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Shuttle XPC Glamor - SG33G6 Deluxe
We can all agree that small PCs are fantastic. Instead of taking up most of your desk with a large, noisy box, smaller PCs are more discreet, more stylish and just easier to live with. In the past, getting to enjoy such delights meant that you had to have pretty major compromises but today that's not really the case. Last year I put together a pretty capable mini games machine in the form of a Shuttle SD39P2, so when I was offered a chance to look at another machine from the company I couldn't resist.
The SG33G6 is part of Shuttle XPC Glamor range. I can't say I'm too comfortable with the name 'Glamor', partly because in the UK we spell it with a ‘u', but also because I don't think it fits - sure the boxes are good looking, but I'd hardly call them glamorous. The point is though, if you want to put together a system that you won't mind being on view then this will certainly fit the bill. Rather than having the power buttons and indicator lights in the middle of the display, on the G6 the strip now runs from the center to the right hand ide. This appears just to be apperances sake but its none the worse for that. The power button is now circular, right in the middle and has a blue backlight, which is very nice and along side this are power and Wi-fi indicators - yes, this system has Wi-Fi built-in. The front panels of the Shuttle are brushed aluminium while the rest is painted. The feel of the construction is definitely up to Shuttle's normal high standards - its cases are very solid and robust, as you'd expect for the premium price.
Shuttle has a confusing number of models and one thing its web site doesn't do is make it easy to understand the differences between them. The SG33G6 Deluxe is the top-of-the-range but its unique features are limited to its fingerprint reader and integrated Bluetooth. The latter does seem like something of a gimmick, but the latter is certainly useful. Both of these make sense for a main work machine, but these features don't seem to sit well with the other aspects that Shuttle is promoting on the G6, namely the DTS Connect and Dolby Digital Live! audio, both of which will let you output a digital bitstream to an external amp, and the HDMI connection with HDCP support,are all more suited to a media center PC. Indeed, if you're looking for a system to act as a Media Center, you'll be better off with the SG33G5M (D-VO), which is based on the same chipset, but has an integrated VFD and an integrated IR receiver and an MCE remote. While Wi-Fi is an option on the SG33G5M, it's built-in on the G6.