Symple PC – The $89 Linux System You may look at the title and think, “No way.” I must admit it makes you skeptical, but I have one. Symple PCs (www.symplepc.com) are re-manufactured systems in a recycled plastic case. The goal of Symple is to make eco-friendly systems. The system itself is a 12.5” x 12.5” x 6.25” of 1/8” black recycled ABS plastic. The system has: 2 GB of RAM (DDR400 or Better) 2.8 GHZ P4 CPU single core or better (Intel or AMD) 80 GB SATA hard disk 2 USB slots (or more) VGA Port (integrated) 10/100 MB/s Ethernet Port Audio in/out Ports Parallel Serial Port PS/2 Ports for keyboard and mouse For an Operating System, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is pre-installed on each PC. NOTE: The hardware listed is a minimum and the system received may have more than what is listed. The front of the case is shown in Figure 1 (an image from their website, but exactly like mine). FIGURE 1 The system I received was exactly as listed above, but mine has six USB ports. Four ports are USB 1.1 and the other two are USB 2.0. The motherboard in the BIOS is listed as an HP Compaq dc5100 Microtower (MT). The specifications provided by HP for the original system is: Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology and Celeron D processors Processor speed 2800/800 Cache L1/L2 – 28/1048 KB Intel 915GV Express chipset with Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (MMX/SSE2) DDR2 Synch DRAM PC2-3200 (DDR2-533) Memory – Dual Channel Broadcom 10/100 Ethernet with PCI-E Dual Channel Memory with 4 available color coded DIMM slots Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Drives SoundMax Digital AC97 Integrated Audio with internal speaker PS/2 Ports for keyboard and mouse Energy Star compliance with energy-saving features Maxtor SATA Drive 80 GB NOTE: You should be aware that the PC is only the PC. The power cord was nearly overlooked in the box since it was wrapped in paper which blended in with the box. The image of the back of the system is shown in Figure 2 (an image from their website and not of the PC I received, looks exactly like mine even to the number of USB slots). FIGURE 2 One main thing to consider, as well is that the Symple PC comes with a 1 Year Advanced Replacement Warranty. You must ship the PC back to Symple, preferably in the same eco-friendly box. The company offers a $10 Environmental Credit for any Symple PC that is returned toward the purchase of a new unit. For every PC sold, $2 is donated to an Open Source Organization such as Debian, Ubuntu or The Document Foundation. To look over other information or order one of these systems, go to www.symplepc.com According to the company, Symple suggests the PCs are used as web-workstations. Web based systems such as Odoo (www.odoo.com) and Alfresco (www.alfresco.com) can be accessed from a stand-alone system. It seems that these systems would be great for any company requiring a kiosk type system running Linux and does not need to be connected to the company network (maybe its own Virtual Private Network). Systems to be used as a kiosk do not require such a great amount of system resources as most company systems would for their employees. For individuals, this PC would be a cheap alternative to some other systems out there. Running Linux, the user would have access to free Open Source software. At some stores, a mouse and keyboard could be purchased for $20. A cheap monitor for $30 (especially off E-Bay). It could be possible to purchase these items and the PC for around $150. External CD/DVD drives can be purchased as well as external hard drives to help expand the system. Symple states that the OS on the PC can be changed to whatever you want and that it will support Windows 7 or less. Expanding the hardware will void the warranty if you wish to upgrade the internal components. If you were to open the system, you would find available PCI slots which are located under the power supply. Since the power supply is in the way of the slots, they cannot be used. Here are no case slots to open to place a PCI card in the system anyway. The motherboard in my system had a second SATA controller slot, but there are no bays to mount a SATA drive. The existing SATA drive is mounted behind the green Symple logo on the front of the case. Be aware that the four screws in the case around the Symple logo are used to hold the SATA drive in place. It may be possible to mount a hard drive on the inside of the case as the other drive was done. The power supply and the extra fan are both set to blow out if the case. The direction of the fans cause the system to have negative pressure. A system with negative pressure causes the internal components to collect less dust than a positive pressure system. The pressure explains the large open slots on the front of the case to allow air to be sucked into the system and then blown out of the fans. The internal components of my system are shown in Figure 3. FIGURE 3 If you are in the market for a low price Linux system, I would say to give a Symple PC a try.