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Three Slim Atom/Ion 2-Based Nettop PCs Compared

Jetway Mini-TOP

The Jetway Mini-TOP can be had for $269.99 on Newegg, but this barebones price doesn’t include RAM, a hard disk, or an operating system.

Jetway’s entry is a bit larger than the Giada Slim-N20, but it is still quite small at 8” x 7” x 1”. Have a look at the Jetway beside the Giada Slim-N20:

The Jetway Mini-TOP includes the Intel Atom D525 processor, which is a step up from the D510 model in Giada's N20 with a higher clock rate (1.8 GHz compared to Giada N20’s 1.66 GHz) and higher bus clocks (200 MHz compared to 167 MHz)

The rear output panel hosts HDMI and DVI video outputs, a double-duty eSATA/USB port, two dedicated USB ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, the power supply input, and the wireless antenna receptacle. The DVI output is a nice feature to have on such a small PC.

The front of the Mini-TOP features a small door that hides the power button, memory card reader, speaker and microphone jacks, and an extra pair of USB ports. This makes for a total of five USB inputs if you count the double-duty eSATA/USB port, the most of any nettop we’re testing today, and this is appreciated. The headphone jack doubles as an S/PDIF port, too, facilitating both analog and digital connectivity from the same connector.

The Jetway Mini-TOP comes with a metal base, an external 12 V/5 A DC power supply, a wireless network antenna, a driver CD, a manual, a quick reference card, a remote with two AAA batteries, a VESA mount bracket for attaching the Mini-TOP to the back of your monitor, and a DVI-to-VGA converter for folks with older displays. 

We should mention that Jetway bundles its New Vision media launcher software with the Mini-TOP. It’s a nifty little program with some karaoke functionality, but it’s really more of a front-end launcher for programs like Windows Media Player. If you’re using the Mini-TOP for HTPC purposes, then you’re probably better off sticking to Windows Media Center, with which the Mini-TOP’s remote works very well. The New Vision media launcher program does not work on the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and only functions on the 32-bit version of the operating system.

As a bonus, the remote comes with mouse control, which is a very useful feature when you need it. Unfortunately, the remote’s range isn’t fantastic, and the remote doesn’t work well at more than six feet away from the nettop. The cone of responsiveness is also somewhat disappointing, at about 90 degrees.

Disassembling the Jetway Mini-TOP is a simple affair, but the removable top can be somewhat stubborn, requiring careful application of force. Once the cover is removed, the hard disk and DIMM slots are easily accessible.

  • reprotected
    Nettops fail.
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... it may be a good mac mini hackentosch...
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    Retest the N20's playback with a RAM drive for the temp files; I suspect the drive system is the issue . . .
    Reply
  • dEAne
    Overall it is good. The benchmark is fair enough - And it is presentable too.
    Reply
  • cushgod
    SHould test results with a SSD complared to a "mechanical" HDD to see how much that can help an Atom move along :)
    Reply
  • fullcircle_bflo
    So if I wanted a computer simply to stream internet videos to a television via HDMI(such as Hulu or CBS website), would any of these be a good candidate?
    Reply
  • kriminal
    ^^ guess so.. fullcircle
    Reply
  • mchuf
    For $150 - $200, you can buy a used Pentium D or C2D pc off of craigslist. Add a $50 HD5450 gpu and a $40 wireless KB/M combo and your all set. That would be a more capable box than one of these things and at a lower price (even if you upgrade to Win 7 HP). Hell, even a used Mac Mini (old model) might be a more cost effective solution. Unless you're extremely tight for space, I don't see the appeal for an overpriced "net" device.
    Reply
  • nonameworks
    ^^ Only if you ignore the cost of electricity
    Reply
  • tipoo
    Zino HD review, please! At close to the cost of many of these nettops, it blows them away in performance and is almost as small and consumes almost as little power.
    Reply