Looking at the box, you get one 5.25in external bay under a front cover at the top for an optical drive. This sports an eject button at the very top right, which connects to a lever that will press the Eject button of your drive – to get this working you need to ensure you line up your optical drive correctly when you are installing it, which takes a bit of fiddling. The bay beneath this one opens by pressing a catch at the top right of the cover, and opens up to reveals a space for a 3.5in bay, which would logically be filled by a card reader.
As with most Shuttles a flap at the bottom comes down to reveal, two USB ports. The one on the left is configured for use as a ‘Speed Link’ port – which enables you to hook up two PCs and transfer files between them. However, this requires the use of a USB cable with two ‘A’ connectors at each end and Shuttle does not supply one. Unless you get one, and unless you actually want to use this feature, the left port then is redundant, leaving you with only one usable one at the front. You do get a 4-pin Firewire connector and headhone and microphones sockets, which are very well placed. On the left you’ll find the fingerprint reader, which once you’ve installed the software let’s you ‘enrol’ your fingerprints. It proved a little hit and miss for me – working with one finger for a short time and then deciding it didn’t recognise it anymore. If this happens you need to enter your password in anyway, so it didn’t really turn out to be a time saver. However, enrolling a different finger solved the problem.
At the rear, you’ll find a further four USB ports, two E-Sata and a full size 6-pin Firewire button. The Ethernet port is of the Gigabit variety, and there’s five analogue connectors for the integrated Realtek High Definition audio. There’s also an optical out, but this port is bizarrely placed at the top of the rear of the case, above the two rear brackets.
On the other side there’s a VGA port and an HDMI port. If you don’t have an HDMI equipped display there’s no issue as an HDMI to DVI connector is supplied so you can hook straight up.
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