Now that green issues are on the agenda, an energy-saving PC potentially has a wider appeal beyond the environmentally conscious sandal-wearing brigade. Throw in a really small format and it’s a possible solution to the problem of crowded offices.
So, kudos to Fujitsu Siemens, which to be fair has a track record in making ‘green’ products, and its Esprimo Q fits into this strategy.
But a slap on the wrist for a product design that shamelessly rips off the Apple Mac Mini. It’s basically a laptop with the parts rearranged and no screen.
Design gripes apart, there’s no question that this is a sleeker and more svelte option than a large ugly minitower.
Twinned with a flat-screen monitor, which is sold separately, this would be a useful addition to any office area where space is at a premium.
The little box – it measures just 16.5cm by 16.5cm – is powered by an Intel Celeron processor, a lower energy chip that’s normally found in laptops where the need for long battery life makes this an issue.
According to studies by the chipmaker AMD, with machines of a similar spec there’s a real saving to be made in terms of power consumption, so in those terms the Esprimo Q is an attractive option.
What the machine lacks in size or weight luckily isn’t a hindrance to its performance.
In tests, we ran several applications all at once and it handled them all well. For the usual daily tasks involving word processing, spreadsheets, email and internet access, it’s more than up to the job.
The money saving comes twice over: not only does it consume less power, it’s also a perfectly serviceable desktop PC that can double as a portable computer if it’s only needed for the occasional trip outside the office.
At 2kg in weight, this is the kind of kit that you could tote easily along to a presentation. It’s even supplied with an adapter for connecting it to a projector.
Inevitably, there are some tradeoffs: with a product so small, there’s no room for built-in speakers.
As against that, there’s a sizeable 80GB hard disk so this isn’t just a stopgap computer with which to fob off new employees.
Price: starts at €773.199 including Vat
Value for Money: ****
By Gordon Smith