- First Glance
When you first look at the Zen, you notice just how much smaller it is when compared to your normal XPC. The white front also looks great and makes it look like quite an elegant computer. Down the bottom of the front we have all our little access ports ranging from USB 2.0 to Audio In/Out. The front is quite plain which at the same time is nice, as you can see there is a little Shuttle X logo on the front, apart from that we have some little logos to give you an idea of what all the ports do - simple yet classy.
Lifting the unit up and turning it around, we were surprised to find just how light the unit was - sure it's smaller but it is much lighter (we will talk about how it became so light in just a moment). If you had a look at the specifications on the previous page, you may have noticed that the Zen has a net weight of 2.1KG compared to some of the new units which are 3.6KG. While 1.5KG isn't all that much, when the heavier units weigh in at 3.6KG, you are talking almost half the weight. The cover is our normal run of the mill aluminum and looks good with the white front. Normally the sides are the same color as the front but this time the front is white and the side is silver, which looks excellent.
Moving around to the back we see one way how they have made the unit smaller. There is now only the single expansion port instead of the more common two and for the eagle eye reader; you may be wondering where you plug the power into. This particular unit's power supply is external which has helped make the unit not only smaller but significantly lighter. We will have a closer look into the power supply in just a moment. Before we move on, one little feature that we found cool was the addition of the clear CMOS button on the back of the Zen. This is exceptionally handy when you find yourself messing around in the BIOS to get that little bit of extra power out of the XPC.
With the externals out the way, let's have a look at what comes in the rest of the box.
- The Contents
Opening up the box and moving the XPC out the way, we have a quick look at what comes with the Zen. As you would expect, we see our normal array of extras - power cable, IDE cable, TV-Out converter, thermal grease, front feet, motherboard manual, driver CD, XPC installation guide and an install kit which comes with screws and cable ties - basically the same items we came to expect from Shuttle with their XPC systems.
In the other box we have the power supply. As we mentioned, this particular XPC comes with a 180 watt external power supply to help keep the weight and the size down. Let's have a closer look at the power supply.
- External Power Supply Unit
The external power supply unit (PSU) is something a little different from Shuttle that we haven't seen before. It gives the unit the ability to be smaller and lighter. Closer inspection of the PSU shows that there is no fan in the unit which gives it the ability to be completely silent, which we won't complain about.
Looking at the bottom of the PSU, we have the specifications of the unit - the main piece of information you are looking for is the total output. In this case, it is a small 180 watt. This isn't a huge amount but with this said once you begin to start looking inside the Zen you will notice why it doesn't have to contain the grunt of a full powered desktop PSU.
With the externals out the way, let's have a closer look at what powers the Zen and what the most recent XPC to hit our doorstep can do in terms of performance against a similar full sized desktop PC.
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