As far as specs are concerned, there’s not much that sets the X2700 apart from the rest of the field. In fact, save for the glut of USB ports, a Linux OS, and an included DVD player, the feature list basically reads like every other mini PC out there: Intel 1.6GHz processor, 1-GB of RAM, and an 80-gig hard drive, That said, the X2700 does shine in both the size and price categories.
At just 9.8 x 7.3 x 2.8-inches, the elegant box is so small, it can easily be positioned (or lost) behind a monitor, speakers or even a pile of magazines—not that you’d want to hide it. The X2700 also starts at a wallet-friendly $400, and you can double the memory or opt for a 120-GB hard drive for an additional $30 and $20, respectively.
Still, while the X2700 sports a sleek outer shell and small footprint, Shuttle’s mini PC suffers from the same limitations as the rest of the players in this category. Sure, they can handle your basic computing needs, but with no HDMI port or Blu-ray player, the potential uses for these boxes remains prohibitively…small.
Bryan has covered the ins and outs Silicon Valley and the tech industry for close to five years, writing about everything from supercomputers to greentech. He is a frequent contributor to Wired.com and has also written for the LA Weekly, PC Magazine and McSweeney’s. He also pens a regular gadget column for NorthWest Airlines.