PC Specialist Impulse 625 review

Kat Orphanides
13 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT and delivery



2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, 2.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows Vista Home Premium

If you think PC Specialist's Impulse 625 looks familiar, that's because it uses the same AOpen mini-PC case as Fujitsu Siemens' Esprimo Q5030 and VeryPC's Parkwood II, only in a slightly different colour.

Like the other PCs that use this case, the Impulse 625 is built from laptop components. This makes it fiddly, although not impossible, to upgrade, but also means it's smaller and less power-hungry than a regular desktop PC.

The Impulse 625 contains a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk. Rather than providing normal PCI and PCI-E slots, the Impulse 625 has two PCI Express Mini slots. One of these is used for the 802.11b/g wireless adaptor, leaving the other slot free for expansion cards. The choice of compatible cards is limited, but you can buy flash drives to expand your PC's storage capacity and Bluetooth adaptors fairly cheaply online.

The easiest way to add features to a compact PC is usually to plug in external peripherals. With a total of six USB ports, an eSATA port and a FireWire port, the Impulse 625 has plenty of options for adding extra peripherals such as external storage devices, optical drives, sound cards, TV tuners and lots more.

With a power consumption of 39W, the Impulse 625 is not the most power-efficient PC here when running at full tilt, but its idle power consumption was outstanding at just 18W, the joint lowest of all the PCs here. The Impulse 625 also consumed only 2W on standby, a negligible figure that's beaten only by the Eee Top's standby power consumption of 1W.

The Impulse 625 doesn't have a particular outstanding feature that sets it apart from the other computers in this group, but it has a great specification, a tiny case and is almost £125 cheaper than VeryPC's practically identical Parkwood II. This combination of great value, low power consumption and compact construction make it a good choice, but Sony's all-in-one VGC-JS1E/S is the same price and includes a monitor.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8400
Processor external bus266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx8.5
Processor clock speed2.26GHz
Processor socketSocket P
Level 1 cache2x 32KB
Level 2 cache3,072KB
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory4GB
MotherboardAOpen i45GMx-I
Motherboard chipsetIntel GM45 Express
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle18W
Power consumption active39W


USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)1/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portswireless antenna socket

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)none
PCI-E x16 slots (free)none
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots1
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Fujitsu MHZ2320BH G2
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity320GB
Spindle speed5,400rpm


Graphics card(s)Intel GMA X4500HD
Graphics/video portsDVI


SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out, mic in, line in/optical S/PDIF out

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelMatshita UJ-875S
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Response timeN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware



Software includedPowerDVD, PowerProducer, Nero 7 Essentials, NTI CD & DVD Maker Gold, NTI Shadow
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

Read more