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PC Specialist Impulse 625 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £625
inc VAT and delivery


2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, 2.000000 RAM, N/A display, Windows Vista Home Premium

If you think PC Specialist’s Impulse 625 looks familiar, that’s because it uses the same AOpen mini-PC case as Fujitsu Siemens’ Esprimo Q5030 and VeryPC’s Parkwood II, only in a slightly different colour.

Like the other PCs that use this case, the Impulse 625 is built from laptop components. This makes it fiddly, although not impossible, to upgrade, but also means it’s smaller and less power-hungry than a regular desktop PC.

The Impulse 625 contains a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk. Rather than providing normal PCI and PCI-E slots, the Impulse 625 has two PCI Express Mini slots. One of these is used for the 802.11b/g wireless adaptor, leaving the other slot free for expansion cards. The choice of compatible cards is limited, but you can buy flash drives to expand your PC’s storage capacity and Bluetooth adaptors fairly cheaply online.

The easiest way to add features to a compact PC is usually to plug in external peripherals. With a total of six USB ports, an eSATA port and a FireWire port, the Impulse 625 has plenty of options for adding extra peripherals such as external storage devices, optical drives, sound cards, TV tuners and lots more.

With a power consumption of 39W, the Impulse 625 is not the most power-efficient PC here when running at full tilt, but its idle power consumption was outstanding at just 18W, the joint lowest of all the PCs here. The Impulse 625 also consumed only 2W on standby, a negligible figure that’s beaten only by the Eee Top’s standby power consumption of 1W.

The Impulse 625 doesn’t have a particular outstanding feature that sets it apart from the other computers in this group, but it has a great specification, a tiny case and is almost £125 cheaper than VeryPC’s practically identical Parkwood II. This combination of great value, low power consumption and compact construction make it a good choice, but Sony’s all-in-one VGC-JS1E/S is the same price and includes a monitor.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8400
Processor external bus 266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x8.5
Processor clock speed 2.26GHz
Processor socket Socket P
Level 1 cache 2x 32KB
Level 2 cache 3,072KB
Memory 2.000000
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 4GB
Motherboard AOpen i45GMx-I
Motherboard chipset Intel GM45 Express
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 18W
Power consumption active 39W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 1/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/1
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
Other ports wireless antenna socket

Internal Expansion

Case mini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free) none
PCI-E x16 slots (free) none
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 1
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Fujitsu MHZ2320BH G2
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 320GB
Spindle speed 5,400rpm


Graphics card(s) Intel GMA X4500HD
Graphics/video ports DVI


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out, mic in, line in/optical S/PDIF out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model Matshita UJ-875S
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Screen model N/A
Native resolution N/A
Response time N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard none
Mouse none


Software included PowerDVD, PowerProducer, Nero 7 Essentials, NTI CD & DVD Maker Gold, NTI Shadow
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £625

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