Dell SX260

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Dell SX260

Quick look: Mountable mini PC

If you combined Austin Powers with Dell Computer Corp., you might get the Dell SX260 mini PC.
The Pentium 4 SX260 comes with 512M of RAM and a 2.8-GHz processor, which doesn't sound all that unusual until you consider the size of the machine.

Measuring only 9.7-by-3.5-by-9.5 inches, the SX260 is the smallest desktop PC we've ever seen. Perhaps more impressive than cramming a Pentium 4 chip in so small a space is the prodigious 20G hard drive and DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive included in the test unit.

Dell took advantage of the light weight and small frame by adding an optional wall mount capability with this computer that connects it under any ledge or desk.

The wall mount is a good idea and easy to install. Simply attach a sled to the Dell, drill the mount on the wall or under the desk and slide the sled with the PC into the mount.

Remember to connect all the cables before sliding in the PC and don't forget to place the unit in a well-vented area with enough room for the optical drive to open.

Another configuration option is to attach the PC to the LCD monitor in a couple of different ways. Unfortunately, the large, cumbersome metal base on the 15-inch flat panel detracts from the space-saving conveniences; the monitor is actually more awkward to move than the PC.

Another small problem with the form factor of the SX260 is that it prevents you from upgrading components such as video or sound cards, although you can upgrade the RAM and access the hard drive. But these restrictions hold true for all mini workstations.

The SX260 starts at $717 for a base system with no monitor, internal speakers or floppy drive and can go as high as $2,000.

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