Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CompuLab Fit-PC2 1.1GHz

It arrived, and I had some time to play with it. Here are some first thoughts.

This PC is damn small! Really!! As everyone else who did a review on this tiny piece of art work, I have to state, the things is smaller that I thought it would be! To stay in QRP standards, the PC is just a fraction bigger than two Altoids tins.

So, here's what my impressions are.

My PC came w/ ubuntu 9.10 ... and that is what it should run, I think. The problem with ubuntu is, it motivates you to update it.... don't do it! Some drivers seem not to be compatible with more recent versions.
Playing with some other operation systems, the following remarks, WinXP works ok with the drivers found on CompuLabs wepage. Win7 worked, however, I got a crash or two, I could however not find out why.
Finally, ubuntu 9.10 came out best and hence will be the OS on my Fit-PC2 (WLAN works too).
A final test concerning the OS will be running Jolicloud on it... I will report about this by updating this posting.

Some words on the hardware. The device does not employ a fan. Even though the case looks like cheap plastics, it actually is made from Al and serves as a heat sink. The device can develop some temperature...
The manufacturer however design the PC for 24/7 up-time, I therefore believe that the temperature is not issue here.

As indicated in the title, I bought the 1.1GHz version. This may have been a mistake, not a big one however. This version is the only one of the Fit-PC2 which wont be able to read miniSDHC-cards. So, 2GB is the limit on SDHC-cards. With a built-in 160GB HDD this is no real issue to me.

QRM: The USB-keyboard/mouse created some rf-noise. I also could hear the attached LCD-screen in the receiver. The switching 12V PSU that came along with the PC created some QRM too. I have not yet figured out how noisy the PC itself is.

Since this is a relatively weak CPU, my impression is that the operation system should be made a light as possible, meaning, all services not required should be disengaged. The usual linux-distro carries a lot of stuff which would not be required on a daily basis, all this could/should be disabled for enhanced system performance.

Should I ever buy one of those PCs again, I would choose a more powerful model, in particular for the added miniSDHC capability, I do however not regret having bought the one I got.