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Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review

Viewsonic VOT 132 Nettop Review

Manufacturer: Viewsonic
UK Price (as reviewed): £325 (Inc. VAT) With Windows 7 Home Premium, £235 (inc. VAT) Without OS
US Price(as reviewed): TBC

Processor: Intel Atom 330 Dual Core 1.6GHz
Chipset: Nvidia ION
Memory: 2GB DDR2 800MHz

Nettops 101

Here at bit-tech, we’ve developed something of a love-hate relationship with nettops and netbooks. Despite the obvious advantages they offer in regards to portability and space, the under powered nature of the Intel Atom processor all too often leads to frustration, especially when using a nettop, where the difference between a desktop - despite being so similar in setup - is poles apart in terms of user experience.

We were encouraged by the arrival of Nvidia’s Ion though, an integrated GeForce 9400 GPU integrated with an Atom processor it made such lofty claims as being the ideal media player or low powered games machine. Sadly though the first wave of Ion products underwhelmed us and despite being technically impressive, the end user experience was disappointing. HD Video was troublesome to accelerate on the GPU with sporadic file support and 3D gaming was, despite Nvidia’s claims, not really playable by anyone but Chuggy McChuggerson, lover of unplayably low frame rates at even the lowest of detail settings.

*Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Nettops 101 *Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Nettops 101
Click to enlarge - Nvidia's Ion platform and the single core Acer Aspire Revo promised a lot, but struggled to deliver a decent user experience with its features


It was all a bit disappointing really, but there have since been two very notable improvements in the world of ultra portable and ultra-tiny computers since; the use of dual core Atom processors and the recent release of Windows 7. Both offer significant benefits to this burgeoning market with the dual core Atom alleviating some of the performance and multi-tasking issues we’ve encountered on single core systems, in conjunction to Windows 7 helping to reduce a great deal of the bulk of Vista and make your operating system a more hardware friendly place. Not to forget the number of nettop friendly new features too.

*Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Nettops 101 *Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Nettops 101
Click to enlarge -DXVA was tricky to get working in Vista, and offered limited format support

Hardware accelerated video, one of the biggest selling points of Ion but let down by a lack of decent software support, has now been fully integrated into Windows Media Player 11, along with a huge list of newly supported codecs. Xvid, DivX, and a variety of high definition formats are now supported right out of the box, with DirectX Video Acceleration critically also now part of the Windows 7 package. This means that Ion systems running Windows 7 should be a doddle to set up a powerful media player with.