10. Final words
The Shuttle X27D is the barebone version of the Shuttle X2700B. Both models are the same, but the X27D comes preloaded with 2GB of DRAM memory, DVDRW, 320GB HDD and Windows VISTA Basic 32bit.
The Intel Atom platform has been rather successful since it has been powering the majority of the netbooks available in 2008. Of course, the Atom CPU is also ideal to power the mini-pc devices allowing companies to introduce small factor pcs that offer good performance, low power consumption and are affordably priced.
The Shuttle X27D comes with an Intel Atom Dual core processor that should perform better than a single Intel Atom processor. Although the memory tests were not very encouraging, the CPU tests showed that the extra core provides an overall performance boost of 15-20%, depending the application. However we feel that potential buyers of such system are not looking for the absolute performance but rather for energy efficiency and stylish design. The Shuttle X27D has them both.
Shuttle has made good selection with the fast HDD and good DVDRW found inside the X27D. Both components come from respectable companies and we didn't notice any problems during the operation of the machine. Intel sells the Intel Atom platform fanless, but Shuttle has added a small fan to avoid possible overheating. Actually, after using the device for some time at full load, its external case is slightly warm. On the other hand, the noise was down to almost zero levels.
The dual operation of the DVI-VGA port is very convenient, especially for office use. The system comes with 2GB of DDR2 ram that is enough for Windows VISTA Basic 32bit Don;t forget to update to the latest Intel graphics driver before using the device. It will boost the Windows Index mark and the overall graphics performance.
The Shuttle X27D is able to adequately playback up any Mpeg2/4 ASP&AVC video file as long as its resolution is not higher than to 720p. After that point the Intel GMA950 fails to render the encoded files, so 1080p and Blu-Ray playback with the Shuttle X27D is out of question.
The Shuttle X27D is a trustworthy system for office use. Its small, lightweight, energy efficient and very quiet. It won't play games and if you planned to use it as a media center for 1080p/Blu-Ray clips, you are out of luck. If we had to complain about something this would be its relatively high retail price. The system we tested costs €473 (+VAT). Of course you could possibly keep the cost down if you bought the Shuttle X27D as a barebone and add your own components.
+ Small dimensions
+ Attractive design
+ Includes both DVDRW and HDD
+ Easy access to the internal
+ DVI and VGA work at the same time
+ Shuttle added a practical noiseless fan
+ Perfect for office use
+ Windows Vista Home Basic disc is included
+ Can playback up to 720p Video clips (Mpeg2, Mpeg4, x264, etc..)
- Retail price may sound rather high
- No Bluetooth adapter
- Intel GMA950 cannot be used for serious gaming
- Video clips with bit rate higher than 12Mbit are not playable
- More USB ports could be added