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Shuttle has long been associated with all things petite ever since it pretty much invented the small form factor (SFF) PC. Indeed, since pioneering its various diminutive and elegant cuboid PC cases it's produced little else. However, with the arrival of the Intel Atom, Shuttle thought it might be time to branch out into other areas.
Enter, then, the Xvision X50. As evident from the picture below it's an all-in-one PC but there are two things to note straight away. One, the screen is touch-sensitive and, two, unlike Shuttle's other SFF PCs, the X50 isn't a barebones system designed for you to pop in your own hardware; this is a fully fledged all-in-one PC that's ready to go straight out of the box.
Where the X50 has stayed true to Shuttle's roots, though, is with regards size. The screen is just 15.6 inches from corner to corner and boasts a modest resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels. This is more akin to a notebook than a desktop PC and prolonged work is not something you'll want to be undertaking on this machine. However, as a casual PC for the kitchen, say, it could come in very useful.
Its potential in this sort of environment is helped immensely by the X50s very elegant chassis. The simple white and faux chrome combination is stylish yet understated and the full length speaker grille perfectly balances the look of the front. Build quality is also very impressive with nary a flex or squeak from the various panels and there's a general robust feel to the whole thing, despite its mostly plastic external construction.
Under both the two front feet and the stand are thick rubber patches that do a good job of stopping the chassis slipping about. The stand also doubles as a carry handle, which is quite a neat trick - the stiff hinge simply rotates 180 degrees and bob's your uncle. Though we must admit to being unable to think of any situations where this is particularly useful, as the X50 doesn't have a built in battery to make it a truly portable machine.
Under the front edge is a strip of blue glowing light that further adds to the X50's touch of class and, dare we say, it looks better than the similar lighting effect employed by the Asus Eee Top (review coming soon). It is of course entirely an aesthetic addition and some may even find it distracting but, fret not, as its intensity can be adjusted via a switch on the side (with off being an option).
More useful an addition is the 1.3-megapixel webcam that sits above centre of the screen. It's an unremarkable unit but it does include a microphone and is quite sufficient for the basics.