The PSU is a 100 watt unit that provides the base system with power; it appears easy to remove, as it runs the length of the left side of the system. The unit only has one SATA, Molex and FDD power connector to support internal devices, and has a standard 20-pin ATX connector for the board and four-pin power for the board.
Speaking of power, Shuttle claims the KPC is an environmentally friendly machine, sipping a mere 33 watts at idle, and maxing out at a low 55 watts under load. This is certainly not going to have a hefty impact on anyone’s electricity bill.
Of course, an optional PSU is available for many Shuttle systems, including the KPC. The PC62 is an external silent 220 watt PSU from Shuttle that could be used in place of the default unit, to provide a silent experience. We found the 100 watt PSU to be fairly quiet, but in some instances even a small amount of fan noise can be distracting, so this PSU gives you an option. It also provides extra juice to fuel upgrades.
PC62 external silent PSU
Shuttle is considering an optional USB optical drive, but does not have one available at this time. You have several options to get an optical drive. There is an IDE and SATA header that could be used, but even by modifying the case there is little room to install one. We used an USB based DVD+/-RW during our review, which worked at the firmware level and allowed us to boot from the DVD drive. For this to work in Foresight Linux we had to configure the system to recognize it. This was easy enough following the instructions we found using a Google search, however this feature should probably be preconfigured so that anyone who connects an USB optical drive does not have to go through the process.
A 2 GB USB installer is being offered for approximately $20 US to recover from a failed HDD or to load Foresight Linux on to a barebones build. This proves to work very well, and by using a 2 GB flash drive, Shuttle gives the user some free storage space as the installer only takes up about 1.12 GB.
PN20 USB WiFi
Shuttle has an optional internal wireless card that they have confirmed will work with the system. The PN20 is a USB based wireless device that supports 802.11 b/g networking and connects to the motherboard on one of the headers normally used for front panel connections. It can be mounted in the side of the normal XPC cases, but for this case, it would be in the upper right rear corner when facing the front of the system.
Shuttle also said they might provide an optional Bluetooth module: the PN21. Many businesses and users will probably be drawn to this unit for its low cost. Once again, however, this would be a feature that would have to be preconfigured in Linux by Foresight and Shuttle so that users are not required to do so.
Shuttle has also said that the PF60 carrying bag will work well with the KPC. We do not see this as a LAN party system, but it could be a good fit for presentations. Since it is so small and much less expensive than a laptop, it could be used with a projector in many instances. While this use would be limited, the carrying case would help to protect the KPC. The only issue with this is that no online vendor seemed to have any in stock, but Shuttle says they have them available.
To summarize, the KPC is certainly not the most impressive or powerful system we’ve ever seen, but as far as functionality is concerned, Shuttle has delivered the KPC with all the features and prowess it needs to fill its role. In addition, they appear to have met both their "green" and "expandable" goals from a hardware standpoint.
Now let’s look at the software the KPC comes with.
- Shuttle's Korporate Perfect Cube (KPC) Hits The Street
- First Impressions, Design, And Style
- The KPC's Hardware: Overview, CPU HD, Memory
- The KPC's Hardware: PSU, USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, Extras
- Foresight Linux And Internet Software
- Foresight Linux: Music, Video, And System Update Software
- Foresight Linux: Testing And Usability
- The Windows Alternative