As of late we have had plenty of new age small computers coming into our labs for testing. The tech industry call these new small computers 'nettops', piggybacking off the name of the netbook computer; which became famous due to its low-power consumption, low-price and small size.
These desktop netbook type things, or nettops as we call them, were the next logical step for low-cost computing after the great success Intel saw when it launched and sold truckloads of its Atom processors. These nettop systems will not render you any new 3DMark records or the like, nor will they play the latest games at high quality graphics settings and they for sure won't be used for anything remotely intensive.
That is the thing, though; once you understand the nettop for its intended purpose, you begin to grow to appreciate this small platform PC. It's kind of like a fine Barossa Valley red wine you adore now, but screwed your face up to when you were younger. NVIDIA helped improve the taste of that red wine with its Ion chipset - a chip designed to bring the slow Intel Atom to life in terms of visual related performance. Now nettops are able to be hooked up with a Blu-ray ROM drive and playback the latest movies in glorious 1080p high definition resolution and even get some basic gaming in with new titles, just without the quality settings turned all the way up.
We have seen our fair share of nettops here at TweakTown, but the latest one that has come in and put its hand up to be the best we have tested so far is from ViewSonic and it is the VOT132 NVIDIA Ion nettop or 'PC mini computer' as called by the folks who love colorful Taiwanese Gouldian finch birds. We have been testing some really small 'small computers' recently, but so far the VOT132 is the smallest we have come across measuring a mere 24 millimeters in the thickness department. Yep, wow! Small.
We put the ViewSonic VOT132 through the complete paces and hope to come out at the other end with an answer if this is the nettop to buy this holiday season.