Nettops are all the rage right now, and with good reason too! For around $330-$400 you can get desktops that will do all the basic things you want to do and they will playback HD videos for you. Here’s news of the latest in nettops plus a roundup of the best nettops that you can get right now.
Aspire Revo has gotten a new boost in power and is powered by the Atom N330 along with the ION chipset. So now it can do HD video and some basic 3D games. The price is up too though, to $350.
Although Intel’s Pine trail – the next generation of Atom CPUs – is not officially out yet, there are signs of its coming soon. Several new models featuring the Pine Trail D510 processor have been spotted, including the K1850 nettop. That actually makes the K1850 the first Pine Trail nettop. It comes with an 18.6inch display, 2GB of RAM, 250GB storage and a DVD drive.
The elusive Asus 1501 Eee Box has been spotted again, and everyone agrees – it looks pretty good. The build quality looks good, the slot loading drive looks great and the angled mount is a nice touch. Too bad it will start resembling spaghetti as soon as you start connecting all the wire to it.
These are all Dual Core Atom 330 models (Except the Mac MINI and FitPC2) with NVIDIA ION providing graphics muscle for crunching HD video.
The MSI Wind CS120 is selling for around $330 and it has everything you need for basic computing tasks and watching HD videos. In fact, the slim, vertical box is perfect for setting down beside your HDTV, especially with the 7.1 channel audio out. Plus I like the fact that it has a slot loading DVD drive.
This one has 5.1 channel HD Audio output, DDR2 800MHz RAM (up to 4GB) and a very compact form factor. It uses a 2.5” laptop HDD but gives you 320GB of storage. But here’s the best part – it has built in software overclocking with absolutely no stability issues. So you can crank the Atom 330 all the way up to 2.0GHz. Also, there is something called the ASRock Instant Boot, which is like a super-low power sleep mode that lets you boot to an Internet surfing state in about 3-4 seconds. Pretty cool huh? This one sells for about $350 before rebates. There is also a Blu-ray version if you want to make it your HTPC.
Selling for about $390, this nettop has won a lot of accolades from all quarters including an editor’s choice award from CNET in April this year. You can easily get the barebone model for about $190 and build it up with components of your choice. It accepts DDR2 533 RAM, 2.5” HDD and has a volume of only 3liters.
If you want the goodness of Apple’s OS X and want something more powerful than your average Atom-based nettop, this is a really great thing to have. You can get Core 2 Duo machines with 1 to 2GB of RAM for under $300 if you look around. The only problem is that these older models ship with smaller HDDs. But with HDDs prices going so low these days, you can buy a large HDD for the Mac Mini and still stay around $350.
Pssst – just saw one going for $273 at compclasse.
This one’s all about the size. If you want something that is smaller than a CD and runs in absolute silence, the FitPC2 models are varied but they use the Z series Atom processors and the Poulsbo chipset to decode HD video at, what they claim, has only 20% CPU usage. You can get one for between $250 and just over $400, depending on the configuration. It comes in Linux and Windows versions and there’s one where you can put in your own HDD. If you are planning on a hideaway HTPC or a carpc, this is the perfect way to go. In fact, these nettops are in great favor with car modders.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.