This is a small form factor machine for those that might need to lug a PC around a bit - or those that are after something a little less intimidating. Of course, it's Shuttle that is synonymous with small form factor PCs, but those that have built a system inside one of that company's barebones systems will be acutely aware of how loud such machines can get when under full load.

More importantly, the limitations on the power supply generally mean that you can't pack out your SFF system with the latest cutting edge hardware.

The fact that Beast Computers has packed this system to the gills with the latest kit, but somehow keep the machine wonderfully quiet, makes the Tauros all the more remarkable. Admittedly it isn't completely silent, but it's not far off, and in a normal environment you'll do well to even detect that it's on.

This is particularly important to the machine's secondary role as media centre system - it's a joy to use for the task, largely because of its marvellous quietness.

As a gaming rig, it's really not too shabby, and while we can't get overly excited about the Radeon HD 2900 XT, it's deft enough at pushing polygons on lower resolution screens.

Intel's Core 2 Duo has clearly helped the case of the capaciously-challenged form factor, so it's no real surprise to see one of these masterpieces at work here, and the E6600 spinning along at 2.6Ghz is a capable sliver of silicon.

2GB of RAM is pretty much standard these days, but still welcome, and the 320GB hard drive makes this a much more appealing option than a humble laptop.

This specification isn't going to set any new benchmarking records, but it is capable nonetheless.

An average of 92fps in Company of Heroes at 1,280x1,024 is fine, while number junkies will be pleasantly surprised by the 3DMark06 result of 9,383. The jury's still out on DX10, but at least the rig will play such games - Call of Juarez managed 24.6fps, while Lost Planet ran at 35.5fps.

Without question, this is a lot to pay for the kind of power you're actually getting, but if you need this level of portability from a system, it's hard to knock. The build quality and general choice of components are strong; easily enough to give you pride in your new box, and with the bundled carry-strap, it doesn't shirk responsibility as a movable games machine either.

We can't help feeling that for gaming at home, you'll probably be better off with a normal-sized rig, though.