Nettops are a strange mix between desktops and netbooks. On the one hand, the idea of a low power, tiny desktop computer makes a lot of sense if you don’t need your computer to do much or if you’re just looking for a PC to stick next to your TV for some light web browsing and video playback duties. On the other hand, if you want to watch HD video, record TV shows, or perform other tasks that are a bit more taxing on the CPU and graphics processor, the Intel Atom chipset found in most nettops might not cut it. Enter the ASRock Core 100HT.
This little desktop looks a lot like the ASRock ION 330 nettop I tested last year. But while that model had a low power Intel Atom 330 processor and NVIDIA ION graphics, the ARock COre 100HT has a more powerful Intel Core i-series processor and integrated Intel HD graphics.
The Core i3, i5, or i7 processors that are available for the ASRock Core 100HT are still relatively low power chips, but they should be able to handle more taxing tasks such as transcoding video files, playing some games, or multitasking. On the other hand, while Intel’s integrated graphics chipset should be able to handle HD video playback, I wouldn’t expect it to be as powerful a the NVIDIA ION chipset.
The ASRock Core 100HT is clearly designed to be a home theater PC, but it could also make a good primary machine if you’re looking for something that won’t take up a lot of space your desk. The computer incldues VGA, HDMI, and S/PDIF ports, as well as 7.1 channel audio output. It has 2 2.5″ hard drive slots, space for 2 sticks of DDR3 memory, USB 3.0 ports, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Gigabit Ethernet. It also comes with a Media Center remote control.