No More Penny-Pinching: Seven Mini-PCs On The Catwalk

Shuttle XPC SB61G2 Reflexion, Continued

To celebrate 20 years in the business, Shuttle - the founder of the mini-PC era - is selling the SB61G2 model from the XPC series as a Reflexion special model. That makes it the 14th mini-PC on the market. Its name refers to the shiny front panel, which is meant to underscore the classy nature of the well-made mini-PC. Ultimately it's a question of personal taste - the testers in the THG lab could not reach a consensus on it. A survey of THG readers and users on this question would be helpful and most enlightening.

No need for "cable salad" inside the case

The Reflexion special model has a heat pipe system in an imitation brass finish

The equipment of the special model includes, in addition to the black DVD drive, a brass-look cooling unit that includes a heat pipe system. The manufacturer installed a universal card reader in the 3.5" slot so there are no more free drive slots left. One highlight of this PC class is surely the integrated WLAN module built to the 802.11b standard. Thus the mini computer can also be used as the base station for a wireless network. The basis of the P4-system is a mainboard with an Intel 865G chipset - thus simultaneously providing onboard graphics. However, those who go for the current 3-D games (DirectX 8.1 and higher) should add a powerful AGP-graphics card (like the GeForce FX5950 or Radeon 9800). As it's often very tight on the inside of the case, installing it often revolves around sheer millimeters. Especially because of the way the many cables get in the way and, in part, even need to be removed. No such tangle of cables can be found in any competitor's product! Our illustrations make the situation clear. The power supply ensures sufficient performance with 220 watts - a 3-phase switch on the board provides for stable power delivery. The equipment is very much standard, with FireWire, 6-channel sound, network and SP/DIF. Why it has a SATA RAID controller (ICH5-R) is a mystery: With this equipment, there is no room for the factory to build in a second hard drive. Moreover, the sandwich arrangement of the fast 7200 disks conceals high failure risks.