Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Shopping for a Compact PC

Nowadays, it is not enough to just get a “best value” PC. Aesthetics have become an important factor in the overall consideration. Buyers are looking for PCs that look nice, are compact, clean design, blend in with the environment, etc. Now that PCs are so cheap, sometimes the price becomes a lesser important issue.

Here’s the PC I bought last weekend. Two sets of them actually. It was for work related purpose. I didn’t need a fast or powerful PC, I just wanted a compact box that looked nice. It cost just $599 a piece for a lowish Pentium E2160, 1GB of RAM, 160GB SATA disk and a DVD writer, packed into a compact shiny black HEC casing.

The box was fitted with an Asus P5GC-MX/1333 motherboard which uses the Intel ICH7 chipset. The Attansic L2 100Mbps network interface was, however, a little of a problem: there was no support in the standard Linux kernel, the driver source provided by Asus failed to compile cleanly, but fortunately there is a driver project on SourceForge that worked. This is an issue for me because I’m building Linux appliances. I understand this network interface is also the same used on the Asus Eee PC.

There’s not much to be said about these PCs. There’s a soft blue glow under the CDROM bay to show that the box is powered up. The casing is a gloss shiny finish. They look nice, and they work. That’s all I want. 🙂

A few thoughts on the shopping:

I did my shopping for the above boxes at Sim Lim Square. Shopping with the weekend crowd was a little frustrating. The shop staff are all so preoccupied with people “just browsing”, that “ready to buy” people like me can’t get their attention. I normally don’t have any complaints about Cybermind, but this time around, I was rather annoyed with “bundle packages” advertised on the flyers they were distributing that weren’t actually available.

I also don’t normally have any complaints about Fuwell, but this time I was served by a really very unhelpful and arrogant staff. Needless to say, even though they had what I wanted, I did not buy from them.

No doubt “customer service” is not something Sim Lim Square shops are well known for. But it will probably do them some good to make sure all their staff have some basic sense of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

View Comment Policy