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Shuttle XPC Nano Review
Shuttle is a familiar name for DIY and basic computer enthusiasts, but its kit-based computers require a lot of preparation. Shuttle XPS Nano NC01UWIN10HE (tested for $ 279) is a fully affordable, ultra-compact desktop computer with an Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of system memory, SSD storage and Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit. It is half the price of the Acer Aspire ATC-605-UB11, our best economical PC. It is ideal for connecting to your TV, streaming online media or working with cloud services. Surprisingly, it’s also fairly extensible, which gives you a reason to buy it as a project PC if you’re a manipulator. It is our new Editor’s Choice for budget desktops and is attractive for both beginners and advanced computer users.
Lots of I/O ports.
Expandable memory and storage.
M.2 solid-state drive (SSD). 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Ships with VESA mount.
Only 2GB of memory and a 32GB SSD.
It doesn’t come with a keyboard or mouse.
Design and Features
XPC Nano Bright Black and Copper Case are very, very small and only measure 1.14 x 5.6 – 5.6 inches (HWD). It is shorter and wider than the Zotac Zbox CI320 nano Plus Windows 8.1, although it is larger than the Zotac Zbox Pico PI320 and a small Intel Compute Stick. Other low-cost desktops, such as the Acer Aspire ATC-605-UB11, the Apple Mac mini, and the HP Pavilion Mini, are much larger. The system is small enough to disappear behind an HD TV or other large screens. Shuttle includes VESA support, which allows you to hide the system behind the screen.
The connectivity is excellent, especially when compared to the Intel Compute Stick. The front of the case has an SD card slot and two USB 3.0 ports and a serial port on the left. On the back is an Ethernet port, HDMI port, headphone jack, mini-DisplayPort, supplied power outlet and two USB 2.0 ports. The fastest USB 3.0 ports are ahead, so you can easily connect an external hard drive or memory stick. 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow wireless connections. Like the Apple Mac mini, you need to supply a keyboard, mouse, and display.
The system may be small, but it has two SO-DIMM sockets for system memory (one of which is available), which is pretty much the future proof. It also has a free internal compartment for 2.5-inch drives. The M.2 SSD of the system is installed in a PCIe M.2-based card slot, which performs much better than the eMMC flash memory commonly used in home systems. This desktop offers a lot more expansion options than the Apple Mac mini, with its memory permanently welded to the system board, or the Intel Compute Stick, which is closed.
To keep the system price low, XPC Nano only has 2GB RAM and 32GB SSD. This is sufficient if you are using the system to stream media playback and access cloud-based services such as Office 365 or Dropbox. If you’re an amateur, you can open the top cover and upgrade your storage to a total of 16GB. Of course, if you use a 2.5-inch internal drive, SD card slot, or two USB 3.0 ports, or if you are upgrading your M.2 PCIe SSD to a higher capacity, you will obviously have limited storage capacity. The system memory expansion is much more flexible than the Intel Compute Stick or Zotac Zbox Pico PI320. The system comes with a three-year warranty, which is significantly longer than the one-year warranty that most computers offer at this price.
You shouldn’t expect workstation like performance from a $279 PC, but the XPC Nano comes with an Intel Celeron 3205U processor with Intel HD graphics, which is more powerful than the competition’s Intel Atom processors. The XPC Nano achieved a very good score of 2,062 points in the normal PCMark 8 work test, far ahead of the Atom-based Intel Compute Stick and the Zotac Zbox CI320 nano Plus with the oldest Celeron N2930 processor.
In multimedia tests, the XPC Nano also had sufficient performance for the budget system. It took 7 minutes and 6 seconds to do the Handbrake test. Although much slower than the larger Acer ATC-605-UB11 (1:47), it is still significantly faster than the Intel Compute Stick (8:53) and the Zotac Zbox Pico PI320 (8:14). The system scored 118 points in CineBench and 10:04 in Photoshop, which Intel Compute Stick and Zotec Zbox Pico PI320 could not achieve. Trial game prices for 3D games weren’t far from the game but matched the capabilities of the HP Pavilion Mini, an Intel Core i3 system that cost $450.
The only way to get a cheaper desktop computer than the Nano Shuttle XPC for $279 is to buy a crown box like the Asus Chromebox M004U, but you should forego Windows compatibility. Alternatively, you can navigate to the Windows 10 desktop using a bar form factor such as the Intel Compute Stick, but the expandability is low. The XPC Nano is smaller, easier to hide behind an HD TV, and more than half the price of the Acer Aspire ATC-605-UB11 for $599.99.
It’s true that the Acer model performs better when you create all kinds of content, but if you just buy a simple computer, you probably won’t mind. Shuttle XPC Nano is a full-size Windows 10 PC, powerful in its class, expandable and one of the best desktop PC values for experienced newbies. As such, it is the preferred provider for low budget desks.
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