The same data is now presented as diagrams for better comparison and easier analysis:
Now, the Disk Access Time test:
And two more tests from the same benchmarking package. Business WinMarks and Hi-End WinMarks simulate work in real applications:
Now we understand the low results of the WinRAR test. The hard disk drive is too slow! Note that we use one of the fastest 2.5” drives in our tests, the one with 5,400rpm spindle rotation speed and a 16MB (!) cache-buffer.
Here we are. The price is much higher, while the performance is noticeably lower. In portable PCs, this performance misbalance is compensated by the miniature size of the 2.5 form-factor, but also by their extra-low power consumption. For example, the drive we used in the ZPC consumes about 2.5W, while the “regular” HDDs seep in about 10-15W. But this power-saving qualities are not very crucial in case of the “desktop notebook” such as Iwill ZPC. Anyway, if you are wondering about the 2.5” hard disk drive choices available in the today’s market, go and check our 2.5” Hard Disk Drives Roundup. It should be very helpful in this respect.
During work, we also discovered one not very pleasant peculiarity of the ZPC system. When it is set vertically, the optical drive is wailing loudly while working at high speeds. No wonder it does as it is intended for horizontal installation only.
Notwithstanding the numerous drawbacks listed above, the overall impression from the ZPC is highly positive rather than otherwise. You should just view it as a simple and elegant home-office machine, not as a high-performance computer. This product is for people who don’t care much about fps and other measurement units, but value design and miniature dimensions. It can be viewed as a competitor to VIA Epia even.
I wouldn’t recommend installing a 2.5GHz processor into this computer. There are no tasks, in which the CPU wouldn’t be limited by the numerous bottlenecks (memory, graphics, HDD). It is more reasonable and logical to power the ZPC with a low-end Pentium 4, like 1.8GHz (or slower, if you can find one) or some Celeron processors.
I would also wish Iwill produced a similar system on the “alternative platform”. Something like Athlon XP 1700+ on NVIDIA’s chipset with an integrated GeForce4 MX. Such a computer would run more or less modern games with an acceptable image quality and at an acceptable speed. This model would be a great choice in terms of size, power consumption, thermal conditions and noise characteristics, and, most important, in terms of price-to-performance ratio.
Anyway, Iwill ZPC as we have it today is good enough. You can use it to perform any office work, watch movies (although on the display only), listen to music (stereo only) and play simple games (that don’t require a powerful 3D accelerator). And all this comes at a price lower than the price of a notebook. Of course, the limitations may not be acceptable for some people, but others may consider it an adequate tradeoff for the miniature size.