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First Look

The outward appearance matters a lot and this barebone system from ASUS has nothing to be ashamed of. It travels in a neat box with a plastic handle (you should appreciate the last feature if you don’t have a car).

A small box with a handle is easy to carry around

The box contains the barebone proper and a small parcel with fasteners, cooler, CD with drivers and necessary cables. The manufacturer has overdone it a little with the box – it is much bigger than the contents.

Not too many accessories, but everything necessary is there

The accessories to the barebone are just the bare minimum of things, but this complies with the whole concept of the device. Fresh out of its box, the S-presso S1 looks very cute – miniature size, high build quality, materials and all – so it just invites us to a closer acquaintance.

Modest, but stylish

The device has an original appearance with its deep-blue nacreous coloring, smooth outline of the case, and handy handle. You should like it if you value an optimal mixture of functionality and aesthetics more than spectacular looks. There’s only one drawback – the plastic panels of the case are oversensitive to dirt and fingerprints are only too well visible on them. As for the carry handle, you will surely find it useful if you often move your computer about or frequent LAN parties. The decorative covers on the front panel of the case hide an optical drive, a multi-format card-reader (this device has long replaced the obsolete floppy drive in modern computers), and USB, audio and FireWire connectors. It’s of course a nice design feature to have the connectors and the card-reader under special covers, but this solution is questionable from the ergonomics point of view: the covers are mirror-like and open to your touch, so you unavoidably leave your fingerprints on them. Then, it’s also not very convenient to plug in a USB flash drive or some other frequently used peripheral because of the same cover on the front-panel connectors.

The decorative covers look smart, but they shouldn’t be touched too often

So, you should treat the case and the covers on its front panel with care unless you want to be constantly wiping the barebone clean from your own fingerprints. But well, we’re caviling too much – we guess untidy users aren’t likely to go for such a device at all.

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