Many of our customers will be receiving the long-awaited ARTiGO builder kits this week. The kits arrived in house yesterday, then were quickly packed up and shipped out to satisfy a slew of back orders. The next ARTiGO shipment is expected to be in our warehouse sometime in February.

We were able to get our hands on one, build it, and take some notes. Technovoyance has a pretty informative video available on YouTube that shows step by step how to assemble the ARTiGO.

We have some pictures below, along with some observations. One thing we tried to do was install the USB wireless module that VIA said (long ago) would be compatible with the ARTiGO. Unfortunately, this was not possible for many reasons.

  1. The USB wireless module cable has a 2.54 mm pitch pin header making it incompatible with the PX10000G (requires 2 mm pitch pin header cables).
  2. The pin header adapter that would make the USB cable compatible with the board doesn’t fit in the case.
  3. Even if the pin header adapter did fit in the case, the onboard USB pin headers are being utilized by the 4 USB 2.0 ports that can be accessed on the front of the case. So, there wouldn’t be a spot for the wireless USB module to connect to the board anyway.
  4. Even if all of the above weren’t true, and the USB wireless module was completely compatible, VIA didn’t include any hardware to install it.

So, you might be wondering why in the world were we operating under the illusion that the USB wireless module was a feasible option. We really had a legitimate reason, even though upon further investigation we quickly discovered we shouldn’t have. Perhaps this is why VIA hasn’t been advertising this feature on the ARTiGO Web site. We dug up this information on a VIA presentation that showed where the USB module would be placed. We installed the USB wireless module, it fit perfectly.

But enough about this failed attempt. I am not sure if wireless will be made available or if there is a large demand for it.

First Look

ARTiGO Barebone SystemThe ARTiGO case is absolutely tiny and very lightweight. The sides and top are plastic, which is hard to determine in the photographs. The case comes with a bunch of additional cables that no one will probably use, but they are included anyway.

ARTiGO AccessoriesThe picture here shows the accessories that are needed for system assembly. You have the modified PX10000G with the heat sink changed to blow sideways out the side ventilation holes, the DC power board, the IDE adapter, power cord, assembly guide, and hardware.

ARTiGO Inside After you assemble the system (I’m not including the assembly steps because the YouTube video does a pretty good job showing the process), you might want to work on some cable management to keep everything nice and snug. Zip ties are always a good solution for this.

We plan on turning it on and testing it for heat, performance, etc. We’ll keep you posted when we get detailed results.

Update 12/26/2008: The ARTiGO now comes with a SATA power connector. These systems can now support 2.5″ SATA hard drives.