The Shuttle X Vision X5000T is an all-on-one PC that offers touch navigation as well as all the standard PC features.
Out of the box the X5000T encased in white plastic. It is clean and simple in its design with the edges featuring chrome-effect plastic detailing and a kickstand around the back than can be set at a wide range of angles to put the screen in the best position for viewing. The box of the X5000T pictures this kickstand reversed and used as a carrying handle, something we tried and it seems like a convenient way to port your PC around, if that's the sort of thing you need to do.
The design is rather straightforward when compared with the likes of the MSI Wind Top or the Asus Eee Top, which this model competes against. We also find some nifty blue downlighting on the X5000T, which can be dimmed if you find it offensive, or ramped up if a blue glow on your tabletop is what you like. The X5000T sits on two feet which are rubberised to keep it from sliding around. The X50 measures 391.3 x 327 x 36mm, so it is relatively compact.
In terms of physical connectivity you'll find 2x USB 2.0 on the left-hand side, and 3x USB 2.0 on the right, so there are plenty of peripheral connection options. The right-hand side also sees a Gigabit Ethernet port, 3.5mm audio jacks offering line in, line out and mic and finally a multi-card reader supporting MMC, SD, MS and xD.
Notably there isn't an optical drive here which may be a stumbling block for some users who want to be able to stick in a DVD to watch whilst making mince pies in the kitchen. Wi-Fi enables connection to a wireless network, and a d-sub port on the back means you can hook-up another display, should you choose to.
Stereo speakers sit in the bottom offering audio performance which is better than you get from most notebooks or netbooks. It won't match the quality you'll get from your Hi-Fi system, but if you are going to use the X5000T to catch up with a little TV on BBC iPlayer or watch movies streamed across a home network, then the speakers are capable enough.
Shuttle are best known for their barebone systems and the X5000T is little different. Out of the box you get the PC itself and the power cable, but no peripherals. For some this will be an appealing offering, as bundled accessories are often cheap and need replacing soon after purchase. With this approach you get to use an existing keyboard and mouse or choose to buy whichever accessory fits the bill: if you need a keyboard and mouse at all that is, as some will choose to simply use touch.
The X5000T features a 15.6-inch touchscreen display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Given the size of the X5000T, that resolution looks rather low considering that this is the same as you'll find on some much smaller screened devices. But you'll need to stick with a low resolution if you plan to use touch, otherwise the icons would simply become too small and it would all get a little fiddly.
Shuttle haven't supplied an extra layer of touch interface on the X5000T, it is naked Windows, with a choice of Windows 7 or Windows Vista. We tested a model running Vista, but Windows 7 undoubtedly offers the better experience both in terms of every day computing and from a touch point of view.
But the resolution isn't the biggest complaint about the screen. In enabling touch on the X5000T the screen suffers. It doesn't look sharp, regardless of how you set the resolution, because of the way the screen itself has been constructed. A smokey effect that means final results are poor with other manufacturers offering a better visual experience.
The touch response is good, but you are left to contend with a rather basic on-screen keyboard. What the X5000T is crying out for is a large touch interface so you can easily call it up, enter any text you need and then hide it again using your fingertips. Unfortunately you'll be left to find and install a third party keyboard, something that should really have come preinstalled on the X5000T.
Sitting at the core of the X5000T is an Intel Atom 330 dual core 1.6GHz processor and 2GB RAM (up from the original 1GB standard earlier in the year). Graphics are handled by an onboard solution, rather than an independent GPU. We found that online video, such as standard definition BBC iPlayer content ran with no problems at all. HD content at 720p ran without too many problems, although dropped frames makes things juddery. It's fine for watching HD movie trailers and the like, but not really the best movie viewing experience. If watching HD or Full HD content is a priority, you really need a machine with greater hardware specs to handle it.
The Shuttle X5000T runs quietly enough so won't cause much of a distraction whilst running in the corner of the room. There is a 160GB hard drive installed for storing your content.
One thing that we do like about the X5000T software offering is that Shuttle have kept it simple. This PC isn't filled with bloatware: you don't get all that free software that you then have to then uninstall. As a result Windows runs rather smoothly, without the constant interruption that trial software often seems to bring to proceedings. You will have to install anything you need however, and be happy to do so without an optical drive, unless you have a USB one to hand.
When all is said and done, the Shuttle X5000T suffers on several fronts. The poor display means that it lacks the impact that similar-sized rivals offer and the lack of a DVD drive is a real drawback both when it comes to installing software you already have and playing movies. We'd have liked to have seen something to help with the touch interface to make it a little more friendly to use. As it is, the X5000T is simply a PC with a raw touch experience provided through Windows and without the interface to really appeal to consumers.
The price too, at £527 for the Vista version (£591 for Windows 7 Home Premium) is too high. You can pick-up an Eee Top of similar spec for less, or step up to a larger screen with a DVD drive with the MSI Wind Top, which leaves the Shuttle X5000T with little going for it.