Enano

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As we are now starting to see 1000 watt PC power supplies, I was interested to see the Enano PC. This is a PC in a 8.8″ x 6.8″ x 1.65″ footprint which uses power sparingly – about 20-25 watts during “normal” use and up to about 65 watts stressed. Enano claims that they are “95-percent quieter, 80-percent more energy-efficient, 65-percent cooler” than standard desktop PCs.

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Small does not mean cheap – the lowest price is $650 and gets you this package:

Technical Specifications
CPU: Intel Celeron M 440 1.86GHz – 1 MB L2 Cache
Memory: 1 GB 667 MHz DDR2 pc 5300
Hard Drive: 80 GB 5400 RPM SATA
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic
MiniPCI Slot:
Network: Intel Pro 1000PL 10/100/1000 NIC
Audio: 8 channels HD audio codec Realtek chipset
Video: Intel GMA950 (Up to 224MB of shared video memory)
Ports: 3-in-1 card reader (SD, MS, MMC), 1 x USB 2.0 front, 3 x USB 2.0 back , 1 IEEE1394 Firewire (mini), DVI external connector (with DVI/VGA adapter), S-Video out, Line Out, Microphone in
Included Software: Microsoft Office 2007 60-day trial, PowerDVD, Microsoft Windows Media PLayer 11, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Grisoft Anti-Virus 30-day trial
Weight: 3lbs.
Dimensions: 8.8"(W) x 6.8"(D) x 1.65"(H)

The top-of-the-line model costs $1825 and gets you this package:

Technical Specifications
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 2.16Ghz – 4 MB L2 Cache
Memory: 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 pc 5300
Hard Drive: 160 GB 5400 RPM SATA
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
MiniPCI Slot: TV Tuner
Network: Intel Pro 1000PL 10/100/1000 NIC, 802.11 b/g Wireless
Audio: 8 channels HD audio codec Realtek chipset
Video: Intel GMA950 (Up to 224MB of shared video memory)
Ports: Bluetooth, 3-in-1 card reader (SD, MS, MMC), 1 x USB 2.0 front, 3 x USB 2.0 back , 1 IEEE1394 Firewire (mini), DVI external connector (with DVI/VGA adapter), S-Video out, Line Out, Microphone in
Included Software: Microsoft Office 2007 60-day trial, PowerDVD, Microsoft Windows Media PLayer 11, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Grisoft Anti-Virus 30-day trial
Weight: 3lbs
Dimensions: 8.8′(W) x 6.8"(D) x 1.65"(H)

Note that both are using shared video, so if you’re thinking gaming, I don’t think this will fill the bill. I perused the manual and should point out that there is an external power supply, so it’s not a self-contained unit and this adds some clutter. The Enano has an impressive array of ports, as shown below:

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I also saw in the manual this BIOS screen:

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Unfortunately there were no screen shots for the options indicated – I wonder if it can be overclocked?

As I noted above, you get all this with about 20-25 watts during “normal” use and up to about 65 watts stressed. This reduced power level is achieved by using laptop components and low-power CPUs. After Intel hit the thermal wall a while back with the Prescott CPU, brute power CPUs have been de-emphasized.

CONCLUSIONS

How much PC is enough? Laptops, the Mini-Mac, SFF and the Enano are symptomatic that it does not take all the much power for using email, word processing and the internet, and reduced-footprint power-efficient PCs will take a definite, and growing, share of the market. However, until standards are in place, the price will remain higher compared to a desktop solution.

Does a $1,000+ price differential justify the energy savings? I doubt it. Small footprint PCs are taking share because consumers don’t need big PC cases full of air for their PC basics, and it does not look like there is a killer-app that will reverse this trend.

Email Joe

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