ASUS S-presso SFF System Review Posted!

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Dashken, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    Like coffee as well as small form factor PCs? Then you will be interested in the new SFF system from ASUS.

    Christened the ASUS S-presso, is this new SFF system really your cup of coffee? Read on and find out!


    Link : ASUS S-presso SFF System Review!
  2. prikker

    prikker Newbie

    Noise? TV out?

    Thank you for the review. I'm really interested in the s-presso, but I missed a few subjects. How noisy is the machine? And Where is the connection for a regular TV.
    Do I have to install an extra Videocard?
  3. siddiq

    siddiq Newbie

    about the video card it have an inteal graphic intergerated. but got AGP slot. can add extra.

    :thumb: Im Starting to like this SFF thingy.
  4. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    As siddiq mentioned (also covered in the review), the S-presso comes with Intel Extreme Graphics 2. So, you don't need another graphics card.

    Of course, if you want faster and better graphics, ASUS provides an AGP slot for an add-on graphics card.

    As for the noise level, I think it's best to leave it to Peaz who can better tell you about it.
  5. David

    David Newbie


    Hi Adrian (& others!),

    Thank you for a most interesting review... I had been searching for something like this for the last few days, and was pleased to eventually stumble on what I think is the first 'in depth' review of the S-presso system.

    I had seen it advertised here in the UK, and as I am quite a fan of SFF systems, I just couldn't resist buying one. I was initially only able to get the basic (P112) box, but having just heard that higher end model (which you reviewed) will hopefully be available within the next few day... the first to reach the UK I believe... I have arranged to exchange it for one of these, and can't wait to get my hands on it!

    Your reviewer made a very valid point concerning the difficulty in removing the front cover... the plastic clips do seem to be quite strong though, as I found that the metal piece onto which they clip on the front panel had bent slightly instead! Certainly something that should (and could) have been better designed though, especially looking at some of the other interesting manufacturing devices which have been used elsewhere... such as the drive mountings etc.

    This is actually my first post in your forums, so please excuse my ramblings!

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2005
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hello David!

    Welcome to the ARP community forums! :wave:

    Very glad the review was of use to you. We will see if we can get more SFF systems to review. :mrgreen:
  7. config

    config Newbie

    This is something I'm very interested in. I have a Chyang Fun eCube as my current HEPC, and it's noisy as hell. I had to replace the cacophonous crossflow "paddle steamer" fan with two 40mm fans to be able to use it for watching TV recordings. :-\

    I use a MSI Mega 180 here at work and its as quiet as a mouse, so until I read about the S-presso 112 last November I was thinking of going down that route - but we've had many voltage fluctuations, overheats and random instant shut downs with the MSI Mega 180, so I want to avoid it as a PVR.

    It's a real shame the S-Presso doesn't have TV-in and -out, so I guess I'll be keeping the ATI All-in-Wonder for the time being.
  8. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    THe machine is VERY quiet. I didn't have the equipments to make a scientific measurement, but I can defianately assure you that the machine was very quiet. Even the fans was running at a low 2000+++ rpm only.

    Connection to a regular TV is via the TV Card provided with the S-presso.

    YOu don't have to install an extra videocard of course as there's the integrated graphics already. However, if you want better graphics performance such as to be able to play more intensive 3D games, then by all means.. upgrade it.
  9. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    THe higher end version of the S-presso comes with a TV Card! So, it definately can do output to a TV for sure! However, the only video input is the TV antenna in. No S-video or RCA input.... therefore, using the Cable TV won't work unless you get a converter... but that's gonna lower the picture quality any day.
  10. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Yup. I agree that the front panel is a pain to remove! I echo you thoughts that it can definately use some redesigning. :)

    Cheers to you guys! Thanks for reading the review! :thumb:
  11. config

    config Newbie

    Thanks for the update. I passed the link to your review around the office, as we're always interested in new HEPC and SFF machines.

    We'd all be interested to know how things go with the machine in use! What is instant-on experience like for playing CDs and DVDs without the machine being powered up? How much of that remote control is used in this mode. What's the home theatre software like? etc etc

    Perhaps a follow-up review?

    Great work. Thanks. Can't wait 'til we get these machines in the UK
  12. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Hi there again config.

    Unfortunately, the review unit was only loaned to us for a very short time. And during that short stint, I was unable to truly test out the machine's instant-on features. As such, I can't really tell you much on that.

    I'll see if I am able to get hold of the S-presso unit again from ASUS, if so, then yes.. perhaps a follow-up review of that unit :)

    But from my experience with the Instant-On-like feature on a Fujitsu notebook I recently was able to check out, it's really cool. The machine booted into that media player software which I believe was on ROM and was immediately able to play CDs and DVDs. Well, if ASUS's implementation of that feature is as good as Fujitsu's then I'd say that it's one darn good feature... otherwise, well, we'll need to look further ourselves to evaluate it...

