Shuttle XS35GT-804


It’s easy to bash nettops in a power user magazine. Nettops like this XS35GT still can’t complete a default 3DMark Vantage run. (We had to drop into the Entry profile, yielding a score of E1792.) That said, no one buys a nettop for 3D gaming. These are the low-power, ultraquiet cloud clients meant to be power
users’ second (or third) PC. In our June issue, we looked at View- Sonic’s VOT132 nettop. (See page 34.)
Half a year later, Shuttle’s design easily outperforms the Viewsonic. For example, the VOT132 pulled an overall PCMark Vantage score of 1752, with respective Gaming and Productivity sub-scores of 1532 and 1569. Shuttle’s XS35GT scores 2041, 1663, and 1805, respectively. More importantly, the Viewsonic struggled with HD streaming video. Shuttle shows occasional frame drops with YouTube at 1080p, but it’s quite watchable; 720p streaming is rock solid.

Now, the glossy VOT132 was the size of a paperback but needed an add-on drive if you wanted optical disc support, nearly doubling the unit’s thickness. OurXS35GT integrates a slim DVD-RW but is significantly longer—almost the size of two VOT132s placed edge to edge. We didn’t care for the Swiss cheese mesh aesthetics of the side panels, but it does give ample ventilation to the double-sided, passively cooled motherboard. The system draws 23W at most and is silent beyond about 18 inches. Unlike the VOT132, Shuttle’s 802.11n antennas are internal but still pulled three of five bars from across a 2,600-square-foot house.
Shuttle asks $259.99 for the barebones Ion 2 config, or if you really don’t care about graphics and video, the non-Ion version (still with 2GB DDR2, a 320GBHDD, and DVD burner) is $299.99. Our verdict: strong 2D results, compact design,fair price.


by William Van Winkle


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