Shuttle - Barebones Success

Apparently Shuttle is enjoying quite some success with their barebones systems. The company has transferred barebone system manufacturing to the front lines, making it a major area of focus. The current product line lists no less than five barebone systems measuring no more than 300mm by 200mm by 185mm but we saw quite a few more when we paid the company a visit.

Shuttle is trying to make their stylish barebones systems even more fashionable while at the same time expanding the number of solutions that are available. On the appearance side, Shuttle will soon be introducing Shuttle XPCs (as the company calls them) that glow. In the prototypes that the company was showing, the front of the case glowed softly with a number of colors. Add to it the case a shell with clear plastic inserts and you have PC that fits in a space not much larger than a shoe box and looks much cooler.

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The changes made to the barebone systems were not limited to cosmetic ones. Shuttle promotes the XPC line as not only being small but also being quiet. On top of its good looks and tiny size, there were a few XPCs running with a quite innovate heatpipe cooling solution. Using a large, high volume, low RPM fan to cool a heatsink connected to the core via heatpipes, Shuttle claims that they have produced the most quiet Pentium 4 solution to date.

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On our end, perhaps the most exciting change to come to the XPC line is the addition of an external AGP slot. Previous XPCs were limited to either remedial onboard video solutions or older PCI video cards. Now, with a dedicated AGP slot, the XPC has the potential to become a full desktop replacement for even serious gamers. Kudos to Shuttle for that.

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