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Shuttle wants to take over your car radio with its upcoming CarPC

Shuttle last week at CeBIT demonstrated its CarPC system for automotive integration. The upcoming Shuttle CarPC measures in at 11” (D) x 9.1” (W) x 2.8” (H) and designed to withstand the thermals, vibrations and power requirements in an automotive environment.

Shuttle internal testing reveals the CarPC is capable of operating under temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit stably. Under full load, the Shuttle CarPC draws 65-watts of power. The internal hard drive features an anti-vibration design that will absorb up to 2Gs of shock.

The power supply integrated in the Shuttle CarPC has automotive specific features. It automatically starts the system when the car starts, survives engine cranking, automatically shuts down the system when the car is turned off and monitors the battery levels to prevent battery draining. To survive engine cranking, the Shuttle CarPC survives voltage fluctuations from 10.6 to 16-volts.

Specifications of the Shuttle CarPC are nearly identical to the previously released X200 small form factor system. An Intel Core Duo T2400 paired with the 945GM chipset delivers processing and graphics power. Integrated high-definition audio with one line-output and one S/PDIF are the only audio output sources available on the Shuttle CarPC – separate audio amplifiers are required to output sound to car speakers.

Shuttle does not integrate an optical drive, GPS or wireless Internet in the CarPC; however, customers may add the devices via USB. The system uses a conventional keyboard and mouse as well as a touch-screen display for input.

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Swing.... and a miss...
By Lazarus Dark on 3/22/2007 6:35:12 AM , Rating: 2
First, where do you mount this? Under the seat? not convenient at all. It should include a 7" dashboard standard size breakout box, including the dvd drive and with front accessible controls and usb ports. But in the form it seems to be in, it seems impractical at best, what does this really offer? a hard drive. Other than the storage of all my music, while convenient, it doesn't seem to offer the functionality necessary and I would think would require a lot of jerry-rigging to get something usable. I mean at the very least it doesn't offer discrete channel outs? You still need a seperate damn reciever? If they had just had discrete channel output, at least all you would need is a power amp to drive the speakers. And I do not want a friggin kb/mouse in my car. I can just see some idiot talking on his cell while balancing a kb on the steering wheel and using the mouse on the dash. And how is he driving? With his knee of course.

Nice try, but I could build a better carpc myself and probably cheaper.

...And why the hell is there an ethernet port for God's sake!

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By spartan014 on 3/22/2007 7:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with what you say. But building one on your own? Would you be able to match the ruggedness of a commercial product? Consider having to build the custom case and all. And what about the aesthetics?

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By mindless1 on 3/22/2007 8:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
Matching the ruggedness of this should be very easy, it's noting special really, more like a slight evolution of existing tech, mostly evolved in that they just bundled the pieces for you instead of having to buy each separate.

It's also poorly designed in how much power it uses, 60W is a non-trivial amount to stuff out of the way in a car, and 5A a non-trivial load on some smaller cars, some driving scenarios. It's not just getting the heat out of the case, but getting the hot case and surrounding area, cool too. 95F is a very low figure too, on any random summer day I get into a closed car it may easily be over 110F, and even if the AC is cranked up, the system is not going to cool down so fast when it is also creating heat.

Shuttle is not known to build robust components either, they are built by the great cheapo manufacturer we all know and hate - except for their lower prices.

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By TimTheEnchanter25 on 3/22/2007 7:23:40 AM , Rating: 3
This is hardly the first CarPc, this is actualy a better offering than most of the Via powered systems. I've been thinking about building one of these for quite a while, I just decided to wait till I get my next car. I see this a very good option.

I really don't understand why you want a convenient location to mount it? I plan on mounting mine out of sight under the console. Once it is set up, why do you need to see it or touch it? You can run USB cables to any place you want to have a DVD drive or anything else you want connected. It will turn on and off with your car, or you could wire a switch.

Besides storing music / movies, you can install GPS, calander, contacts, vehicle diagnostics, Sat. radio, games, or whatever you want. It is a full pc, not just a hard drive connected to your radio.

