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Shuttle XS35 review

Seth Barton
11 Aug 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
210
inc VAT

Neither a complete PC, nor a true barebones, it’s a pity that Shuttle aren’t selling the XS35 without components.

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When is a barebones nettop not a barebones nettop? The answer is when it comes with a hard disk and memory installed. The XS35 has both of these, yet it’s still not a complete PC, as there’s no operating system on its hard disk, and it doesn’t even come with an optical drive to install one with. You can fit a laptop-style optical drive into the slender case, but we simply used an optical USB drive to install Windows - though Linux would be a very sensible and far cheaper option for such a nettop.

As with all barebones nettops, there’s an integrated processor, in this case Intel’s latest Atom D510: a dual-core chip that runs at 1.66GHz and has integrated graphics. With a score of 23 overall in our benchmarks, it’s a noticeable step-up from most netbooks, though it would score a few more points had it been fitted with 2GB of RAM - there’s only 1GB of memory fitted to this model, which holds it back in our multitasking test.

Shuttle XS35

The integrated graphics aren’t quite quick enough to play Blu-ray quality HD video, and that’s without any background processes going on. This makes it pretty unsuitable for use a media centre PC, an opinion supported by its VGA-only video output. A largely identical Nvidia Ion-based model will be released soon, that won’t have any trouble with HD video, but also looks like it'll cost considerably more.

In terms of size and shape, the XS35 has much in common with Asus’s popular Eee Box range - even including an upright stand, but not a VESA mount for attaching it to the back of a monitor. It may be down to its user-serviceable nature, with removable side panels, but the XS35 doesn’t feel as sturdy or look as sleek as the current Eee Box range.

The right-hand panel slides off to reveal space for the optical drive and little else. The left-hand panel comes off just as easily; from here you can access the laptop-type memory slot, which can take a single module up to 2GB in size. There’s also space for a single 2.5in hard disk, and a small 160GB drive is already fitted.

Shuttle XS35

The gloss-black front panel has a blanking panel for the optical drive, along with a slender power button on the upper corner. A handy memory card reader is provided, with support for SD and Memory Stick formats, plus there’s a single USB port. On the rear are four more USB ports, minijack audio inputs and outputs, plus the aforementioned VGA output. A 10/100 Ethernet port is provided, but you’re more likely to opt for the built-in 802.11n wireless.

There’s nothing to compare directly against the XS35. However, if you were to buy an Eee Box EB1012U-B0017 (which has 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard disk and HD-capable Ion graphics) it would cost you around £270 inc VAT. There’s no option to fit an internal optical drive, admittedly, but you could always use an external one. More importantly, it comes with Windows 7 Home Premium installed, which would cost you £75 to buy – making the Eee Box a far better deal all-round unless you plan to install and use Linux on your nettop.

Details

Price£210
Rating***
Processor socketFCBGA559
Processor supportN/A
Memory slots1
Supported memory typeDDR2 667/800
Memory2GB
Dual-channel supportno
Form factorcustom
Chipset north bridgeIntel NM10 Express
Chipset south bridgeintel NM10 Express
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 3150
Graphics Memory256MB
Graphics memory typeshared

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)1/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
Legacy portsnone
Graphics/video portsVGA
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Size162x38x252mm
PCI slots0
PCI-E x1 slots0
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x16 slots0
Dual 3D architectureN/A
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports1
RAID drivesN/A
Floppy ports0
3.5in drive bays0
5.25in drive bays0
Other baysnotebook hard disk, notebook optical

Features

Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
SoundIDT HD Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out, mic in
Speaker configurationN/A
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MS PRO
Power supply wattage40W
Cables includednone
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle16W
Power consumption active19W

Buying Information

Price£210
Supplierhttp://www.expansys.com
Detailswww.shuttle.com

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