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Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review

Dual Core for More

Enter then the Viewsonic VOT 132, part of Viewsonic’s new line of nettops and netbooks set to launch in the next few weeks. Sporting both these improved features in the form of a dual core 1.6GHz Intel Atom 330 CPU and Windows 7 Home Premium, as well as Nvidia’s full fat Ion chipset. With finally such strong potential, does the VOT then succeed where the first generation of Ion nettops fell short?

The device itself is certainly very neat and amazingly compact, with a footprint just smaller than a standard size DVD case: measuring less than an inch in depth. This makes the VOT 132 noticeable more svelte than the Acer Aspire Revo, although it currently lacks support for a VESA monitor mount.

The external casing is all made of shiny white plastic in a way that's more than a nod to Apple’s school of simplistic, clean design. There are ventilation grills cut in either side of the unit to provide the limited cooling required by the low power 8W CPU and 15.5W Ion chipset.

*Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Dual Core for More
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To the rear there’s all the usual connectivity options, with DVI and HDMI ports for displays, four USB ports, line out and a gigabit Ethernet port, as well as a threaded jack for the included Wi-Fi antennae. On the other side, the VOT 132’s faceplate plays host to a rather jumbled collection of ports and buttons including mic and headphone jacks, two more USB ports (bringing the total to six), a multi-format card reader and both power and sleep buttons, as well as HDD activity and power LEDS. It’s unlikely to shake the world with its style, but the VOT 132 accomplishes being both unobtrusive and intuitive – ideal for the market it’s entering into - although it fails in being particularly neat and elegant.

*Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Dual Core for More
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As with all nettops though, there’s obviously no optical drive of any sort, meaning if you want to put the VOT 132 onto a more level pegging with a desktop system you’ll need to grab an external (USB) DVD or Blu-Ray drive. This is particularly of note for those who opt to pick up the VOT 132 sans an operating system (saving a tidy £80), however you can install both Linux and Windows 7 via USB key.

*Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Dual Core for More *Viewsonic VOT 132 Atom+Ion Nettop Review Viewsonic VOT 132 Review - Dual Core for More
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Cracking the VOT 132 open and it’s an understandably compact interior, with most of the space occupied by the 2.5” 320GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5,400RPM hard disk drive. There’s only one laptop size SO-DIMM DDR2 slot though (shipped with 2GB of DDR2 800MHz) with the rest of the interior taken up with the internals of the unit’s connectors and a combined cooler for the CPU and ION chipset exhausting out of the roof of the case.