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Jan 23 2019

Mini Yet Mighty: FUJITSU Desktop ESPRIMO G558


In an age where people use ever-smaller, increasingly portable devices to perform everyday computing tasks, the question "Do we still need desktops?" seems at least legitimate. Then again, anyone who's ever tried to edit a document or run a spreadsheet on a tablet or smartphone will most likely agree that there's still a solid demand for the classic PC/monitor/keyboard setup we've been using since the 1980s – one that might even increase if only PCs could be downsized yet another bit.

In and of itself, this drive towards miniaturization is nothing new – in fact, one might even claim it is part of the PC's DNA. Fujitsu understood that trend early on and has spearheaded the development ever since. In so doing, we created a vast selection of compact, capable devices, ranging from notebooks through PDAs to tablets and mini PCs. Yet none of them was quite like the FUJITSU Desktop ESPRIMO G558, which was released last year. The ESPRIMO G558 combines the smallest-ever footprint of a Fujitsu-made PC with high energy efficiency, powerful performance and a hitherto unknown adaptability to almost any kind of office environment and/or usage scenario. Building on the tradition of meal-related form factor classifications, it's perhaps best described as the 'bento box edition' of a regular desktop, albeit one that retains all the functionality and flexibility users look for in a full-grown PC. However, even though it's correct, such a depiction appears rather lyrical; so let's instead look at the key characteristics that truly set the ESPRIMO G558 apart from the competition.

Volume and Size
Although users started to look for easier-to-handle devices long ago, many PC vendors have shown a remarkably conservative approach regarding system size, capacity, and weight: Although they may have one or the other SFF, mini or micro variant on offer, the standard PC enclosure is still a tower chassis – and that means even small systems, such as those in the ESPRIMO P series, weigh at least 7 kilograms (15.5 lbs.) and take up 20.5 liters (1.250 cubic inches) of space. Fujitsu's SFF and previous mini PC models – i.e. the ESPRIMO D and Q series – were already considerably smaller, but still pale in comparison to the new housing, which sports an astonishingly small volume of just 0.86 liters (52.5 cubic inches). In other words, you could fit nearly two dozen ESPPRIMO G558's into a single ESPRIMO P case. Add to that the miniature dimensions of 146.9 x 164.5 x 36 mm (5.78 x 6.48 x 1.42 inches), and you get a space-saving design that can be deployed almost anywhere, even in settings where office space is utterly limited, simply by picking one of the variable mounting options at the back of a display, on a wall or under a table, in horizontal or vertical position. Given the ultra-compact layout, it's no wonder that one central marketing pitch for the ESPRIMO G558 is "small yet grand."


Fig. 1: Small yet grand – thanks to its size and flexible mounting options, the ESPRIMO G558 can be deployed nearly anywhere

Space savings and flexibility in deployment certainly seem attractive, yet they often fail to convince potential customers that it may be time to move away from bulky tower PCs to more elegant platforms. The reason is usually pretty simple: Many systems are equipped with older and/or weaker processors that cannot deliver the same performance as the latest, 8th-generation Intel® Core™ models, which puts users at a disadvantage when working with modern office or web applications. The ESPRIMO G558, by contrast, was practically built around the company's eighth-generation quad- and hexa-core CPUs that run at clock speeds of up to 4 GHz in turbo mode and are accompanied by up to 32 GB of DDR4 main memory, which in turn allow for transfer rates of up to 2,666 MT/s. Customers who want to utilize these speed advantages to the fullest will be delighted about a set of advanced storage options; for the most demanding scenarios, the G558 can now be equipped with PCIe SSDs that take on the form of M.2 cards with NVMe connectors and whose capacities range from 256 GB straight up to 1 TB, while more regular use cases are covered by 'classic' SATA-III HDDs and SSDs that can hold 500 and 128 GB of data, respectively (cf. Fig. 2 below).


Fig. 2: Configuration options and port connectivity of the ESPRIMO G558

Connectivity and Flexibility
Previously, mini and micro PCs were often not very well received because their size advantage came at a tradeoff, typically a lack of connectivity options and, by extension, flexibility in (or adaptability to) existing office and network environments. In other words, at some point users would simply run out of connectors to plug their peripherals into, in particular USB and AV ports. The ESPRIMO G558, in contrast, offers comprehensive legacy support for a vast range of mini PC interfaces: HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet (RJ-45), and USB (4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 and 3 x USB 2.0) and a headphone jack are already on board in the default configuration, which also features an Intel® H310 chipset that adds dual-display support and may be complemented with M.2 expansion cards that provide WLAN 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5 functionality. For customers who demand even greater flexibility, the ESPRIMO G558 is available in an alternate configuration that boasts an USB Type-C port (optional), which can be used to hook up a PR09 Port Replicator, enabling users to connect the system to their main peripherals – such as displays, keyboards, mice, printers etc. – via a single hub. On top of that, this port is also suitable for use with a selection of special adapters, e.g. USB Type C-to-GbE for faster LAN connections or USB Type C-to-VGA for those rare installations that still employ CRT monitors. In other words, ESPRIMO G supports new workplace scenarios with a single Type-C connection – Type-C Docking port for Future Workplace, Clean Desk and AiO-like usage. For customers who happen to use a FUJITSU DISPLAY P24-9 TE, it's even possible to synchronize on/off power between the display and the PC via the single USB-C cable. This will help to create an 'all-in -one' PC experience without actually restricting users to that specific configuration (cf. Fig. 3).


Fig. 3: All-in-One (AiO) like Operation with Display P24-9 TE

Confidential information should always stay confidential, regardless of whether we're talking about a company's financial data, customer database, R&D catalog or employees' personal details. Fujitsu has followed that principle for a long time, which explains why our developers always put a special focus on data and device security when creating client computing devices. The ESPRIMO G558 is no exception to the rule – it supports and provides a comprehensive set of protection mechanisms, such as a Kensington lock for theft protection, an integrated TPM 2.0 module to enhance tamper resistance, and the optional EraseDisk functionality for sanitizing hard drives before a device is reused or retired. Other advanced security features include boot sector virus protection, a write protect option for the Flash EPROM, an external SmartCard Reader for access control (optional), and Workplace Protect, Fujitsu's sweeping software package that implements mechanisms like local, secure pre-boot authentication, a password safe, and encrypted containers for sensitive user data.

Energy Efficiency
Finally, one key reason why organizations are interested in deploying mini PCs is that they want so save energy and cut their electricity bills, a motivation that's especially valid in large corporations that operate a host of branch offices and local bureaus. The problem here is that many devices in the market cannot live up to the expectations over the medium and long term. The ESPRIMO G558 is different: Building on Fujitsu's 30-year tradition of "green" (i.e. energy-aware) computing, we've equipped it with a PSU that provides 88% power efficiency – meaning that nearly nine tenths of the energy drawn from the grid actually drive data processing and applications. The ESPRIMO G558 has Energy Star®, TCO and HDMI certifications, and EPEAT® certification is currently underway.

Apart from regular office use, the ESPRIMO G558 also finds use in other business scenarios, such as Digital Signage, kiosks, OEM applications, production sites (in manufacturing) and reception areas. It helps save energy and desk space and also contributes to creating a clean, clutter-free desk.

With its combination of ultra-compact design, near-anywhere mounting options, full-fledged desktop performance and connectivity, advanced security features and low energy consumption, the ESPRIMO G558 is the perfect device for customers who on the one hand want a 'real PC,' but are otherwise bound by space restrictions and/or a strict financial regime.


Suman Singh


About the Author:

Suman Singh

Global Product Marketing Manager, CCD, Fujitsu


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