The CompuLab Fit-PC3 Pro is not your orthodox compact PC. It looks something like a cross between a broadband router and a steak griddle. Its die-cast solid-metal casing is actually one giant passive heatsink, and not a single fan is needed to cool the components.

Despite the slightly strange design we really liked the Fit-PC3. It’s extremely compact at just 190 x 160 x 40mm. Although it’s small it's hardly featherweight at a fraction over 1.2kg. A removable panel on the underside has the hard drive attached to it and gives easy access to the RAM and two mini PCIe slots. Visit Group test: What's the mid-range desktop PC?

CompuLab has managed to squeeze in an impressive amount of physical ports around the fitpc3: four USB ports on the front alone, and a tasty selection to the rear.??Our only disappointment with the design is the on/off button mounted at the rear, when it could be easily and more appropriately fixed at the front.

In its die-cast metal house, the Fit-PC3 possesses superb build quality. The weight is reassuring and the machine simply feels like a small remote controlled tank. We haven’t tried it yet but you could probably run the Fit-PC3 over with a car and not find a scratch on it. See also Group test: what's the best desktop PC?

Fit-PC3 Pro: Hardware

An AMD G-T56N 1.65GHz dual-core Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU) powers the Fit-PC3 and our Pro model came with 4GB of DDR3-1333MHz RAM. This resulted in a relatively low score of 56 points in the WorldBench 6 test.

Despite the sad score we found that from a user perspective the Fit-PC3 was speedy for everyday tasks like web browsing running in the pre-installed Windows 7 Professional OS. We watched a 1080p video on YouTube and recorded CPU usage at less than 20 percent, pointing to solid hardware acceleration of its video decoding. For graphics the Fit-PC3 lists an AMD Radeon HD 6320 integrated GPU.

In our basic FEAR test we recorded a disappointing average of 23fps. Our more intensive Crysis benchmark failed to run so we turned to Stalker: Call of Pripyat instead, which resulted in an average framerate of just 14fps at 1280 x 720 (Medium detail). In short, don't buy the Fit-PC3 if you want to do any action gaming.

The Fit-PC3 is exceptionally eco-friendly with its low-power consumption design. We found that the machine idled happily at just 8W and then only sipped 26W during our demanding graphics tests. The Fit-PC3 certainly won't make its presence felt on your electricity bill.

We never found it to get too hot to touch and the machine is effectively silent thanks to its fanless design. The only noise it makes is a faint whirring from the 2.5in SATA hard disk; but it’s essentially inaudible below ambient room noise. Our sample had a Samsung 250GB 2.5in SATA 5400rpm hard drive.

Connectivity is a strong point. Turn the Fit-PC3 around and you'll find another two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0, two eSATA, HDMI 1.4a, gigabit ethernet, full-size DisplayPort, RS232, line-in and line-out and two antenna connections. The audio jacks even feature Toslink digital optical connections.

The CompuLab Fit-PC 3 is sold by UK distributor Anders Electronics through its Tiny Green PC website here.

CompuLab Fit-PC3 Pro: Specs

  • 1.6GHz AMD G-T56N dual-core Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU)
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
  • Samsung 250GB 2.5in SATA 5400rpm hard drive
  • AMD Radeon HD 6320 integrated GPU
  • AMD Inagua Reference motherboard
  • Front I/O
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • Rear I/O
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x eSATA
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • DisplayPort
  • HDMI 1.4a
  • RS232
  • Line-level in with Toslink
  • Line-level out with Toslink
  • 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connections
  • 36W external AC adapter
  • 160 x 190 x 36mm
  • 1.2kg
  • 1.6GHz AMD G-T56N dual-core Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU)
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
  • Samsung 250GB 2.5in SATA 5400rpm hard drive
  • AMD Radeon HD 6320 integrated GPU
  • AMD Inagua Reference motherboard
  • Front I/O
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • Rear I/O
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x eSATA
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • DisplayPort
  • HDMI 1.4a
  • RS232
  • Line-level in with Toslink
  • Line-level out with Toslink
  • 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connections
  • 36W external AC adapter
  • 160 x 190 x 36mm
  • 1.2kg

OUR VERDICT

The Fit-PC3 Pro offers a unique and innovative design in an extremely compact and durable casing. It has almost everything you could want in the way of connectivity. It’s by no means a performance overachiever though, and comes with a high price tag.

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