Unevenly Matched Mini-Trio: MSI vs. Shuttle vs. Saintsong

Summary: Design Icon Shuttle Is Noisy; Hard-Working Hermes Is Very Quiet And Of High Quality; Saintsong Misses The Mark

For this article, we examined three different mini-PCs with still more different designs. Shuttle's SB52G2 is another bare-bones offering in the XPC series, focused on use as a mini-server. Whether the configuration is adequate is something that customers will have to decide for themselves. Shuttle can pit its light, stylish aluminum case with high processing quality against its direct challenger, the "MSI Hermes 845GV." On the other hand, the Hermes 845GV is a heavyweight whose processing quality looks just as perfect, at the very least. MSI is clearly meant for use as a business desktop: the low level of operating noise, just under 36 to 38 dB(A), is exemplary.

Compared to this, the Shuttle is unappealing, despite the heat pipe CPU cooling system: 50 dB(A) at capacity with the 3 GHz processor is decidedly too much. Both competitors do without an AGP slot; after all, the 3D gamer will go for a more appropriate system. As different as the two designs are, the eye of the prospective buyer will have a decisive impact on the decision to buy. The mini from Shuttle, which ensures attention with its black enamel and silver-tone front panel, will sell visually.

MSI, on the other hand, relies on its inner virtues like the efficient cooling design and high interface functionality, thought it lags somewhat in daring and design creativity. The business customer will use the Hermes exclusively as a tool and not for presentations.

The third of the trio, the Saintsong Latte P4, cannot keep pace with the MSI and Shuttle minis in almost any category. The Latte P4 is only the absolute best in one respect: in its very compact dimensions. Its other properties, like its low performance level, loud operating noise, poor image quality and mediocre workmanship should motivate Saintsong to rework the machine from the bottom up. Only if this is done will the reticent King Customer be ready to spend money on this mini-PC.