AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review :: Conclusion

09-12-2005 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Benjamin Sun

From an aesthetics point of view the AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II really can't be beat. The ability to put the computer into a drawer and use wireless mice and keyboard is incredible. For the business owner wanting a computer to run software, this mini computer is just fine as well. In those respects, AOpen has done a wonderful job in the packaging, layout, basic functionality and compatibility.

From a gaming perspective, the XC Cube MZ855 II is only for the most casual gamer. The Extreme Graphics 2 chipset does not support Hardware Transformation and Lighting or more advanced effects like pixel shaders in hardware. The fact that the computer only accepts height AGP 4x cards limits expandability. One strangeness upon installation of the drivers off the driver CD the computer found Media drives for media readers that don't exist. Personally, I prefer a full mini-PC like a Shuttle XPC or one of AOpen's bigger mini-PCs to the MZ855 II. The limited expandability and the limited capabilities of the on-board graphics make this machine less than it could have been. A modern mini-PC with an Intel 915G or Xpress 200 on-board graphics gives the options to expand.