Although we didn't have a lot of time to check out Shuttle's booth this year, we did snap a fair few pictures of its new line-up of Atom based systems. It almost looks as if Shuttle has placed its future on the Atom processor and as bold of a move as this is, we really hoped for something a little bit more exciting.
The KPC was just the first step toward budget systems from Shuttle, if what the company was showing at Computex was anything to go by, and these new Atom-based models should be equally as affordable. Some even carry the KPC brand like the K48 and K58 models.
Both of these machines are similar in terms of specifications, although the K58 is using the Atom N230 processors, while the K48 is using some kind of a Celeron processor. With the K58 it seems as if Shuttle has side stepped Intel's Atom limitations by adding Gigabit Ethernet, something that as far as we know isn't meant to be allowed in combination with an Atom processor.
Shuttle is using a mini-ITX form factor motherboard as per the Intel specification and as such, we'd expect the systems to have a lot of empty space in the front. This could be why Shuttle has an optional fan or LED display available, as per the pictures above and below, for these models.
We saw two different Atom-based motherboards at Shuttle's booth and the K58 seems to be using the FM25 motherboard, which is slightly less feature-rich than the FM30. Both boards feature DVI and D-sub connectors, Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, 5.1-channel audio and a serial port, but the FM30 adds a second serial port and Ethernet connector.
Shuttle was also showing off a low profile version called the X27, which is meant to be more media centric, but due to the poor integrated graphics solution of the 945GC chipset, we can't see this product becoming particularly popular as an HTPC, despite its design. It uses the same FM25 motherboard but relies on an external power brick.
Shuttle also had some digital surveillance systems at its stand with a built-in LCD display, but this looks like a tough market for Shuttle to break into, as the company has no proven track record or experience in what is already quickly becoming a very competitive market with a lot of already established players.
We snagged a somewhat poor pictures of Shuttle's P45 motherboard, as the system looked nothing out of the ordinary in terms of what Shuttle does. It appears that Shuttle has dropped legacy connectors all together, with no PS/2 connectors at the back. Instead, Shuttle has gone for four USB 2.0 ports, a pair of eSATA ports, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet and 7.1-channel audio jacks. At least the x16 PCIe 2.0 slot can accept dual width graphics card coolers and there's four memory slots and there are SATA ports.
Finally, Shuttle also had its new touch-screen LCD, the XP19 on display, and the picture below also shows off Shuttle's own Linux UI. The display features a 1,680x1,050 resolution and a 5ms response time. It looks quite snazzy, but we're just hoping it won't be as expensive as Shuttle's past monitor offerings.