It's very easy to hook it up to any reciever with line inputs. But if anyone made a reciever with SPDIF in, it would be wonderful (you can get an AMP with SPDIF in though). The majority of people that use these, have a 7", 8", or 10.4" touchscreen monitor installed to control it. You can always get a small keyboard for the few times you need to type large amounts of stuff.

Just because they didn't say anything about it in the article, doesn't mean that you can't power it up in your house. An ethernet port would be a very nice thing to have when you set it up before it is installed in your car.

You might want to do some research, before assuming that this is such a bad idea.

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By GoatMonkey on 3/22/2007 8:20:14 AM , Rating: 2
To me this product in itself is not very useful to the standard consumer, but it is a step in the right direction.

It's kind of like the relationship of the HTPC to the TiVo. Most people are better off just getting the TiVo, but it's great that the HTPC is there for the more serious users.

This product also improves the breed. In the progression toward a truly useful product this is a logical step. It needs to be smaller. It needs a software package designed for use with it. It needs a head unit designed to work with the software package.

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By OrSin on 3/22/2007 10:11:29 AM , Rating: 3
The VAI system are a much better match. Higher heat range and smaller. I really doubt 95 is big problem. Even if you car is over that at start up who rides in 100 degree car. Even if it takes time to vent the air it also taks time to heat up the system. The really think is price. Sure you get a more pwoerfull system but the VAI are made MP3 and Video so althought he CPU is not a powerful the on baord video on the VAI system does much better job of video decoding. All in all ita good start. But it need some thing. And for those people complainng about the feature thier are dozen mods that will give you what you want. But i guess you dont want to mod it to work. This is this like the early stages of the HTPC. That way crap for years and now they are crazy easy to setup. Thier is always a first step.

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By Myrandex on 3/23/2007 11:07:45 AM , Rating: 2
Sometimes when I see this many typos I wonder if they are intentional...

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By cochy on 3/22/2007 11:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
...And why the hell is there an ethernet port for God's sake!

Uhh. Because the 945GM chipset includes it? Plus it's useful for a myriad of things such as maybe making a LAN in your SUV? Or connecting to a wireless internet modem? If you don't need it don't plug something into it? Geez people can find anything to be negative about.

Why the hell do you think there's one?

RE: Swing.... and a miss...
By UNCjigga on 3/22/2007 1:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
You can use the ethernet port to hook up a myriad of external modems and modem/telemetry devices (though a serial port would be more appropriate).

If I were to buy one of these, I'd definitely get this:

Probably not ready for Phoenix weather
By Bruce 1337 on 3/22/2007 6:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
Shuttle internal testing reveals the CarPC is capable of operating under temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit stably

If I get one for Christmas, it shouldn't melt until at least April...

By MonkeyPaw on 3/22/2007 7:44:47 AM , Rating: 3
I doubt it would survive many places, actually. Many places hit 100F+ at some point, but the biggest problem is that even on sub-95F days, the inside of a car can get much hotter than that if the windows are up. Back when cassettes were all the rage, I melted a couple of them in the summer thanks to poor placement and the chance of thunderstorms. ;) Sure, the car cools off once you run the AC, but to my memory, it takes a good 5-10 minutes to remove all that heat. I wonder what the minimum temps would be? Electronics don't like bitter cold, either. That poor machine may not like such temperature swings, but I guess we can only wait and see.

By caater on 3/22/2007 6:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
no break-out box?
no RCA audio connectors?
no front controls?

and for how much $$$?

i'm just sceptical...

RE: ...
By hondaman on 3/22/2007 7:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is pretty cool actually. Cardbus via usb would be the way to go. You could expand to your hearts desire. My mind is working overtime right now on how I could make this work in my car as I have for a long time considered doing a home-brew version of a pc, but this is better imo.

