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

Aopen XC Cube EZ65309, Continued

Order reigns on the interior of the case: All cables are neatly tied back and arranged in sleeves so that they do not get in the way during assembly. Aopen uses a fan specifically developed for its processor that moves the air out of the case through the lateral slits in the aluminum cover. To keep the noise level low, the fan rpm changes with the temperature and the Northbridge makes do with a passive cooling unit.

Testers were gratified to find well-thought-out detailed solutions: By means of a lever, the CPU fan comes loose with little effort. The hard-disk bracket can be taken out if desired, making it easy to mount two hard disks. Overall, two hard disks can be used in the Aopen without problems and without any threat of heat collapse. Only a few mini-bare-bones manage to meet this criterion in particular. The lever that holds the AGP and PCI slot panels also deserves respect: Only one flanged screw needs to be taken out. Here, the competitors have regular screws that can only be removed with an additional tool.

Neat detail: undoing the slots with a single flanged screw

Two hard disks are also a possibility - and not sandwiched

Overall, we can establish the following: the XC Cube EZ65 is a brilliant first try for Aopen. Particularly with regard to design, equipment and workmanship, the system wins you over completely. Add to this its inexpensive price.