Taipei, Thursday, November 26, 2015 09:30 (GMT+8)
partly cloudy
ECS shipping EZ-Buddie 2 SFF PC in volume
Michael McManus,, Taipei [Monday 14 February 2005]

After some fits and starts, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) is back on track and shipping its EZ-Buddie 2 small-form-factor (SFF) PC in volume, according to sources at the company.

ECS began shipping the EZ-Buddie 2 in September 2004, and shipped about 5,000 units the first month. However, beginning in October, the company faced a shortage of the modules used in the unit’s front-panel system status display. According to the sources, ECS was forced to discontinue shipments of the SFF PC for two months, and by the time shipments resumed in December, the company had missed the key Christmas season and lost some customers to its competitors.

However, despite shipping only 2,000 units in December, the company is now ready to ship the systems in volume, and ECS is confident it will be able to quickly increase its monthly shipments to about 10,000 units, the sources added.

The EZ-Buddie 2 is a variation on the SFF PC theme. ECS took a cube-shaped SFF PC and attached two large speakers to the sides, giving the product the appearance of a portable stereo system. The system, which ECS calls a personal entertainment computer (PEC), also includes an alarm clock, remote control and instant-on Linux-based DVD player and FM radio, all of which add to the consumer electronics (CE) feel of the product. ECS has also made it easy for non-enthusiasts to maximize the performance of the system by including a rotary dial on the front panel for overclocking the CPU.

Since the product targets mainstream consumers and students, ECS does not focus its sales in the barebones channel, as other SFF PC vendors do. Instead, the company tends to work with local systems integrators (SIs), and is currently cooperating with small SIs in Japan, US and Europe, the sources explained. In addition, ECS may look to partner with more chain stores to grow its SFF PC business, much as it has done with its notebook business, where it partners with Wal-Mart, Fry’s and Dixons, the sources added.

The display module shortage highlights one of the difficulties SFF PC vendors face as they begin offering more complex system designs: the management of an expanded supply chain. Sources from another SFF PC vendor, while denying that it also faced a shortage of display modules in the fourth quarter of last year, did admit that its module supply is difficult to control, as the lead-time is about 4-6 weeks. Another SFF PC vendor, Micro-Star International (MSI), recently exhibited a simplified version of its Mega PC, which did not include its usual front-panel display module.

Another challenge SFF PC vendors face is transitioning from one generation of product to the next. Through the first eight months of 2004, ECS had monthly shipments of 15,000-20,000 units of its EZ-Buddie 1 PC, but the company phased out production of the system in the fourth quarter and decided to focus on the EZ-Buddie 2 instead, the sources explained.

For its non-SFF PC business, ECS had average monthly shipments of about 30,000 barebones units in 2004, the sources indicated. The company plans to increase those shipments to about 60,000 per month this year, the sources added.

ECS EZ-Buddie 2



Dimensions (HxWxD)

220 x 180 x 320mm

Form factor

SFF (proprietary)

Processor support

Intel Pentium 4

Core logic

Intel 865G



Instant-on features

DVD, VCD, audio CD, FM radio

LCD display module

Hardware diagnostics and alarm

System/CPU temperature

Multimedia (EZ Cinema) indicators

FM Radio/Clock

Remote control



10W (5W + 5W, RMS)


Source: company, compiled by DigiTimes, February 2005.

ECS EZ-Buddie 2 SFF PC
Photo: Company

Realtime news
  • TEEMA urges Taiwan government to take action on China hostile headhunting

    Before Going to Press | 11h 37min ago

  • ASE to expand workforce at Chungli facility

    Before Going to Press | 11h 38min ago

  • All-in-one PC shipments to drop over 10% in 2015

    Before Going to Press | 11h 44min ago

  • Acer launches Predator series products in Taiwan, eying opportunity from IT Month show

    Before Going to Press | 11h 45min ago

  • Taiwan PCB production value increases over 7% sequentially in 3Q15

    Before Going to Press | 11h 52min ago

  • D-Link sees strong smart home product sales in Europe

    Before Going to Press | 11h 56min ago

  • Korea government to invest US$110 million into wearables development, says report

    Before Going to Press | 12h 4min ago

  • Global LCD TV shipments to grow 2% in 2016

    Before Going to Press | 12h 9min ago

  • Himax obtains design-wins for smartphone-use force touch solutions

    Before Going to Press | 12h 12min ago

  • ZTE receives government funds to accelerate development of in-house mobile processors

    Before Going to Press | 12h 16min ago

  • TSMC may raise dividend for 2016

    Before Going to Press | 12h 17min ago

  • Sales of 40-inch TVs in Japan strong in October

    Before Going to Press | 12h 19min ago

  • Taiwan notebook makers seeking lower chip quotes for 2016

    Before Going to Press | 12h 20min ago

  • TWM withdraws from bidding for 2,500-2,600MHz bands

    Before Going to Press | 12h 23min ago

  • Digitimes Research: Japan telecom operators offering household robots to boost revenues

    Before Going to Press | Nov 25, 20:57

View more
Intel strategies in the mobile device market
Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets
Analysis of China revised domestic semiconductor industry goals
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.