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CompuLab fit-PC2 Preview - Nettop PC with Intel Menlow

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Systems
Manufacturer: CompuLab
Tagged:

Inside the fit-PC2


If
you remove just the small panel on the bottom you can access the
standard 2.5-in hard drive location; our model shipped with a 160GB
hard drive but you can replace it if you wish.  And because it's the
standard 2.5-in size you could even use an SSD if you so desired. 


If
you take off the entire back you can see the mobile-sized hard drive
revealed and it basically takes up the entire visible space. 


The Seagate 160GB hard drive is a 5400 RPM model.


Once
we free the board itself from the tiny fit-PC2 chassis we can see all
the chips and technology used in the design.  There are hynix memory
chips on both sides that make up the 1GB of fixed memory (no upgrade
options here).


Here
you can see the three chips that make up the Menlow platform including
the Intel US15W chipset, Intel Atom Z530 processor and WiFi card
plugged into the mini-PCIe slot. 


I
placed a quarter in the shot to give you a greater sense of scale; the
bottom chip is the single-core Atom processor while the larger is the
US15W SCH that includes the single channel memory controller, I/O
technology, graphics with HD decode acceleration and more. 


The top part of the fit-PC2 is actually functional - it is used as the heatsink for the Atom CPU and Poulsbo chipset. 

There
are a couple of drawbacks to this system though that stick out; most
notably is the inability for audio to be output through the HDMI
connection - you HAVE to use the analog audio outputs.  There is no VGA
display support, the SD card slot doesn't support SDHC and the system
will not support Wake-on-LAN.  None of these are really deal killers
for me but it might be for some consumers.

CompuLab does support Linux more that most vendors
and in fact the fit-PC2 ships with not only Windows XP ULCPC but Ubuntu
8.04 as well. 

There are various models of the fit-PC2 and the one we are testing is the priciest at $399.  Here are the models available:

  • fit-PC2 Value - $245
    • Atom Z510 1.1 GHz CPU
    • No hard drive
    • No WiFi
    • No OS
  • fit-PC2 Value WiFi - $255
    • Atom Z510 1.1 GHz CPU
    • No hard drive
    • 802.11g WiFi

    • No OS
  • fit-PC2 Diskless - $305
    • Atom Z530 1.6 GHz CPU
    • No hard drive
    • 802.11g WiFi
    • No OS
  • fit-PC2 Linux - $359
    • Atom Z530 1.6 GHz CPU
    • 160GB HDD

    • 802.11g WiFi

    • Ubuntu 8.04

  • fit-PC2 XP HD - $399
    • Atom Z530 1.6 GHz CPU
    • 160GB HDD

    • 802.11g WiFi

    • Windows XP Home SP3 with CyberLink PowerDVD codecs

All
the systems come with standard features like 1GB of DDR2 memory, 12V
external power supply, 1920x1080 display support, Gigabit Ethernet, HD
audio support, IR receiver, miniSD slot, etc. 

Despite some reservations on performance and that
lack of HDMI audio, I am excited to plug this system into various areas
in the office and home and see how it stands up.  You can check out the working fit-PC2 website today and be sure to check back here at PC Perspective in a couple weeks for the full review.

Extended Reading:

Video News


May 5, 2011 | 03:52 PM - Posted by Roman Gaufman (not verified)

Fantastic review, thank you! - We are currently trying this in a car and finding it a fantastic product. Power is peaking at around 8W with a 3G card transmitting data and full CPU utilization - very impressive!
A 2 year old 1.2ghz Via Epia CarPC by comparison peaks at 25W (!) and provides a third of the performance of this thing.

August 23, 2011 | 04:37 AM - Posted by William O Connor (not verified)

Which 3G card are you using with the fit PC?

Thanks

William

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