SaintSong launches the EPC-1 micro PC
1 April 2005 | 0
Micro PCs fit that niche in the market between the desktop PC and the laptop. Unlike handhelds, these miniature PCs can have as much power as either a laptop or a desktop. The SaintSong EPC-1 is a cute looking all silver affair with a Pentium III 800Mhz with 64Mbyte of RAM, a 10Gbyte Hitachi hard disk and a 2Mbyte video chip inside its attractive casing. The operating system is a lean installation of Windows 98SE.
This micro PC has two USB slots, monitor, keyboard and mouse ports plus a video out port. The CD ROM and floppy disk drives are on another box that attaches via a docking port. This box also has printer and serial ports and two USB slots. When there is no need for the CD or floppy drives just disconnect them for portability and convenience sake.
A built-in 16 bit sound subsystem, while not setting the world on fire, outputs through a speaker just above the Synaptic touchpad. Volume control, speaker out and microphone jacks plus the power switch reside on the side of the unit.
To get the PC up and running, all you need is a monitor, keyboard and power outlet. This micro PC, with its lean version of Windows 98SE, booted and shut down quickly.
Loading the applications via the CD ROM is slow but for office work this machine is more than adequate.
A big plus, at 460g in weight this device is highly portable. Connect to another PC via the USB port and you can make a back up all of your sensitive data in case of loss or work at home.
As this micro PC has the power of a PIII 800Mhz, it really is a space saver. Couple with a 15-in LCD screen and wireless mouse and keyboard and you really would have a nice tidy set-up. If games and raw processing power are not high on the agenda this is a viable alternative.
There are some drawbacks with the EPC-1. The CD ROM/floppy module is not hot swappable. For true portability a docking station would not go amiss as cabling each time you may want to use it could become a chore. The absence of a built-in modem means communications can only be facilitated via a USB modem. While the touch pad is adequate, for more serious work a mouse is required. A Wise Tech Infrared mouse was supplied for the purposes of the review and worked a treat.
The manual supplied is clear and concise and offers good explanations of the various sub-sections of the PC’s AMI Bios. The PC can be upgraded to take up to 256Mbyte of memory. Both the CPU and hard disk are also upgradeable. The EPC-1 is relatively quiet in operation and did not appear to overheat during sustained periods of use.
SaintSong EPC-1 — Specs:
As a space saver or backup PC it is ideal. It is also ultra-portable with solid performance. A monitor and keyboard are necessary to use the EPC-1, which may put some people off.
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