS. At the bare bones price of $249 you also get a Dell USB Keyboard and Mouse. The basic integrated ATI graphics card isn't what you'd want for high-end video work but hey, you can't expect everything at that price. You can spend more for a unit with better graphics and integrated peripherals like a 4-in-1 card reader and 802.11 b/g WiFi. For the price, this product is definitely worth checking out if you choose to buy from a big company with a good reputation for product support.

Wrap Up

Thin is definitely in when it comes to both size and power requirements. All of these products offer both without skimping too much on performance. Prices vary with the Dell Zino coming in on the low end. Now all that's left is saving your pennies.

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