Compulab’s latest small form-factor desktop computer is a tiny, fanless system powered by an AMD processor. The Compulab fit-PC4 sports an AMD quad-core processor, Radeon HD graphics, and support for Windows or Linux software.
An entry-level, barebones system runs $299, but for $380 you can get a barebones system with higher performance specs.
The fit-PC4 Value is powered by a 1 GHz AMD A4-1250 dual-core processor with Radeon HD 8210 graphics and a TDP of 8 watts.
Compulab’s fit-PC4 Pro line features a 2 GHz AMD Gx-420CA processor with Radeon HD 8400E graphics. The Pro model has a higher starting price of $380, and also consumes more power thanks to the 25W processor.
Both models come in small fanless aluminum cases with two SODIMM slots for up to 16GB of RAM, and mini PCIe and mSATA slots. They also have HDMI 1.4a output, S/PDIF digital audio, RS232 ports, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and 6 USB 2.0 ports.
The Pro model has 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, while the Value model has 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0.
The Pro model measures 7.5″ x 6.3″ X 1.5″ and the Value model is a bit more compact, at 6.3″ x 6.3″ x 1.”.
Compulab will offer each model as a barebones system (just bring your own memory, storage, and operating system. Or you can buy a fit-PC4 Pro Linux or Win7 system with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive.
There’s also a fit-PC4 Pro SSD model which features 8GB of RAM and a 120GB mSATA solid state drive instead of a spinning hard drive.
You can check out a detailed comparison of all 5 models (Value Barebones, Pro Barebones, Pro Linux, Pro Win7 and Pro SSD) at the fit-PC website.
While the AMD processors powering these little computers aren’t the most powerful or the most energy efficient chips on the market, there aren’t a lot of mini-desktops this size that are as versatile as the fit-PC4. These little computers can handle Windows, Linux, or other operating systems thanks to their x86 chips. And upgrading the hardware on these fanless systems is as simple as removing one screw to open an access door which hides the RAM, drive bay, and mini PCIe slots.
Given Windows 8.1’s lower system demands than Windows 7, shipping this PC with the latter instead of the former is silly at best.
Not really silly. These computers are very popular for industrial applications. They also make excellent HTPC’s because they are silent. Windows Media Center is built into Windows 7 and makes a great DVR for live TV. However, I agree that they should at least offer a Windows 8.1 version.
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