ViewSonic Redefines Small: The PC Mini VOT132 Review

It may be cliché, but in this case good things do come in small packages. And has all the details on the smallest desktop we’ve seen — the Viewsonic PC Mini VOT132.

It’s thin, but it’s no thin client: ViewSonic‘s VOT132 ($449 at ViewSonic’s online store) is one of the smallest PCs you can buy — it weighs a pound and measures 5.3 by 7.5 by 1 inches, about the size of a trade paperback or a bit slimmer than a stack of two DVD cases. But it’s a true PC, not just a terminal, with its own Intel Atom processor and hard drive for local storage.

And while it qualifies as a nettop — a desktop with the innards of a netbook, lately replaced in Intel’s official vocabulary by “entry-level desktop” — the PC Mini packs more power than first-generation nettops like the Asus Eee Top ET1602 and eMachines EZ1601. In fact, it has the specs of a netbook or early nettop, doubled — 2GB of memory instead of 1GB, a 320GB instead of 160GB hard disk, and a dual-core Atom 330 instead of single-core Atom CPU.

And if you begrudge the Mini its few square inches of desktop space, you can reduce its footprint to zero by mounting it on the back of a ViewSonic or other LCD monitor: The PC comes with a plastic cradle that screws into the VESA wall-mount bracket on the back of most flat panels.

(Of course you’ll need to budget some desk room, and a few bucks, for the keyboard and mouse not included in the VOT132 package. We plugged the receivers for a Logitech wireless keyboard and Microsoft wireless mouse into two of the PC’s USB 2.0 ports and the system booted and recognized the devices without a hitch.)

Speaking of USB ports, there are six. Two are up front, along with an SD/MMC/MS flash-card slot, microphone and headphone jacks, and power and sleep buttons. The third through sixth USB ports are at the rear, as is a Gigabit Ethernet connector; DVI and HDMI monitor ports; an SPDIF audio-out jack; and an antenna jack for the unit’s built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi. A 3.5-inch antenna is included, as is a VGA-to-DVI adapter for connecting an analog monitor. The unit’s 65-watt power supply is a notebook-style external adapter.

Read the complete ViewSonic PC Mini VOT132 review.

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