    Sorry that I can't help you here...
  13. David

    David Newbie

    They have now arrived! :D The first few were delivered this morning... one had my name on it, and I will be receiving it tomorrow. (Wednesday)

    I am very much looking forward to giving it a close examination!

  14. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    that's cool David! Hope you enjoy it very much!
  15. Jerome

    Jerome Newbie

    What about WIFI ?

    Thanks a lot for your review, the very first one available on the internet. Many interesting information indeed ! :)
    One question however...
    You said that the mothercard does not support wireless LAN by default and that you have not heard about an option.
    On the other hand, according to S1-P111 specifications ( it is compliant with wireless LAN 802.11g... :think:
  16. David

    David Newbie


    To expand on a point 'Config' made earlier, I am a little concerned about a yellow sticker on the box saying "Instant on Software does not support external add on Graphic card".

    I take it that they are refering to an AGP card here, rather than an actual 'external' card... I expect I will find out in due course!

  17. Koen

    Koen Newbie

    thank you for the review

    This is the first review I found aftwer months. I ordered my s-presso back in december and was told that it would be there by the end of december. I hope it will now finally arrive. Still my main questions about the s-presso remain: how does the tv-tuner perform (what chipset is it, does it have hardware encoding etc). Also how is the software? On their last multimedia barebone (digimatrix) the software (also InterVideo Hometheator) was a mess. I wonder if it improved or if we are off again in search of drivers for other softwares. I'll probably end up replacing the tv-tuner by something serious and adding an agp card (I want dvi out) and so I'll probably don't have much use for the InstantOn software. I sure hope to read something more here before I get my s-presso.
  18. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    I can see the Instant-On CD comes bundled with this SFF unit, so I think Asus follows Aopen's (FYI, Aopen is the first one to implement instant-on) way in implementing the instant-on feature :) to use instant-on, you will have to first install a linux based operating system (instant-on CD). unlike the usual linux OS installation, the installation for instant-on is pretty straight forward and easy. the linux operating system for Aopen Xcube is about 110+MB, but Im not sure what changes asus has made to their vresion of instant-on but it should be more or less the same. 110mb is nothing so it shouldn't be a concern if you have a..eerermm...say..120gb HD :mrgreen: once it's installed, the system boots up in less than 10seconds (i think is around 5seconds..sorry too lazy to reboot my xcube now) and you will be greeted with a beautiful and simple interface that allows you to play whatever media you want :) you can boot up the system by pressing the control buttons in the front panel. Do take note that this linux OS is self-independent so you will not have to boot into windows prior to booting up the linux os. This is why you only need 5-10seconds to get the sff unit up and sing you song, make some noise and show some porn.., hence the name instand-on :thumb:

    this linux operating system comes together with all the drivers for the integrated graphics, chipset and sound card to work. you can't make any changes into it, which explains why external graphics card is not supported because this customized linux operating system doesn't allow you can't install the driver for your agp card manually.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2005
  19. David

    David Newbie

    First Impressions

    Hi Folks,

    Just a few initial impressions (and hints!) before I start building!

    1) The external packaging is now in full colour, as opposed to just black & white!

    2) The Software Information User Guide Manual is now E1933 Revised Edition V2, published in Jan 2005.

    3) The BIOS is the latest revision, namely 1004.

    4) The two bags containing the drive mounting screws are now labeled 'HDD screw' and 'ODD screw' respectively!

    5) The Support CD is now Rev. 1.3

    6) I have found a MUCH easier (& safer) way to remove the front panel:-

    First, disengage the lower portion of the panel, as per the instructions, but leave the top clips still attached.

    Then, unscrew the rear thumbscrew, and carefully swing the entire cover forward and upwards. (Again, as per the manual.)

    It is then so easy just to reach inside to disengage those nasty top clips... job done, with no scratches (or swearing!)

    I hope that others will also find this tip of some help.



    PS: It would appear that (unlike the last one I received!) this is obviously a VERY recent production model.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2005
  20. orion23

    orion23 Newbie

    Great review, very detailed. Very cool pictures!

    A few questions for someone who can help:

    1: I would like to install Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 in this barebone. Is the Included TV Tuner supported by MCE 2005?

    2: What model is this FM/TV tuner?

    3: Anyone knows if replacing the TV tuner with one supported by MCE 2005 will cause the instant on to stop working?

    4: In one of the pictures, the back of the Spresso shows FM, TV and S-video imputs. But someone said before that there was no S-video IN. What about the VIVO Cable?

    Thanks for your help!

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