Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small form factor PCs fight back!

There has been a lot of press lately about Android devices replacing PCs and for good reason.  The performance matches a lot of low-end PCs and the price sure is appealing.  Another big selling point has been their small size which make them easy to hide behind pretty well any display.

Intel has been fighting the good fight with their NUC boxes but there have been few high-end small form factor PCs available until now (except possibly PCs from these guys).  Engadget recently published an article on a new PC from Shuttle that will most certainly find itself behind a lot of digital signage displays.  The specs are impressive with support for processors up to Core i7 and triple monitor outputs.  As the article mentions, cooling has been optimized so this unit will be able to operate at temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius. This is a big deal because it's not always possible to locate your PCs were there is good ventilation.

I always thought of Shuttle as the makers of those "breadbox" PC units having built one a few years back. They have since expanded into other form factors that make them quite attractive to digital signage integrators.  

Android sure has its place in this market but nothing can beat the PC for versatility and support for multiple screens.  It's good to see more activity on the PC side for a change.

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