Shuttle X1 crams a full-blown gaming machine in a tiny package

Prodigious power in a pint-sized package is something we appreciate around here, and Shuttle's X1 line looks quite interesting. Three models are on offer, and all pair an Intel seventh-generation four-core mobile processor with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB graphics card and SSD storage. All the variants come packed into the same 5.6" x 5.6" x 3.4" tall (14 cm x 14 cm x 8.6 cm) multi-faceted chassis that displaces just 1.75 L.

The entry-level Shuttle X1 i5 model is built around an Intel Core i5-7300HQ four-core, four-thread processor flanked by 8 GB of DDR4 memory and the previously-mentioned GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 3 GB of its own GDDR5 memory. Gerbils who don't print their bedsheets with Nvidia graphics chip specifications might need a reminder that the 3 GB version of the GTX 1060 has 1152 stream processors, down from 1280 in the 6 GB version.

The base model for the Core i5-equipped Shuttle i5 pairs a 128 GB M.2 SSD with a 1 TB hard drive. The slightly dearer X1 i5 Pro sheds the platter drive and boosts the capacity of the SSD to 256 GB. The range-topping X1 i7 has a four-core, eight thread Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and doubles the system memory to 16 GB of DDR4. 

The front of the red-and-black machine has a red power button, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card reader. For video output purposes, there are three HDMI ports and a DisplayPort connector around the back, plus a USB 3.0 Type-C jack that Shuttle says can be used to drive a fifth display. The rear port selection is complete with a Gigabit Ethernet port, an audio jack, and four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports. Wireless connectivity comes by way of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability.

Shuttle backs the X1 PCs with a three-year warranty. The entry-level X1 i5 model rings in at $1465 on the manufacturer's website, the X1 i5 Pro model with the larger 256 GB SSD comes in at an even $1500, and the X1 i7 unit with the Core i7 processor and 16 GB of memory sets buyers back $1710.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I first knew Shuttle as a manufacturer of motherboards back in the late 90’s or so, at a time when we had something like 15 motherboard brands to choose from. And it’s kinda interesting how Shuttle is one of those names that no longer seems to be known for motherboards but somehow found something else to be good at to stay relevant. I mean, I guess companies like Aopen are still in business but they are practically irrelevant and Googling names like Jetway, Soltek and QDI brings up other things.

    At $1,400 though, it’s easy to decide on just building your own PC with far more powerful components. That i5-7300HQ alone lists for $250 and the Ryzen 1600X quickly comes to mind, but the 1700X is just $60 more, bringing the grand total of our DIY system to $1,460 and still 5 bucks cheaper than the cheapest SFF variant here and leagues beyond that puny 7300HQ. Even spending $250 more to step up all the way to that i7 doesn’t mean squat against the mighty 1700X. Yes the Shuttle is smaller but is space really that constrained that you choose an SFF PC over one with far higher performance?

    Edit 4 – when I first checked 1700X pricing on Newegg it was $309. Now it’s back to $359. Nonetheless, building a Ryzen 1700X system is still a far better deal if space isn’t a top priority.

    • NovusBogus
    • 3 years ago

    I like mini PCs even more than the next guy, but a $1500+ ‘gaming’ model with mobile components is just plain wrong. The low-power-decent-performance stuff makes lots of sense when there’s a battery involved, but you’re just screwing yourself if the box is always going to be plugged in.

    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    These $1,500 PCs with 128GB SSDs have to go; it’s an embarrassment to the PC ecosystem. It’s better to give someone a larger SATA SSD than a tiny M.2 one, especially as 99% of users won’t notice the difference.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 3 years ago

      I would normally agree, but it’s a combination that could take advantage of smart response or readyboost and still provide a good amount of storage.

      …if manufacturers would actually configure it that way right from the start, that is.

      (I’m just saying, I don’t have a problem with that configuration as a baseline, but it would have to be done up the way Apple does their “fusion drive” thing so you get the best of both worlds).

      • NovusBogus
      • 3 years ago

      Is it even possible to still fit Windows onto a 128GB drive?

