Shuttle's New $99 KPC Review

First Impressions, Design, And Style

The KPC has an MSRP of $99 for a barebones and $199 for a complete system, although we couldn’t find one available at the time of writing; all we could find was deactivated listing on Newegg for the KPC. Once it does become easier to find, it will initially be available in black. Additional colors should be included in the second batch of KPCs that make it to market.

Shuttle KPC

The KPC is in a Shuttle form factor (small form factor) measuring 6 7/8" in height, 11 3/8" in length and 7 ½" in width - slightly larger than first reported. This size still makes it is appealing as an inexpensive PC, HTPC, or other appliance.

Anyone who sees the hardware typically asks: "is that really a PC?" The KPC is so small that it’s hard to imagine it is a functioning desktop PC.

Side View

Immediately noticeable is the removable front plate. This is a clever integrated picture mount, so the user can easily customize the KPC by installing their own photographs. The only issue I noticed here is that the front plate requires a Torx 10 driver to remove the screws - probably not something the average homeowner has lying around.

Picture installed

Notice the highly reflective surface, which looks nice but it is a fingerprint magnet. In any case, Shuttle has fulfilled their "customizable" promise with the ability to change the face of the KPC.

Black KPC

Smiley Blue

Red Flower

A Cup of Coffee

We can see that the KPC is a visually appealing box, and its visual customization will certainly appeal to a lot of users. But what’s under the hood?

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • BaconCache
    Grandma build!
  • imatt
    Great for a public computer for internet access in a family room. Small footprint, low heat, low price. Will be interesting to see what the masses can mod these things into.
  • styln
    Regarding Linux's readiness for prime time...

    Six months ago I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on a compact barebones for my wife, a computer novice. I reconfigured Gnome to look a lot like XP with only one toolbar at the bottom and created desktop icons for common programs: browser, word processor, spreadsheet, media viewers/players, etc. I automounted our NAS and created an icon for that, too. Used CUPS to easily connect two networked printers (yeah, my house is fully networked with a GB backbone :)

    She's as happy as can be and uses it everyday for routine "mommy", tasks including classroom rosters, art class schedules, saving/viewing picture and videos, etc.

    Bottom line is she loves it. As the home IT admin I like it too because it's rock solid and gives me less to do than maintaining the kids and my XP machines. So except for playing games, I see no reason to buy Windows in the future.... and I won't.
  • quicsilver
    Pros: Tried and true chipset, linux, windows, windows server compatible. Small, low wattage, QUIET, stylish. Slot under faceplate for a laptop sized cd/dvd-rom

    Cons: barebone comes with no processor fan, no case fan, no cd-rom. Room for only 2 hard drives. NO CASE FAN

    Rumor has it that they will offer the ICE Genie as an optional separate purchase, which is nice for the processor but I don't know if it's sufficient enough to cool the HDD's. I built one with a celeron 420 and a stock core 2 duo proc fan. (the stock proc fan that came with the celeron was DOA) The fan size on the back is 92mm, I bought an antec 92mm case fan and it's very quiet, the loudest fan on the system is the small power supply fan. It has the slot under the faceplate for a slim dvd/cd-rom. You would have to dremel mod the front clear plastic to make it look right, but it's easily doable. AT LEAST it has the option.

    I built it for a Windows Home Server and it works perfect.
  • Luxcrete
    ** DO NOT BUY THE PC62 PSU FOR THE KPC! ** spite of what this article would have you believe, it doesn't physically fit. I just wasted $100, and I'm pretty angry that the reviewer didn't do his research.

    If you're thinking of getting the KPC for a home server, bewarned that it's not that quiet. Probably fine if you can lock it away in a cupboard, but too irritating to be left out in the open, if you're anything like me.
  • sloto
    There is a cutout for a front USB, but you have to hack and do your own mod. Same conditions for an optical drive. It's doable.
    Mint is my preferred linux and works just fine on KCP
  • uafon
    I have tried many many wifi adapters.....and I can say one thing for sure...
    ..I don't know about you guys, but for me UAWIFI UA3 usb adapter is the BEST.
    No other adapter can compare to this baby, it is VERY powerful.
    There are few people sell them on ebay, but I got mine directly from mft. website price is same.
    I also know that it is Made in USA, so at least by buying it I am supporting US workers.
  • uafon
    In other words, you do not have to power it up, as this adapter. It uses 5V from the USB plug.