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Mini PCs include bootable miniSD slots, low power consumption

Jun 30, 2010 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive

U.K.-based Anders Electronics announced two fanless PCs measuring just 4.5 x 4 x 1.05 inches. The fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i include 1.1GHz or 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z-series processors, bootable miniSD slots, 2.5-inch drive bays, built-in wireless networking, and HD-capable DVI video outputs, the company says.

Newly distributed by Anders, the fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i are products of Haifa, Israel-based CompuLab. The devices were apparently first announced in Israel in March, though they eluded our notice at the time.

CompuLab originally released its fit-PC (right) in 2007. The device measured 4.7 x 4.6 x 1.6 inches, used a 500MHz AMD Geode processor, and was said to consume from three to five Watts of power.

In 2008, CompuLab followed up with the Fit-PC Slim, which measured a wee 4.3 x 3.9 x 1.2 inches, used 4-6 Watts of power, and also ran a Geode. In March 2009, the company released an earlier version of the Fit-PC2 with a 1.1GHz or 1.6GHz Atom processor, 160GB hard drive (or SSD), and DVI/HDMI video with up to 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The latest fit-PCs are measure 4.5 x 4 x 1.05 inches, still run fanlessly, and still come in anodized aluminum cases. And, while the devices now use twice the power as the original, purchasers now get computing power approaching that of a much larger PC, says Anders. The new version of the Fit-PC2 appears to be very similar to the one released last year, but offers some enhancements like faster 802.11n wireless networking.


The fit-PC2i
(Click to enlarge)

The fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i are very similar, but the latter model (above) has dual gigabit Ethernet ports, where the fit-PC2 just has one. Apparently as a minor result, the fit-PC2i uses a maximum of 10 Watts, whereas the fit-PC2 uses a maximum of nine.

According to Anders, the fit-PC2i is available in an extended-range version that may be operated in temperatures from -40 to 185 deg. F. A standard version has an operating range of 32 to 158 deg. F, like that of the fit-PC2.

Anders says both models use either a 1.6GHz Atom Z530 or a 1.1GHz Z510 processor, while a 2GHz version — presumably built around the Z550 — will be available in the fourth quarter. Thanks to the accompanying SCH US15W combination northbridge/southbridge, the devices are capable of providing 1080p HD video output via their DVI ports, the company adds.

According to Anders and CompuLab, the fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i accept up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, include bootable miniSD slots, and are available with 160GB, 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives. Solid state disks (SSDs) from 8GB to 16GB are listed as options and, we'd guess, are recommended for extended-temperature duty.


The rear panel of the fit-PC2i

The fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i both have two front-accessible USB 2.0 ports, microphone inputs, line outputs, and S/PDIF digital optical outputs, according to Anders. The 2i has two additional USB 2.0 ports on its rear panel (above) while the 2 adds four additional USB 2.0 ports, the company adds.

The fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i are said to include 802.11b/g/n wireless networking. The fit-PC2i also adds a RS232 serial port, which reaches the outside world through a miniaturized front panel connector, Anders and CompuLab say.

Features and specifications listed by Anders and CompuLab for the fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i include:

  • Processor — 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 or 1.1GHz Atom Z510
  • Chipset — SCH US15W
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Storage — bootable miniSD slot and room for 2.5-inch SATA device (can be either 160Gb B hard disk drive, or SSDs from 8GB to 16GB)
  • Networking:
    • LAN:
      • 1 x gigabit Ethernet (PC2)
      • 2 x gigabit Ethernet (PC2i)
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g/n
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x DVI
    • 1 x RS232 (PC2i only)
    • 4 x USB 2.0 on PC2i; 6 x USB 2.0 on PC2
    • S/PDIF digital audio output
    • mic in, line in, line out
  • Power:
    • Consumption — 10 Watts max (PC2i), 9 Watts max (PC2); <1W standby
    • Input — 12VDC
  • Operating range:
    • Standard — 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C)
    • Extended (PC2i only) — -40 to 185 deg. F. (-40 to 85 deg. F)
  • Dimensions — 4.5 x 4 x 1.05 inches (11.5 x 10.1 x 2.7cm)
  • Weight, with hard disk drive — 11.64 ounces (330g)
  • Operating system support — Linux, Windows 7, Windows XP

Availability

According to Anders, the fit-PC2 and fit-PC2i are available now. Prices are said to start at 229 U.K. Pounds (around $342) for the 2 and 265 U.K. Pounds (around $396) for the 2i, though these versions do not include wireless networking or disk drives.

More information on the systems may be found on the Anders website, here, and on the CompuLab website here and here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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