Anders fit-PC2 Inverness

This tiny PC available in Inverness is undoubtedly a very impressive feat of engineering, and for a few who appreciate the sheer impossibility of its design - or the fewer who can dream up a practical application for it - it may be worth splashing out on.

ITP SOLUTIONS
01463 245 600|
4, Walker Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
PC Warehouse Ltd
01463 250250
Unit 4, 23, Harbour Rd
Inverness
 
Sutherland Systems & Services
01463 234007
36, Tomnahurich St, Inverness
Inverness
 
Solution X
01463 418264
Cromwell Road, Inverness
Inverness
 
B S COMPUTERS
07745 056669
74, Highfield Avenue, Inverness
Inverness
 
iTek Solutions Ltd
01463 725999
1, Cromwell Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
Csrlaptops
01463 242483
5, Celt St.Inverness
Inverness
 
Laing PC Support
07912 938019
3, Eastfield Avenue, Drakies
Inverness
 
PC World
0844 5610000
79A, Telford St, Inverness
Inverness
 
Computer & Network Specialist
07746 051085
23, Dellness Way, Inverness
Inverness
 

Anders fit-PC2

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We've seen our fair share of nettops since they began to appear in the shops last year. And, while the quality of these machines has run the gamut from awful to awesome, none of them can claim to have been a mere 27mm tall, 101mm wide and 115mm deep. Those dimensions belong to Anders Electronics' fit-PC2, which, despite such tiny dimensions, still manages to boast a respectable nettop specification.

This is a PC that's able to fit into spaces where the average nettop just won't reach. And as build quality is up to standard - the chassis is made from die-cast aluminium and feels robust - we'd feel comfortable tossing the machine into a bag and carrying it around without fear of damage.

The case's tiny size does mean that limitations are inevitable. The two USB ports on the front of the machine are of the mini-USB variety, and there are no luxury extras of the sort we've seen on other nettop machines - there's no eSATA port or TV tuner here.

The amount that Anders has managed to squeeze in is surprising, though. Four full-sized USB ports grace the rear of the machine along with a proprietary DVI-D output to save space; an adapter is provided in the box. There's also an Ethernet socket and a trio of audio jacks, a stubby aerial providing 802.11g Wi-Fi connectivity, plus the front houses a miniSD slot and infrared receiver.

Remarkably, it's even possible to upgrade the hard disk. A small slot on the rear of the machine can be unscrewed and the 2.5in 160GB Seagate disk removed, making it easy to install a larger or faster disk in its place - or, potentially, a lightning-quick SSD. That's the only upgrade available, though. The memory and processor is soldered onto the PCB, which is mounted upside down in the chassis.

The CPU and memory in question comprise an Intel Atom Z530 running at a clock speed of 1.6GHz and 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 RAM, which with the help of Windows XP produced a score of 0.36 in our application-based benchmarks. It isn't a record-breaking score by any means, but it's as quick as most netbooks we've seen, and enough to handle basic word processing and web surfing. It's also slightly quicker than the 0.29 scored by the A-Listed Acer Aspire Revo R3600. Despite boasting a superior specification, that system was held back by its choice of Windows Vista instead of XP.

The fit-PC2 is a very frugal machine too, drawing a mere 7W when idle, with its power draw only rising to 13W during our CPU-taxing multitasking benchmarks. It's a fantastic result and far below even the most economical nettops: the Acer Aspire Revo R3600 drew 22W when idle and 27W at peak.

It's hardly surprising to report that the integrated Intel GMA500 graphics aren't up to much, though. Serious gaming is well beyond this small PC's reach and, despite the presence of a specially-developed video codec, HD video can be played only in 720p guise. Push up the resolution to Full HD and, although undemanding 1080p movie clips play smoothly, the fit-PC2 responds with screen flicker and tearing.

The heat levels this little PC reaches while running, however, are more of a worry. We found that the fit-PC2 idled at around 60-degrees, but quickly rose to nearer 75-degrees when running any taxing applications. With no fans or ventilation in such a small case, the exterior soon becomes extremely hot to the touch. We wouldn't recommend leaving the fit-PC2 switched on all day, despite Anders' claims that it's ideal for use as a small server or media centre.

This tiny PC is undoubtedly a very impressive feat of engineering, and for a few who appreciate the sheer impossibility of its design - or the fewer who can dream up a practical application for it - it may be worth splashing out on. But those heat levels are a worry and the relatively high price seals its fate. If you're considering a nettop, you'd be better served by the Acer Aspire Revo: it costs £100 less, offers better gaming and video playback performance, and in a chassis that's still small enough to be stashed away or mounted behind a monitor or TV.

System Specifications

1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530; 1GB 533MHz DDR2 RAM; 160GB hard disk; Intel GMA 500 graphics; DVI-D out; 4 x USB, 2 x mini-USB, ; 802.11g WLAN, 10/100 Ethernet; miniSD card reader; Windows XP Home; 1yr RTB warranty; 101 x 115 x 27mm (WDH); 370g.

Verdict

A remarkable feat of engineering: a usable nettop in one of the smallest packages you're ever likely to see

Author: Mike Jennings

Anders fit-PC2