The only other question I have is: does it run linux? (seriously)

By therealnickdanger on 3/22/2007 8:28:40 AM , Rating: 4
Try any budget laptop and then (if you're daring) remove the LCD and place it in the car to a location of your choice using an LVDS extension cable. Most laptop LCDs can be detached and extend to 15 feet without serializers or signal boosters. Then, using the VGA or DVI (or video out) output of the laptop, you can run a second, smaller LCD in the dash just like you would any other dual-monitor setup.

Laptops are already built for the abuse of a car environment, both for heat and vibration. And with many laptops falling under $500, they put more expensive CarPC-specific devices to shame. You'll get WiFi, modern processing power, lots of USB ports, active cooling, full-featured OS, slim design (perfect for underseat mounting). Plus, if you leave the LCD on, you can build a quick release system and easily remove it from the car whenever you want.

Am I the only one
By lufoxe on 3/22/2007 9:13:14 AM , Rating: 2
who doesn't want to wait for an OS to load, before hearing music in my car?

RE: Am I the only one
By vip2 on 3/22/2007 3:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
If it is anything like the Lilliput Car PC it has an instant-on multimedia BIOS. Still, it needs to be a in-dash all-in-one 1 DIN solution though. I'm sure a manufacturer like Shuttle can squeeze a VGA display, Radio/TV tuner, slot-load DVD drive, PC with HDD, and a 40 watt amp into a 1-din enclosure. Lilliput a much smaller company, AFAIK, comes close with a 2 DIN solution.

By feraltoad on 3/22/2007 5:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
That's going to be one looong ethernet cable!

X-Box Car Power Please?
By Mitch101 on 3/22/2007 10:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
I tried convincing the company that makes the PICO-Power supply to make one for the X-Box. After all sales of the X-Box greatly exceed those of Micro-ATX machines. Also there are a lot of X-BOX's that need a new home as they are replaced with newer generation consoles.

I would certainly love to mount an X-Box in my car which would cost significantly less than this instead of using an Inverter.

65W ??? are they crazy?
By mino on 3/22/2007 1:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Our full-blown X2 4200+EE/GF6150/2G/3.5HDD/DVDRW consume 45W idle and ~90W at load.

65W is way too much for a car PC, had sticked with putting together mobile Sempron platform they could have managed <40W at load with a decent chipset.

"The best way to keep a PC cool and powered is to have it consume less energy per se."

This has nothing on VoomPC
By JonnyBlaze on 3/22/2007 1:13:18 PM , Rating: 2

This supports a internal slim optical drive. They make lcd touch screens also. Yeah it doesn't have c2d but who needs that power to drive a music / video pc in the car?

What does it do?
By timmiser on 3/22/2007 5:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not exactly sure I understand what the purpose of this is for? OK, it seems that it might replace your radio as an MP3 player but it doesn't have an optical drive, an AM/FM tuner, or car speaker terminals. How about a specialized plug that would allow you to plug into your cars computer to monitor system information? A tire pressure monitoring system? Maybe a built in GPS and software for navigation? A built in DVD player for movies during long trips (for passengers).

It seems like a car pc could have some good uses but I think Shuttle really comes up short by leaving it up to the end user to find ways to utlize it. Just with most of my ideas above, it is easier to list things it can't do versus what it can do.
By SilthDraeth on 3/22/2007 6:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
You would be better off going to and picking brains to build your own solution.

As others have stated this will probably cost to much for what it delivers, as most shuttles do.

By Urbanos on 3/23/2007 10:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
you guys said it right, its more than just a harddrive to hook up to my radio, it can be used for all sorts of things... but mostly my concern is, if i'm about to use the features of a full pc in my car, why not simply get a notebook and a fancy car power adapter?
otherwise just get a stinkin ipod and wifi transmitter

By Urbanos on 3/23/2007 1:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
you guys said it right, its more than just a harddrive to hook up to my radio, it can be used for all sorts of things... but mostly my concern is, if i'm about to use the features of a full pc in my car, why not simply get a notebook and a fancy car power adapter?
otherwise just get a stinkin ipod and wifi transmitter

By speed99 on 3/28/07, Rating: -1
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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