16 Watt Eco PC + New Linux Distro = Micro Home Server?

I like to keep track of itty bitty form factor PCs. You never know when you’ll need a tiny amount of processing power to run a router, thin client or just a family member’s “Webmail PC” as I sometimes call them. I just stumbled upon the ECOPC N.1A by EVO technologies.

Here’s some specs on it:

  • Based on the Intel Atom N270 processors
  • Can run Windows or Linux
  • Uses 10~11W at idle
  • Uses 16W at full CPU load with 2.5″ SSD
  • Uses 18W with 2.5″ HDD
  • Uses less than 1W at standby
  • Can operate with or without it’s fan depending on ambient temps so it has the potential to be totally silent.
  • 19.5cm in depth, 17.8cm in width and 4cm in height
  • 12V DC input
  • Can be attached to a flat screen TV or monitor using VESA mounts

Another interesting point quoted from their website is this:

The N.1 will last over 10 times longer than a standard over 100W PC from the same amount of stored power in battery. Moreover, it can run off a DC battery and does not required a inverter, because it uses 12V input. So it is solar/wind power friendly and also ideal as cars, trucks, boats.

The price starts at $285.99 USD (excluding Taxes and Duties).

Almost more interesting to me than the hardware was one of the two options for a preinstalled OS. Of course, the ubiquitous Ubuntu is made available, but the other option is a Linux based home server OS named Amahi. I’d never heard of the OS before and took a look at the website. Apparently it’s still in beta, but it seems easy enough to join the beta program.

Amahi is based on Fedora (yay!) and has the standard set of features that you’d expect from a home server OS. At least, I think it does. I’m not a huge “home server” user – if I need a server at home, I do it up hardcore and spawn a few Windows Server instances. Amahi has it’s own app store. It uses a customized version of FireFly Media Server that they call “AmahiTunes“. There’s also disk pooling, a VPN and a host of ways to back things up among other features. Check out the features page for a more thorough list.

I wasn’t able to discern if the distribution has plans on having a commercial element. No business model is presented that I could find. Who knows if this will be around in a year or two. I certainly hope so as it looks sweet. I’ve never been keen on the idea of purchasing Windows Home Server, so if there’s an open source alternative, I’m down with that.

Does anyone have experience with micro form factor PCs like the EVO ECOPC? How about a Linux based home server distribution like Amahi? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Dave

    February 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I’ve had experience with the slightly larger yet less energy consuming fit-PC. It works perfectly behind a wall-mounted display in a lobby to drive the display (a simple powerpoint presentation). Ubuntu works on it without issue and it is very stable. Would recommend!


    • Wesley David

      February 18, 2011 at 9:53 am

      I wanted one of those Fit-PCs from the instant I saw them! That was like 3 years ago. I never ended up getting one, but it’s nice to see this niche market filling out. I think it has great potential as license free thin clients for a larger terminal server implementation.


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