One of the very first energy efficient mini-PCs to catch my attention was CompuLab's fit-PC2 model, with an ultra-low-power Intel processor, a gigabyte of DDR2 memory and a 160GB HDD. Now, the company has jumped into AMD's camp for the forthcoming release of the fit-PC3, set to become the most powerful member of the company's line of miniature industrial PCs. It doesn't offer quite the same energy efficiency as the previous model, but there is up to 1.6GHz of processing power on offer, coupled with up to 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 2.5-inch SATA3 hard drive.
CompuLab's Irad Stavi told Gizmag that the new 6.3 x 6.3 x 0.98-inch (160 x 160 x 24.8mm) fit-PC3's "system power consumption will be more than 10W for all configurations (for some – much more), but for twice the computing performance and an order of magnitude better graphics – it is a trade-off many users may find reasonable." Even 10W or more is a fraction of the power needed to run your average desktop PC.
Like the Trim-Slice we featured earlier, the new model benefits from a fanless design and the internal power house is enclosed in a die-cast aluminum casing. The mini-PC will be available with a 1GHz AMD G-T40N processor with Radeon HD 6250 graphics, or with a bit more oomph courtesy of a 1.6GHz AMD G-T56N processor with a Radeon HD 6310 GPU.
The low power x86 chips will be supported by up to 4GB of DDR3 memory over a couple of sockets and a 2.5 SATA3 HDD, with a couple of eSATA ports thrown in. There's no display monitor of course, which allows users to choose according to need, and dual-head HDMI 1.3a and DisplayPort technologies provide the necessary connections. A digital 7.1 channel S/PDIF audio output joins line-in, stereo line-out and mic jacks.
Designed as an open platform to meet the variety of applications and often very specific input/output needs of industry, the fit-PC3 sports a couple of USB 3.0 ports and a sextet of USB 2.0 ports for attaching devices or peripherals. There are also two mini-PCI express sockets and a custom extension board to take care of expansion. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi complete the connectivity specifications.
Actual pricing and availability has yet to be announced – as soon as we know, we'll pass on the information.