After a fairly exhausting look at the ViewSonic VOT132, I'm able to deliver you my final thoughts on the product and am able to tell you if I think it's the right nettop for you to buy this holiday season.
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Alright, we'll start with the bad. On the negative side, whoever made the decision at ViewSonic to include a slow 5,400 RPM hard drive should be...well, they should have just included a faster 7,200 RPM hard drive. The Intel Atom and Ion platform isn't a speed machine and it needs every option possible to help make it perform as fast as possible. Similarly, there is only one DDR2 DIMM slot on the motherboard, so that of course means you only get single-channel memory support. 2GB of DDR2-800 is installed with fairly good timings (besides the 2T part that doesn't help performance), but next time ViewSonic, make it dual-channel.
More bad news? Nope, that is it. Having said that, though, the ViewSonic is one of the worst performing nettops that we have tested falling to the back of the pack in all of our tests. That is why, what I'm about to say over the next couple of paragraphs, may make me sound a little crazy to you. Performance doesn't always have to be the be all and end all, right?
The ViewSonic VOT132 is one of the best nettops we have used and easily the smallest PC that we have ever tested here at TweakTown - it is only 24mm thin! It practically weighs nothing as well at only half a kilogram or around one pound. The motherboard and chips are enclosed by the stylish looking white (or black if you want that color) case which uses a high grade of plastic that looks and feels almost like one million dollars. Once we break the casing open and get a look inside, we again see more class from ViewSonic in one of the most compact and well designed systems we have ever seen. It's amazing what was able to be fitted inside such a small space.
ViewSonic also tick all the right boxes when it comes to networking. We can't stand getting new, modern systems and other devices in and they don't use the latest standards. The VOT132 includes 802.11n wireless as well as gigabit LAN. You also get six USB 2.0 ports that are well placed around the system and also a card reader on the front of the unit. Not only that, but depending on where you buy this nettop from, it also comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium.
As far as the price goes, it seems to be listed at around $500 USD, but we saw it listed online at one shop in the States for $470 USD. Keep in mind this price doesn't include the $80 to $100 USD extra you'll need to fork out for the ViewSonic VDD100 DVD burner. But with its joint magnetism ability, they suit each other really well. So, as long as performance doesn't mean everything to you and you are willing to spend a bit more than usual compared to other less impressive nettops, this is the perfect nettop for the holidays and the perfect gift for a student or one of your kids. Heck, it will even fit in their Christmas stocking - literally!