IBM's Ultra-small PC

IBM's new space-saving ThinkCentre S50 business PC is the size of a cereal box and weighs about 6kg. Inside its steel chassis, the S50 houses an internal power supply and "caddy" around its 40-80GB 3.5in hard disk, used to lock the drive in place without tools. The overall design has contributed to noise reduction (39 decibels) and improved air flow to reduce heat.

The modular slimline optical drive is compatible with ThinkPad R50 and R51 series notebooks and other components include a Pentium 4 processor (with Hyper Threading), up to 2GB of RAM, full-height PCI card slot for expandability, Gigabit Ethernet, front audio and six USB slots.

As do other IBM desktops, the new model includes some of IBM's ThinkVantage technologies, including Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore - a one-button backup and recovery solution that restores previously saved data and systems settings. An Access IBM button is also included that sends you to an IBM support Web site with diagnostic tools, automated solutions, and links to updates.

Build quality and performance (272 in SYSMark 2001) impressed, but the 2650 points in 3DMark 2001 highlighted the lacklustre 3D grunt associated with integrated graphics that are commonplace in non-multimedia business PCs.