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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [12.31.04]
Manufactured by: Shuttle

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Take A Look at the Outside

The optical bay door is ingenius in its simplicity. Using a lever system, Shuttle repositioned the eject button where is should be; ABOVE the drive tray! This makes it much more convenient to insert discs without having to push the tray in manually, or fumble around underneath it looking for the eject button.

The 3.5" bay door pops open, giving access to a fan controller, or memory card reader or... umm.. what's that thing called again?

The front ports are all pre-connected to the proprietary motherboard, so one of the most tedious parts of a system install is already done for you. Unfortunately the door on this cover had some problems getting stuck when it was closed. Quite often, I was forced to pry it open with a pin, because it was jammed. On top of that, I have had the CDROM cover stay open on me a few times. It didn't happen every time, and could probably be solved with a few tweaks to the CDROM installation. Strike One for fit and finish!

The back of the system has a standard rear panel we're used to seeing, although there are only two USB ports back here. Although there are two on the front, PCI space is severely limited on such a small system, so USB expansion is out of the question. You're going to need a hub if you want to install more than two hidden USB devices.

Digital input and output are handled by TOSlink, and there is even a Digital Coax header for a secondary digital output. Nice touch! Another nice touch is the external CMOS reset jumper, as surely it would be a hassle to have to take the system apart to reset the CMOS.

Next Page: (Photo Tour Goes Inside)