Shuttle X50 review

Has the touchscreen nettop finally come of age?

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

This is sadly not a very useable touchscreen device. We would recommend checking out the MSI Wind Top or hold off for the next gen of Windows 7 touchscreen PCs


  • Touchscreen


  • Vista keyboard too small
  • Underpowered
  • Poor screen

Touchscreen computers like this Shuttle X50. They're the future, right? Last year, out at Nvidia's Nvision conference in Santa Clara we saw some fantastic examples of display technology in a Minority Report style.

We've also got Windows 7 on the very imminent horizon, which is promising all kinds of touchscreeny loveliness. So you can expect lots of machines rocking up in the near future - last month we had MSI's Wind Top and this time we've got the latest from Shuttle, the X50.

But unfortunately this one aint no PCF Gold award winner. What we loved about MSI's take on the all-in-one touchscreen rig is conspicuous by its absence in the X50. They've both got the same Atom dual-core CPU, both rocking 1GB RAM and both waving a 160GB HD around for storage needs.

The big, big difference though is in the screen. Touchscreen displays have to be good to make for a usable device, unfortunately the Shuttle's screen is pretty unpleasant. Post laborious calibration it was just about sensitive enough, but the display itself is incredibly dark and look like it's stuck behind a thick film of celluloid.

The 1,366x768 resolution is also a little tricky to deal with on a 15.6" screen - especially considering there were no added extra touchscreen apps to make navigating the screen easier.

The on-screen keyboard in the bundled Vista Home Premium is all kinds of useless - the buttons are too small, meaning that this touchscreen absolutely has to have a keyboard attached to it to make it any use at all.

Essentially what we have here is a very expensive touchscreen tablet, with a poor screen, limited touchscreen capability and as low powered as a netbook. On the plus side it has a carry-handle...

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Components Editor

Dave (Twitter) is the components editor for TechRadar and has been professionally testing, tweaking, overclocking and b0rking all kinds of computer-related gubbins since 2006. Dave is also an avid gamer, with a love of Football Manager that borders on the obsessive. Dave is also the deputy editor of TechRadar's older sibling, PC Format.