Scythe's e-Otonashi fanless EPIA-M cooling case

Cases|Damping | Cooling
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Feb 23, 2004 by Mike Chin

Product
e-Otonashi fanless mini PC case
Manufacturer / Supplier
Scythe Co., Ltd
Price
US$198

Scythe Co., Ltd has been the source of some unusual cooling products. Most recently, SPCR reviewed the Heatlane Zen NCU-1000, a passive 6" tall CPU cooler that used a heatpipe as a core design element. In the e-Otonashi, Scythe has turned again to a Heatlane heatpipe, this time in a somewhat more ambitious product: A compact case for VIA EPIA-M Mini-ITX boards that offers a fanless CPU cooling system as an integral part of its design.

The resulting system is completely fanless, because the power supply makes use of a small external brick style transformer and a small DC voltage regulation circuit in the case, neither of which have fans. The only source of noise in this system comes from whichever 2.5" notebook drive (and slim notebook optical drive) you choose.

If all this sounds familiar, it should be: The e-Otonashi is a kind of poor man's do-it-yourself kit version of the recently reviewed Mappit A4F, a small, prebuilt fanless, EPIA-M based PC that uses a notebook drive. There are distinct similarities, but also many differences. More on that later.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The review sample came in a sturdy carton illustrated with some drawings and promotional information about the product inside. It was well packed for shipping. When unpacked, the contents consisted of the following:


The carton contents were: Chassis, PSU, Installation Manual, AC Adapter, cables for a slim optical drive and a notebook drive, and set of screws and hardware.


A shot of the small brick external PSU: Works off 100-240VAC; output is 12V, up to 5A (60W).

*

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Name
e-OTONASHI (also Otonashi-1000)
Manufacturer
Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan
Motherboard Compatibility
VIA EPIA-M (Mini-ITX)
VIA EPIA-M10000 (Mini-ITX)
Chassis Dimensions
280(W) x 190(D) x 90(H) mm
Weight
2350 g (System: 3200g, approximate)
Drive Bay
2.5" Drive Bay (1), Slim Drive Bay (1)
Power Supply
60W A/C, Comply with CC & FCC
I/P: 100V ~ 240V, 50-60Hz, 1.8A Max.
O/P: 12Vdc, 5.0A
SPS Adapter Included
Noise Level
0 dB

Possible system configurations and approximate component costs in US$ (based on Pricewatch):

Component
US$ Price (approx)
e-Otonashi fanless mini PC case
$198
VIA EPIA M6000
VIA EPIA M10000
$145
$200
Fujitsu 40G 4200RPM 2.5" HDD
Fujitsu 80G 4200RPM 2.5" HDD
Seagate Momentus 40G 5400RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" HDD
$120
$215
$150
Samsung Slim 8x8x24 CD-RW with 8X DVD Combo
Toshiba SD-R6112 Slim 4X DVD-R/RW
$80
$174
256MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM
512MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM
$45
$75

So, the most budget system including M6000, CD-RW, 40G HDD and 256MB memory would be well under $600 (at least, in the US). The most high-end system with M10000, DVD-RW, 80G HDD and 512MB memory would be well under $900. The price could drop substantially if a non-recordable or no optical drive and a smaller HDD were considered.

Here is a closer look at the e-Otonashi, from the front and from the back. It is made entirely of aluminum. All of the exterior has a pebbled finish which hides fingerprints much better than these flash photos suggest. On the lower right of the front panel, there is a round power button and a reset button accessible through a very small hole. The rectangular outline area is the cover for a notebook-style optical drive. There are grill openings on top, the front, the sides and the back. A small input jack for DC voltage is visible on the back. In case you didn't pay close attention to the specs above, the case is small. The metric dimension are given above; it is just 11" wide, 7.5" deep and about 3.5" tall.

Please Note: The black finish of this case obscures details in photos terribly, forcing much reliance on digital image editing in Photoshop. As a result some of the colors may seem a bit off. This is the price for getting the visual detail you'd want to see.



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