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Meet Iwill ZPC!

Portable PCs manufacture has been developing very fast recently. There are ever more manufacturers (Samsung has joined the gang, too), while the prices go ever down (Taiwanese plants and fabs are doing their best :). However, a notebook is still an expensive product, so the customers welcome every measure intended for further price reduction. For example, one manufacturer made the following marketing move – they sell notebooks without the batteries. Indeed, if you plan to use the notebook on your office desk only, you don’t really need an expensive battery! This way you can save quite a bit of money, which is always in shortage.

But why not go even further? We can strip the notebook of the battery, the LCD screen and the keyboard (which is not too convenient to use anyway). What is the next best thing about notebooks, besides the mobility? They are small and stylish-looking. Unlike the huge coffins of standard PCs.

At last, one manufacturer ventured into producing such a super-miniature desktop computer. The cutie is called Iwill ZPC.

The design is rather questionable, but the box is undoubtedly elegant. There are two possible colors: black and silver. According to the specs, the silver version should come with a slit for a “simple slim CD-ROM” and the black one with a CD-ROM without the tray. However, we managed to get a black ZPC with a “normal” CD-ROM drive, that is, with the loading tray. So, it looks as if the manufacturer has decided to offer both variants in both colors or not to offer “trayless” ZPCs at all. That’s how it actually looks:

The dimensions of the product are reduced to extremities. At least, I can’t remember a system case to be as small as this one. Even VIA’s Epia with its mini-ITX form-factor is much bulkier. I guess it would be appropriate to quote a couple of slogans accompanying the new computer in the market:

“So much technology. So little space” and “Size matters”

To make this small size possible, the engineering folk from Iwill had to use a number of non-standard solutions. Here they are:

  1. External power supply unit;

  2. Use of low-profile notebook HDDs and CD-ROM drives;
  3. No system case fan – its functions are handed over to the CPU cooler;
  4. No cables or wires inside the case;
  5. No PCI and AGP expansion slots;
  6. Only one memory slot;
  7. Both sides of the mainboard carry electronic components and chips.

The last four items helped to reduce the dimensions of the mainboard, while the first three – to free the inter-case space.

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