8 SFF PCs: Small, But Not So Quiet

Foxconn E-bot: Shaped Like An Egg?

Even the shape of the case sets the E-bot off from the classic design of a SFF PC. But that doesn't mean that it has less to offer than a comparable Shuttle XPC. The edges and corners of the case are rounded. The whole thing looks more like an egg than a SFF PC cube.

The PC's front and back also attract attention. The mini-PC uses a slim-line drive that is pre-installed. This serves as a CD burner with DVD read function. A large, oval display glows in dark blue and displays an analog clock. After the power-on button is pressed, the clock becomes a tumbling penguin that looks as if it had had too much Linux to drink. Above the CD drive and with the buttons on the front, music CDs can be played without running Windows. Above the display there is a 6-in-1 card reader that can be flipped outward. After use, it then disappears from sight once again. A special feature of this SFF PC is that it uses an external power supply.

Foxconn E-bot packaged for sale

A switch from the usual cube format

The interior has a related Micro ATX motherboard

The E-bot is easy to open, while the side panel can be locked. An external power supply frees up a lot of room on the inside. On the CPU socket there is a cooling unit with heatpipes that lead to a large system fan. Both expansion slots - an AGP and a PCI - are easily accessible from above and can be used in their entire length.

The CD burner and installation option for the hard drive are in the lower part of the case. However, the drive is installed from the outside. To do that, you have to loosen a base plate. Only then can the drive be connected to the cables and be installed into the mini-PC.

Siggy Moersch