I’m not entirely convinced that nettops are the new netbooks. But it seems like everybody and his kid brother is busy putting out a tiny desktop computer with a slow processor these days. But while you might be willing to put up with below-average performance on a netbook that gets excellent battery life and weighs less than three pounds, I’m not sure there’s a huge demand for underpowered desktops unless you’re super-conscious of your energy consumption or space usage.
Either way, Asus, MSI, Lenovo, and other big name computer makers have launched netbooks in recent months. And now you can add Linutop to the ranks. What, you’ve never heard of Linutop? Yeah, me either, but at least you can tell from the company’s name exactly what it’s selling: A Linux powered nettop.
The Linutop 3 forgoes the usual Intel Atom CPU found in most nettops today and instead uses a 1GHz VIA C7 processor. That’s a low power chip that’s been around for more than half a decade at this point, but in the early days of netbooks (the very early days before the Intel Atom line was launched), the VIA C7-M processor was just as common as Intel Celeron processors.
Linutop’s machine also has 1 to 2GB of RAM, a 2GB solid state disk, VGA and DVI output, 6 USB ports, 2 audio in and 2 audio out ports, 2 SATA and 1 PCIe connections on the inside, Ethernet, and no wireless to speak of. The computer does weigh just 3.9 pounds and uses just 20 watts of power. Oh yeah, and it runs Ubuntu Linux and comes preloaded with Firefox, OpenOffice and the VLC media player.