In a recent episode of the Ubuntu UK Podcast we reviewed then gave away a mini-PC from Viglen, the MPC-L. We also told you how could get hold of the units for just under £80, which is significantly less than the advertised price. I’m not going to tell you how, if you want to know you’ll have to listen to the show.
Anyway, I ordered one about a week and a half ago and it turned up today. First impressions? Well, Viglen probably aren’t going to be winning any rewards for environmental packaging any time soon. The unit is almost exactly the same width and depth as a CD case, but was shipped in a standard size PC box. I presume this is largely because they included a keyboard, but the amount of empty space and air pocket packaging showed that the space was not being effeciently used. Spot the 50p on the top of the box (and the actual unit below) for scale.
On top of the box was a black Viglen-branded USB keyboard and a Microsoft-branded USB optiocal mouse. This mouse feels like it’s the cheaper end of the Microsoft USB optical mouse range, but at the price there’s no reason to complain.
See what I mean about the packaging? Inside the small white box is the bubble-wrapped MPC-L unit, along with a laptop-style PSU. Oh, and unlike the review unit there was an instruction sheet giving the default username and password. The specification sheet enclosed in the box lists 512MB RAM, 80GB HDD (not the standard 40GB) and 12 months on-site maintenance, 7 day response. And a “Xubuntu Operating System pre-installed.” All for £79. Yey!
Although I’d seen, even dismantled, the review unit having one of my own is quite pleasing really. The unit is so physically small that it lends itself to all sorts of cool ideas. Indeed we had lots of interesting suggestions as answers to the competition. I’m going to try and run it as a MythTV front end just to see if it can cope with it, but other devious thoughts have already formed in my mind. I’m quite tempted to buy a second one.
So if you haven’t ordered one yet, download the show and find out how to order yours. Any geek worth his or her salt will find something interesting to do with this little box! Now I have to go and turn it on…Pin It