Not the smallest...
The Fit-PC2 is HALF the volume of this machine at 313cm^3. This thing is 628cm^3, so how can it claim to be anything like the smallest PC?
Looking more like a router than a PC, Sapphire’s Edge-HD makes the recently-reviewed Zino HD 410 from Dell look positively huge. Sapphire rather hesitantly states that it “believes” the Edge-HD to be the smallest PC in the world. Whether or not it’s a world-beater is therefore up for debate, but with dimensions of 193 x 148 x …
Nice little machine - runs Ubuntu well, and serves as a "backup" PC for use by our daughter, or if someone else is on the "main" computer.
Haven't managed to get it to display via HDMI on our TV (apparently, many TVs have non-standard ways of sending info back down the HDMI cable to the computer, which Ubuntu doesn't like with the NVidia Ion drivers), but the NT330i works nicely with a "normal" monitor, so we're content for now. (One day, I'll try XBMC Live with it, though :-) )
This is quite competitive in terms of spec compared to most thin clients. However for that world the power draw is actually quite big. An average Via or AMD thin client consumes 8-15W in idle, not 20.
In any case, it definitely has some appeal for a DIY thin client install (half the price of a lower spec HP) and higher spec as well.
If this thing is pitched mostly for companies then a *minimal* OS makes perfect sense.
This sounds likes a buy in bulk, set up a standard disk image and copy to all of them deal.
*if* they were going for the home market then convenience becomes key and a *properly* configured Linux or Windows whatever (which should be offered as a higher priced option) would be the way to go.
I suspect the limited installed OS and the ease it can be replaced *may* make it a bit of an undiscovered bargain for the techie willing to dig a bit.
What a joke, on a PC that has no other way of adding hardware. These tiny PCs are great as Media centres since they are quiet, low power and capable of h.264 at 1080p but only 4 USB ports is going to hold you back. Once you've added 1 or 2 TV tuners, an IR receiver, a DVD or bluray drive, dongle for wireless mouse and keyboard, you've run out of ports and need to start adding a USB hub.
There's also no optical output for 5.1, I know all modern gear is using HDMI to receive the audio but there are still plenty of people with old amps that don't really need replacing but need optical or coax for sound.
Is it USB 3? Article does not seem to say. A big plus is that it is not encumbered with Windows, which would have just been too bloated for an efficiency demanding device such as this.
If it was for the frame drops (shouldn't happen at this price), this could make a good front-end when loaded with Myth, XBMC or simialr.
"The fact Sapphire hasn’t bothered to preinstal a fully-functional OS also leaves a bad taste in the mouth."
Will Stapley here is your coat! now gedoudda here!
Not screwing the customer with windows tax is exactly what some of us want! I already have more copies of windows than PC's (due to dead boxes).
I for one welcome this refreshing change.
Why not install them all and fill the bootloader selection screen.... No, fuck it! leave it blank I'll do it my way. I don't see why one person failing with one OS makes it a bad taste for everyone. I'd much rather have completely blank drive than have the risk of a preconfigured system with bloatware.
> That was in reference to Ubuntu not working, not Windows.
That's nonsense. Ubuntu and Nvidia works quite well with strange HDTV monitors.
Perhaps someone is willfully avoiding the proprietary driver. As someone that has used a number of these ION systems, that's the only way I can imagine the GPU not playing nice with the TV.
I have an older 50" Plasma TV that has a DVI input for HD connection, that connects with my Sky HD box just fine at 1080i (or 720p? not checked!) via HDMI-DVI. When I connect my HTPC to it via HDMI (with a HDMI-DVI converter) I can NOT get it to work. Works fine via VGA. I have to start arsing about with editing xorg.conf to try to get it to work. This is with *buntu, using the nVidia drivers.
"Not screwing the customer with windows tax is exactly what some of us want"
The suggestion wasn't for Windows to be pre-installed, rather *any* OS was installed. In fact I think the hint was to have a Linux install - especially as this way they might have caught the no-audio-over-HDMI-with-Linux problem and gone some way to help address it.
Got a C64 thanks, Its still much more reliable than the numerous dead intel derrivatives in my loft...
OK I'll give you 'fully' functional, but I still prefer to install my own OS. Saying that I've never had a machine come with a *nix OS installed, so prehaps I'm not fully qualified to comment.
HDMI Audio on Linux is driven by the driver version level. Oddly enough, this is much like how it would be under Windows. The ION1 gear should be fine with whatever the current version of Ubuntu comes with. ION2 may require an upgrade to a newer version of the audio drivers (namely ALSA).
Once your driver version is sorted out, you just need to let the system know what audio output you want to use.
When I plug in my new media center/computer/internet access, and something like sound doesn't work, it is worth money to me to be able to call ONE vendor and get help.
When hardware and software and OS come from three different vendors, all you'll get is fingerpointing.
And that's why (sorry), I still happily pay extra for an Apple. If someone else were to compete with them designing hardware, software, and OS with equal effort and testing them together, I'd consider that company too. But life is too short to waste on incompatibility scavenger hunts.
The nVidia ION 2 is what handles the HDMI audio, and it's a bit of a pain in the arse - although I'd assume the tweaks required for other ION2 machines (I've got the Shuttle XS35GT) would work. I had to:
a) set the audio output to use "plughw:1,7" rather than the default. Check http://forum.xbmc.org/archive/index.php/t-89111.html or search for setup guides for XBMC on the XS35GT.
b) boot with the HDMI receiver (my TV) plugged in directly. For some reason running this through a Cat5 HDMI extender wouldn't work.
Works a treat.
"(possibly) the world’s smallest PC."
nope that would probably be the toradex Tegra2 computer on SO-DIMM form factor for 99 EUR / 139 US plus the daughter board to put it in and bring the connectors out OC
1.5 minutes in to see a small version
oc you also have the http://www.webservusb.com/ but that needs a larger motherboard of some kind to run it so i discount it.
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