Paysan – M-Series review

extremely compact, full-featured PC
Photo of Paysan – M-Series
£729 + VAT excluding monitor, keyboard and mouse

This is certainly one of the smallest ‘desktop’ PCs we’ve ever seen. It’s small enough to put into a jacket pocket and carry around with you, as long as you have a keyboard, mouse and monitor to plug it into when you arrive at your destination.

Claimed by Paysan to be the smallest PC in the world, the M-Series weighs just 950g and measures 157 x 146 x 45mm, the footprint being a shade over the size of the notebook CD-ROM unit that’s part of the device. Powered by a 933MHz Intel Pentium III and 128MB of RAM the M-Series lacks nothing in performance, despite its diminutive dimensions.

It also shows some clever design touches. To upgrade the memory, you simply remove the 24-speed CD-ROM unit to reveals the single SODIMM slot which holds up to a maximum of 256MB of RAM. The system reviewed came with a 20GB Fujitsu EIDE hard drive, although there is a number of options available ranging from 5GB up to 30GB. An external floppy drive unit is available as an optional extra.

Despite the small size of the M-Series, it has plenty of I/O ports and connectivity options; there are single serial and parallel ports, two USB ports, VGA and modem ports all on the rear panel. One side panel contains two PS/2 ports, and single AV and an S-video port. The two audio ports – mic and headphones – are housed in the other side panel along with the LAN port. There is even an infrared port on the front of the system.

Graphics are controlled through the integrated part of the Intel 810E chipset, which also supplies the 56Kbps V.90 modem and the 10/100Base-T network connection. The graphics adapter uses 4MB of system memory; although it doesn’t sound much, it is perfectly adequate for today’s business applications, being able to support up to 1280 x 1024 pixels with 24-bit colour.

The M-Series reviewed came with Windows 2000 as the pre-installed operating system, and it is also available with Windows 98, Windows ME or Linux. It has a Kensington Lock Slot for security and includes a one year RTB warranty.

Company: Paysan

Contact: 01884 257458


Verdict
The only thing small about the Paysan M-Series is its size. This machine is big on performance and 'wow' factor, but unfortunately it is also expensive. The price doesn't include a monitor, keyboard or mouse, and as you can buy complete systems for very nearly the same money and with the same performance, its appeal is sadly going to be limited to those users who really need portability.