The World's Smallest PC: The Jadetec Micro System
If the customer really were king and had the pick of the bunch, then the decision would naturally fall in favor of a mini or a micro PC. But, in reality, the customer is anything but a pampered monarch, and so must be content with one of the various compromises on offer. The informed observer quickly realizes that the PC market doesn't have the courage to come up with new ideas - and, in particular, more compact forms. The current sales slump cannot be assigned only to the weak economy as a whole. Now, as before, discounters still offer unlovingly thrown-together, hospital-gray crates at dubious prices, presumably in the hopes of at least making the same sales as the previous year. All the same, that gives them acceptable margins on sinking unit turnover. The trend, though, has finally broken out of the stable: PC systems are getting more compact, and the final goodbye to the 8-by-15 gray box is just waiting to happen.
In the last few weeks, we've had some interesting candidates in the mini PC class (
The THG lab in Munich had exclusive use of the Jadetec Micro PC for our tests. It is even tinier than the Mini PC, and weighs in at just 3.5 lbs - that's less than a notebook. The first encounter with the Micro PC tends to leave the impression that you're dealing with a kitchen appliance - a toaster, for example. Only when you get up really close do you realize that the whole row of connectors on the back makes it more likely that it's a computer.