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Review: Shuttle XPC SN95G5

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 30 September 2004, 00:00

Tags: Shuttle, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qazv

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The Exterior

Front
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Yum, black brushed aluminium for pretty much everything on the front, broken up by chrome detailing on the button surround in the center, the chrome strips that separate the drive bays and the button in the top right for ejecting a stealthed optical drive.

It's classic understated style. Three little dots on the corner of a panel indicate it's a push-activated affair, giving the SN95G5 two push panels, the stealthed optical bay at the top and the main center section.

Buttons
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Two buttons, reset and power, lie either side of a silver middle section that holds see-through indicators for power (blue) and disk activity (yellow). The light shines through the little emblems and it's very tastefully done.

Optical bay cover
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The silver button at the top pushes the button on your installed optical drive, causing it to push the panel out of the way with its tray (only tray drives are supported and work), with another push closing the tray and feeding the drive your disk. Stealthed drive bays is something the middle-sized XPC range has cried out for for a long time, with only the very limited edition SB75S, tweaked by Japan's master chassis builders, Soldam, bringing stealthed bays to the range thus far. We saw them on the bigger SB81P and loved them, and they make their G-series debut finally on the SN95G5. Hallelujah.

Floppy
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The external 3.5 inch drive bay gets the same treatment, with the cover activated by a press of your finger in the top right corner.

Ports
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The lower ports, mic input and headphone output, two USB2.0 ports and an unpowered FireWire400 port, are also covered by the same push-latch cover as the 3.5 inch bay enjoys.

To my eyes, it's the best looking XPC yet. While the SB81P does black front and stealthed bays, the SN95G5 is altogether more clean and tidy. The front is flat and the chromed buttons and detailing make it very classy looking. You may hate it, but I expect you don't.