Fujitsu Esprimo Q9000 review
Mini-PCs are a great alternative to bulky and underused desktops for businesses looking to make space savings and reduce energy usage, but prices can vary wildly. A prime example is Apple’s latest Mac mini, which failed to impress us with an asking price that bordered on insulting.
Fujitsu’s latest Esprimo Q9000 comes in at over £100 less, and on paper looks a better bet since it packs a superior specification into a slick little package. Whereas Apple palms you off with an old Core 2 Duo and DDR2 memory, the Q9000 sports a 2.13GHz Core i3-M330 processor teamed with 2GB of DDR3 memory.
It’s also easier on the utility supply: with Windows 7 in idle we recorded a draw of only 21W, as opposed to the Mac mini’s 26W. With SiSoft Sandra maxing out the Esprimo’s processor, the load peaked at 45W against the Mac mini’s 57W. If Apple claims the Mac mini is “the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer” then what does that make the Esprimo?
As a business PC, the Esprimo covers all the bases with the decent Intel HD graphics chipset capable of delivering resolutions up to 1,900 x 1,200 pixels. It has a DVI port at the rear, which can be converted to D-SUB with the included adapter plug, and there’s also an HDMI socket alongside.
There are two USB ports at the front and a further four at the back. The 320GB hard disk is a little on the small side, but Fujitsu also offers a 500GB model, and the eSATA port can be used to add more external storage.
Network options are plentiful. You get a Gigabit port as standard and there are optional 11n wireless and Bluetooth upgrades on offer.
Accessing the Esprimo’s innards is easy enough: simply remove a screw at each corner of the base and separate the upper and lower halves of the chassis. The memory sockets are easily accessible and the mini-card slot for the wireless upgrade sits next to them. The lid houses the hard disk and optical drive and uses a combined SATA and power interface, which plugs into the mainboard when the two halves are brought together.
The processor has a pair of copper heatpipes on top, which lead to a small heatsink behind a grille round the back. A small blower fan kicks in when required, but most of the time we couldn’t hear it. During the peak power test the fan stepped up and became very noticeable, but it stopped the moment the test had finished.
We have to admit to being partial to these Esprimos, as after reviewing the Q5030 we bought two for the lab to replace a couple of old desktops. They’ve both been running happily (and extremely quietly) in daily use for more than a year now, and we’ve had no trouble with them at all.
If you’re in the market for a mini-PC then we’d recommend checking out the Esprimo Q9000. It packs a lot of hardware into a small and smartly designed chassis, is comparatively good value, and we can give first-hand testimony to the Esprimo’s long-term reliability.
|Total hard disk capacity||320|
|CPU family||Intel Core i3|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.13GHz|
|Hard disk||Hitachi SFF|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Case format||Mini ITX|
|USB ports (downstream)||6|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||21W|
|Peak power consumption||45W|