Shuttle KPC K45 Barebones System
I've had this KPC for a month now. Maybe longer, actually. This review has seen setback after setback: I've had entirely too grand a time playing with this little Linux wonder to really bother with writing. Sure, it's got drawbacks--big ones, to be honest--but it also has this charm not readily engendered by other boxes, no matter how small, elegant, or polished they may be. And, pretty soon, I'm going to have to take it apart and stick its silicon organs into another machine so I can report on my KPC's performance. I want to delay that. I want to keep playing.
As weird as this is to say, a lot of the charm comes from the price. It's a hundred-dollar barebones. A lot of features are missing, and, you know what? I like it because of that--it doesn't even have an optical drive. Without all the features it's easy to see what's so great about it. It's simple: take the focus off hardware, and you spend time having fun, knowing everything works, well, good enough.
You're not getting a high-end machine here, but, at the same time, it's not locked into low-power, low-performance hardware. It can run Vista, it can run SLAX. I tried both. And XP, Gentoo, and Ubuntu... and best of all, Linux Mint.