Stuck in an office flanked by vast desktop PCs the size of small suitcases, we’ve been looking longer and harder at the new breed of sleek miniPCs/nettops coming out, and Viewsonic’s new PC Mini VOT530 and VOT550 machines are beginning to tweak our buying nipples. If you, err, get our gist.
While most nettops pack as much processing power as an asthmatic gnat, Viewsonic are flexing their muscles with a comparatively beefy 2.2GHz Core2 T6600 CPU running on the Intel GM45 + ICH9M chipset.
Purring along on Windows 7 home premium, the rest of the specs aren’t too shabby either, with the VOT530 offering 2GB DDR2 memory, a 320GB 2.5″ SATA hard drive and a DVD-burner, while the pricier VOT550 slips into something a bit more substantial, serving up 4GB DDR2 RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a Blu-ray/DVD-burner combo drive.
Around the back, connectivity options are taking care of courtesy of 6xUSB 2.0 slots, Ethernet, eSATA, DVI and S/PDIF audio out, and audio line in/out. Inexplicably, there’s no HDMI port rounding off the feature set, which is a bit of a shame.
We couldn’t find any UK prices yet, but the extra firepower onboard means you can expect to pay more than your run of the mill nettop,with US prices currently hovering around $750 and $950.
Processor and Memory
* 2.2GHz Intel® Core 2 Duo™ T6600 with 800MHz FSB
* Intel GM45 + ICH9M chipset
* On-chip 2MB level-2 cache memory
* Two SO-DIMM memory module slots; 2GB (PC mini 530, one 2GB module) or 4GB (PC mini 550, two 2GB modules) of DDRII 800MHz memory
* PC mini 530
o One internal 320GB Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive
o One internal slot-loading DVD Super Multi drive with DVD±R/DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW disc reading and writing capabilities
* PC mini 550
o One internal 500GB Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive
o One internal slot-loading Blu-ray Combo drive with Blu-ray disc reading plus DVD±R/DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW disc reading and writing capabilities
Dimensions, colour and weight
* Width: 6.5″
* Height: 2″
* Depth: 6.5″
* Color: Black
* Weight: 3.1 lbs.
Graphics and video
* Intel® GMA45 graphics processor with DDRII SDRAM shared with main memory
* Supports DVI video output and HDMI format using optional DVI-to-HDMI adapter for connecting HDMI-compatible video devices such as LCD TV
* Realtek HD Audio Codec ALC888 audio processor
* Supports S/PDIF digital audio output
* Supports high-performance 7.1-channel audio output through S/PDIF
* Built-in IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless networking
* Built-in 10/100/100BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet networking (one RJ-45 connector)
* 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 connector
* Six 480Mbps USB 2.0 ports (two on the front panel and four on the back)
* 3.5mm mini-jack output for earphones or speakers
* 3.5mm mini-jack input for external microphones or CD players
* S/PDIF 3.5mm digital audio output port
* High-speed eSATA storage interface
* DVI digital video output interface
* Kensington lock port