Shuttle DS57U Slim PC
Small and robust computer designed for permanent installation.
Price: starts at $399
Intel Celeron 3205U, i3-5005U, i5-5200U, i7-5500U CPUs, 2x DDR3L SO-DIMM slots, HDMI & DisplayPort dual display, dual gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 4x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, SD card slot, full size & half size Mini PCIe mSATA slots.[BODY]
Shuttle has long been known for their small form factor computers and their latest release is the Slim PC DS57U. Made for the industrial market, this silent and fanless little box houses a variety of low power Intel CPUs but still packs in all the features you could reasonably need.
The first sign this computer is for the industrial and installation market is that there’s two serial ports on the front and bare pins on the rear for CMOS clearing and an external power switch. Inside there’s two Mini PCIe slots, one full size for an mSATA SSD and the other half-size for a Wi-Fi module or LTE modem. There’s space for a 2.5″ disk drive and two DDR3-L 1600 SO-DIMM slots. In addition to those ports are two gigabit Ethernet ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, SD card slot and 3.5mm audio out and in. All the units are sold barebones, allowing you to configure the storage and RAM mix to your needs.
The Slim PC DS57U is housed in a tough metal body that gets warm to the touch due to the fact there’s no fans. No moving parts when an SSD is installed, hopefully leads to many years of uninterrupted use. Be aware however, that the max operating temperature is only 40°C.
To keep heat and size at a minimum, the Shuttle DS57U has a range of the latest Intel Broadwell CPUs available – the Celeron 3205U, i3-5005U, i5-5200U and i7-5500U. These CPUs are common in ultrabooks, so performance is close to that. As compact as this little machine is, there is a sizeable 65W external power supply, unlike Apple’s Mac Mini which manages to be roughly the same size as the DS57U, yet has an internal power supply.
The tiny PC space has burgeoned lately, with most OEMs offering some sort of compact solution. Whilst Shuttle’s DS57U is designed for a more industrial use, it comes at a price. A similar spec Intel NUC can be had for almost half the price of the Shuttle, so you’d really need the more industrial robustness type features to make it a worthwhile purchase.