Nettop: Wikis


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Zonbu Mini PC
ASUS Eee Box in white with customized skin.
A white ASRock Ion 330 Nettop box placed under a silver Mac Mini.

A nettop is a very small form factor, inexpensive, low-wattage desktop computer designed for basic tasks such as surfing the Internet, accessing web-based applications, document processing, and audio/video playback.[1][2][3] The word nettop is a portmanteau of Internet and desktop, similar to the portmanteau netbook (Internet + notebook)[4]

Compared to ordinary desktop computers, nettops are not only smaller and cheaper,[5] they also consume much less power. For example, CompuLab's fit-PC2 consumes no more than 8 watts of power[6] whereas a typical desktop would easily consume more than 100 watts of power. Consequently, nettops are often fanless with an external power supply. Some do not have an optical disk drive and use a solid state disk, making them completely silent. The trade off is that the hardware specifications and processing power are usually reduced[7] and hence make nettops less appropriate for running complex or resource intensive applications.[8]



Some nettops are designed to have stylish cases or run Windows operating systems in order to attract ordinary customers. Others are designed more towards business and experienced computer users. These models typically run a version of Linux to allow better customization and cut costs. The following list identifies some computers that are designed and marketed as a nettop.

Manufacturer Product Chipset Processor Power consumption HD Wi-fi
Abaco Dual Atom (x86) 35-45W [9]
Acer AspireRevo ION Atom (x86) 21-29W [10] Yes Yes
Acer Veriton N260G GN40 Atom N280 65W [11] Yes Yes
Aleutia Aleutia E3 CN700 MSTI PDX-600 (x86) 9W[12]
Aleutia Aleutia H1[13] ION Atom (x86) 25W-32W Yes Yes
Sony x series ION Atom 550 (x86) 25W-32W Yes
ASRock ION 330[14] ION Atom (x86) 31W-39.8W [15] Yes USB
Asus Eee Box 945GSE Atom (x86) 36W Yes Yes
Asus Eee Box EB1012 Nvidia ION (GF9400) Atom 330 (x86) 40W [16] Yes Yes
Asus Eee Box EB1006 ATI HD4530 Atom 270(x86) 36W [17] Yes Yes
Asus Eee Box B202 945GSE Atom (x86) 65W [18] Yes Yes
Asus Eee Box 204, 206 ION(?)[19] Atom (x86) 36W [20] Yes Yes
CherryPal [21] CherryPal 5121e PowerPC 6.9W[22][23] Yes
CompuLab fit-PC Geode (x86) 6W
CompuLab fit-PC2 Intel US15W SCH Atom Z530/Z510 (x86) 1W (standby) to 8W [24] Yes Yes
Dell Studio Hybrid 140G GM965 Core 2 Duo (x86) mobile 65W [25] Yes Yes
Dell Zino HD AMD RS780G AMD Athlon 64 Yes Optional
ECS MD100/MD110/MD120/MD210 945GC / ION / G41(C2D&Q) Atom (x86)3L mini box 65W with 3.5 HDD / slim optical drive Optional Optional
Everex gPC mini 945GM Core 2 Duo (x86) mobile 25-33W [26]
FIC ION A603 mini PC Geode (x86)
Giada Slim N10 Nvidia ION (GF9400) Atom 330 (x86) 20-26W [27] Yes Yes
Koolu Works Everywhere Appliance Geode (x86)
Lemote Fuloong 2F Loongson (MIPS) 10W [28]
Lenovo IdeaCentre Q100/Q110 ION Atom (x86) 14-45W Yes
Linutop Linutop 2 Geode (x86) 8W [29]
MSI Wind Box 945GC Atom (x86) 30-35W
Shuttle X50 Intel 945GC + ICH7 Atom 330 30W [30] Yes Yes
SOL Industry Solmate Atom 230 40W [31] Yes Yes
System76 Meerkat Atom (x86) 84W
ViewSonic VOT120 PC Mini 945GSE Atom (x86) 30W [32]
WDL Systems Ebox-3300 Vortext86DX MSTI PDX-600 (x86) 10W Optional
WDL Systems Ebox-4300 CX700M Eden ULV 500 (x86) 15W Optional Optional
WDL Systems Ebox-4800 CX700M Eden Esther 1.2GHz (x86) 20W Optional Optional
Zareason Ion Breeze 3770 ION Atom (x86)[33]
Zonbu Zonbu VIA Eden (x86) 10-15W
Zotac Mag[34] ION Atom 230/330 (x86) Yes Yes


There are three platforms that are primarily intended for nettops and netbooks:

  • Intel's Centrino Atom platform,[35]
  • Nvidia's Ion platform[36]
  • VIA's Trinity Platform.[37]

Some nettops have also adopted system-on-a-chip designs. Although many major parts such as chipsets, video cards and storage devices can also be found on desktops, the CPUs that are put inside nettops are the fundamental component that differ them from normal desktops. The list below contains a range of hardware components that a typical nettop may be assembled from.

Intel's Atom processor has been adopted by several hardware manufacturers, such as ASUS, MSI, and Sony, for nettops. Nvidia has also released its first generation ION platform, which puts GeForce 9400M Motherboard GPU alongside the Atom processor to provide better high definition video playback ability and lower power consumption.[38] In addition, Nvidia has announced that its will support VIA's CPUs this year.[39] To further reduce the manufacturing cost and improve power efficiency, many manufacturers and start-up companies have chosen to use CPUs that were originally targeted at embedded computing devices such as AMD's Geode and ARM Cortex-based CPUs.

Operating systems

Many net-top models are X86-processor-based and as such are capable of running standard PC OSs. There are also operating systems designed specifically for nettops and other machines in the same performance class. Linux distributions of this type include Moblin and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Windows XP has been one of the popular choices as its hardware requirements match nettop capabilities. Some high-end nettops and upcoming models are capable of running Windows Vista and Windows 7.[40] Linux has also been adopted by some nettop manufacturers as it costs little to no money to install and supports a wide range of CPU architectures. Google's Android operating system is another option. Although Google's Android was originally announced for smartphones, it has also taken a seat in the nettop market.[41]


Nettops fall into Intel's category of "Basic PC", which usually cost from $100 to $299[42]. Intel describes nettops as a large potential market. Nettops can be the affordable first computer for people in developing countries and an environmentally-friendly choice as a secondary computer for people in developed countries[43].

See also


  1. ^ 'Netbooks,' 'Nettops' target secondary PC users
  2. ^ What is a nettop
  3. ^ Entry for nettop
  4. ^ Thoughts on Netbooks
  5. ^ Intel Nettop is all about cost cutting
  6. ^ Fit-PC2 Specifications
  7. ^ Is a Nettop Right for You?
  8. ^ "Cheap PCs Weigh on Microsoft". Business Technologies, The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2008.  
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  11. ^;jsessionid=8AC9236B441B8283D628B5F5811111F5.public_a_us004?link=oln14e.redirect&changedAlts=&kcond48e.c2att101=61912&CRC=2106944230#
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  21. ^ CherryPal Products
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  42. ^ CNet article
  43. ^ Netbooks and Nettops New category of emerging Internet Devices

External links

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