In terms of form factor, there’s no denying that the AOpen XC Mini (Google Translate link) is pretty similar to other nettops currently available with an optical drive. The XC, however, is hiding some serious horsepower beneath its glossy black shell.
The 18CM x 16CM x 6CM XC barebones unit supports Intel’s Mobile Core 2 Duo (Penryn) processors. That gives the XC a serious edge in the horsepower department, though it’s going to set you back a few more bucks than a similar Atom-powered device.
Still, if you’re after a set-top box that can provide a reasonably good gaming experience, this is certainly an excellent option. The XC has room for a 2.5″ SATA drive, gigabit LAN, 6 USB 2.0 ports, NVidia ION graphics, and also features HDMI output and an eSATA port at the back.
AOpen shows impressive benchmarks using an Intel P7450 on their site – a 3D Mark 03 score of 2023 and Windows 7 experience index of 4.7 overall (4.7 on the CPU and 5.4 for 3D graphics).
So where do you see the XC Mini fitting in? Entry level gaming, or high-end nettop? Maybe it’s a little of both.