        • deruberhanyok
        • 3 years ago

        Yes, although you don’t get much space for anything else. IMO if you’re just building a PC for playing games, isn’t really an issue. You can grab a 2TB SSHD for like $100 and install all of your games on there; it’s far more cost effective than dropping $800 on a 2TB SSD and you still get a little benefit if there are games you’re playing frequently (although at this point I feel like SSHDs should be pushing 32GB of SSD cache instead of the 8GB they tend to have).

        • dragmor
        • 3 years ago

        My tablet is using 36.2GB with Win10, Office 365, business / work apps and a couple of games (hearthstone, homm3 and civ).

        128GB is fine for most normal people.

          • Kretschmer
          • 3 years ago

          With games routinely running 50GB+ these days, that means you get to choose the one game that runs quickly at any time. No thanks. I really enjoy having a 1 TB SSD for boot + games.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            You realize that most games don’t benefit from SSD media? The few that do are constantly streaming data. At most, it just reduces load time from a cold start by 5-20 seconds over a Modern HDD.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    No keyboard, trackpad, display, or speakers = no savings for the buyer. Doesn’t matter if you want laptop components in a laptop or a small desktop, they’re going to cost the same no matter what.

    • Lord.Blue
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve always wondered why nVidia didn’t call the 1060 3gb the GTX-1055 or something like that so people wouldn’t think they were the same chip, but then their naming system as of late is a little wonky.

    • bjm
    • 3 years ago

    The first pic looks like it has some JPEG errors after a modem download and no CRC error correction.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 3 years ago

    I like the specs, I like the form factor, but I don’t like the “expensive gaming laptop” price. :/

    I’m also kind of “meh” on the angles, but it’s not nearly as offensive as some of the more extreme desktop gaming PCs.

    One thing I’d be very curious to see from a review would be the internals: is that GTX 1060 on an MXM type B card? If so… there could be some pretty good upgrade potential there down the road.

    Would also like to see if they’ve done anything to UEFI lately; the more recent XPCs still have it using the equivalent of a BIOS type interface with very few options.

    Also, related, Shuttle has a pretty good youtube feed that shows off their products. If you’re interested in their tiny boxes you might want to check it out:

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr4a59791dczxFgdAuyWn9g[/url<]

      • Airmantharp
      • 3 years ago

      Just say it: it’s fugly.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 3 years ago

        It’s more just “meh” to me. They’ve put some design on it that says “look I’m for playing the vidjagames” but it’s not, for instance, a giant evil robot head like the MSI Aegis:

        [url<]https://us.msi.com/Desktop/Aegis-Ti3.html#productFeature-section[/url<]

      • caconym
      • 3 years ago

      The standard three-year warranty is pretty nice though. I’ve bought more expensive machines that only came with one year included.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve seen pointless angles before, but here not even the ports are in tidy lines.

    This is smaller than a classic shuttle cube, but mostly it appears to be aimed at a lower caliber of customer with a higher caliber credit rating.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      They also missed an opp to build in a handle at the top.

      • NovusBogus
      • 3 years ago

      In total fairness to Shuttle, there’s method to the madness here. Using my patented Bogusvision(tm) I can see that behind that plastic shell is a mainboard with underslung USB2 headers stacked on top of the 1060 and its not-so-tiny cooling module. The top HDMI port is probably cruft from a standardized mainboard.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, a motherboard mounted a bit above the middle of the chassis would explain much of the weirdness.

    • bthylafh
    • 3 years ago

    That’s the second machine I’ve seen recently with upside down HDMI ports. Any idea why this is a thing now?

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Well, so they can be used in Australia, duh!

        • juzz86
        • 3 years ago

        As an Aussie, the first thing I thought was: ‘Well there you go – they got the ports around the right way for once’ 😛

      • Brainsan
      • 3 years ago

      It looks like EVERYTHING is upside down on that back panel. I’m betting the motherboard is mounted upside down.

      • Growler
      • 3 years ago

      It helps mix the pixels so they’re more active when they get to the monitor. You end up with a more effervescent image.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      So is the ethernet, USB… Actually I think everything is upside down there.
      Probably just how they had to mount things to fit in and couldn’t be arsed to customize it.

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