After a fast boot thanks to the SSD, a refreshingly clean desktop greeted us. Four items appeared: Recycle Bin, Adobe Reader DC, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. The Start Menu was another story, just as full of bloatware as some cheap consumer PC bought at Walmart. Is Candy Crush still a thing, to the point of two flavors installed?
The loaded Windows 10 operating system is the absolute latest, and tries really, really hard to make you log in to the Microsoft cloud. One way it does that is to refuse to connect to older network-attached storage (NAS) servers using SMB1 protocols. We wound our way through Windows Settings menus until we could turn that support back on.
Bask in the Monitor Light
Standard apps load and run as quickly as you would expect with a late-model i7 and an SSD.
But the real goal for this unit is driving monitors. Unfortunately, we do not have a high-definition video wall in our lab, even though we requested one be installed for testing purposes before this year’s Super Bowl. So we created a Frankendesk of monitors.
We started with the outstanding ViewSonic VP 3881 monitor we reviewed last month. The resolution is 3840x1600 in a 21:9 ratio spread across 38 incredible curved-monitor inches. Colors popped: The NVIDIA graphics board and utility let us adjust gammas and hues and dynamic ranges and more. Then we added 2560x1440, 1920x1200, and 1920x1080 monitors. An ugly look on the desk, but streaming multiple videos across multiple resolutions all at once didn’t phase the DH02U one bit. Every image looked good, and we could adjust color parameters differently on each HDMI port.
Condensed but Capable
We’ve learned not to be surprised at how well Shuttle PCs work, but the graphics power mashed into such a small box impressed us. A dual-monitor signage system in this form factor is impressive enough, leveraging embedded graphics to their fullest. However, the unit’s relatively low-end NVIDIA graphics card turns this little box into a graphics powerhouse without adding the size you would expect to support the graphics card, ports, and extra cooling. The unit remains silent no matter the load.
Need a PC refresh for the spreadsheet guru who keeps begging for just one more monitor? Want to run a four-monitor video wall with a single, easy-to-use unit that includes high-speed wireless? Want to run four digital menu boards? High-definition video surveillance consoles? The Shuttle DH02U is definitely the box for these projects.
Image: Courtesy Shuttle