This, too, shall pass
Can't argue with that. Worth engraving on a ring.
But I'll take issue with the following:
So we should stick reviewing low power fanless devices that don't need our expertise for people to know they're quiet?
Which fanless devices? How many people are using tablets or smartphones as their main PC?
Most laptops still make a fair bit of noise, especially when they're not configured to waste as little power as possible. I wish more manufacturers would send SPCR samples.
Desktops are still something people are going to want unless they only watch movies or they're comfortable using a laptop. I'm cool with laptops myself but I'm weird. People want the big, quality screens and the full-size keyboards. And they don't want a docking station with their laptop. It's too complicated and they'd need to carry the laptop all the time. They actually like not being able to do all their desky things when they're away their desks.
And even if people decidedly moved towards mobile devices, that would only mean more small servers or HTPCs set up where people can hear them. There's not mcuh difference between cooling a small desktop and a small server.
Fanless desktops are fairly easy to achieve nowadays but I know of exactly two fanless desktops on the market. They're Atoms and, for all I know, badly cooled. And I know of exactly three normal-looking cases on the market adequate for fanless operation of desktop Atoms without modding. Look at the D510MO thread: temps >70C, custom heatsink, MOSFET cooling and so on. So we're not quite there yet even for people willing to use Atoms. Obviously, a lot of people are going to want something faster but would be happy with something like an underclocked/undervolted Clarksdale or Regor coupled with entry-level graphics. Who sells fanless gear like that again? AMD sells low-voltage CPUs but it's not trivial to get a build like that right!
We're still going to use fans on low-power gear for the foreseeable future. And that's not trivial enough to get right without some expertise. Look at how much noise the HP's new Microserver makes. You have a sample, Mike so you know if I got a dud or if they're not as quiet as they should be. We're talking about a 1.3Ghz dual-core and a mobile chipset! This is about as low-power as it gets. I'm not saying it would have been very hard for HP to get it right but they didn't bother. So, unless one of the few top-tier global OEMs that doesn't suck is negociating Mike's new salary as we speak, we're still going to need SPCR.
Rant over... alomst.
I wish SPCR would pay more attention to low-power options and take them more seriously and I agree with Entropy that we need low-power products to be pushed more, if only to curb pollution. But there's little SPCR can do about that. It would take some serious industrial/marketing muscle. It would be a shame if SPCR's main audience was people who buy gear to play the newest games but that would be our collective failure to get the word out, to provide people with efficient software and to build businesses which sell low-power PCs.