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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.

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9 replies on “AOpen XC Mini rocks, but is it fair to call this thing a nettop?”

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t appear to be ION at all. First off, ION is bundling a 9400m with an Atom processor. This does not have an Atom. And secondly, this appears to come with a 9300m not a 9400m.

    Odd that the site specifically says ION in the description.

  2. Set-top = nettop for your entertainment center = “settop.”

    Has this word been coined yet?

    1. Coined and in wide distribution –

      A settop is the little box that sets on top of the tv set in hotel/motel rooms.
      Usually running Linux (or WinCE) + VLC and will play you “inspirational”
      videos for $5 a minute added to your room bill.

      1. Sounds like another niche for real nettops with real netbook innards, assuming the ones you’re describing are pre-netbook.

        1. Pre-netbook.
          Often either the Sigma Designs or Realtek SoC –
          They licensed the MIPS core back in 2004/2005, so they are not exactly “new”.
          Imagine an ASUS O!Play with a different user interface, that would be close.

          1. This whole concept of the nickle-a-minute “inspiration” sounds so quaint and retro, I don’t see how it can catch on. Haven’t I seen that in a Twilight Zone episode? (Just kidding–I saw what you said about 2004/5 😉 I’m too far gone for this and the Gideon bibles as well. Maybe if they showed you where the local hotspots were (both types 😉 for a nickle a minute.

            I think the netbook/nettop movement should appropriate the term “settop” to mean home entertainment center nettop, not withstanding the fact that you can’t really set anything on top of a (HD) TV set anymore.

  3. This looks like a S775 mini-ITX MB, similar to those made by Intel, Zotac and Jetway. Choose from numerous S775 CPU’s including Quad Cores. Put the MB in a suitable mini-ITX case and you have essentially the same thing.

    The really hot box due in January 2010 is Clarkdale. 32nm CPU + 45nm GPU + memory controller all in the same package. Clarkdale will use S1156, but no MB’s exists yet due to a unique chipset.

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