Rumor has it that Acer plans to launch a new low power nettop on April 8th that bears a more-than-striking resemblance to a gaming console from a company that rhymes with wintendo. The Acer Hornet will reportedly be be built around the NVIDIA Ion platform, which means it will have a low power 1.6GHz Intel Atom N230processor paired with an NVIDIA graphics processor that should provide enough power to handle 1080p video playback. It should also prove capable of handling some modern video games that would normally run like crap on most Intel Atom processors using integrated Intel GMA950 graphics.

What’s more, Engadget reports that the Hornet will come with a Wiimote-like remote control that you can use to play games or navigate on-screen menus. In other words, the Hornet is just begging to be placed next to the HDTV in your living room.

The computer will have an 80GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and Vista Home Basic. While Windows Vista isn’t known for running well on slower machines, you can also pick up a pricier model with 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard rive, and Windows Vista Home Premium which includes media center features for interacting with music, movies, photos, and online video from the comfort of your couch. If Engadget’s sources are correct, this nettop could sell for under $299.

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12 replies on “Acer to launch NVIDIA Ion-powered Hornet nettop next week?”

  1. Shame no built in CF or similar status display. It’s one of my requirements for any media-friendly PC form factor, having been spoilt by our PVR for years now.

  2. I wonder if there will be a quick response from the linux delveloper community to create drivers for the remote. I think this might be just what I have been looking for in terms of hardware. I would have to figure out how to run linux on this though. I wish they were selling those with linux pre-installed. I don’t want to fill MS’ pockets.

  3. FINALLY! We’ve only heard about boxes like the eee 206 since what, *November*?! I’ve been waiting on my hands for who knows how long for someone, ANYONE to come out with one of these!

    The fact that it’s a nice ION based box which means I can run xbmc via linux with VDPAU support for 1080P media is just icing on the cake. I’ll take six.:)

  4. I am constantly amazed at the effect the ATOM/Netbook revolution is having, I think by now most of those in the know realise this is not just about cheap laptops.

    This will eat into many markets and create news ones (Nettop !) So a Netbook that operates as a desktop, watch out your process based workers who don’t need the full power of a desktop and would like to spend less!!!

    Bringinging a Vista (or even better Windows 7) sexy looking device next to your TV that becomes your media centre experience is yet another market ! This will also affect the small media extender market, why buy a media extender and deal with some of the limitations that they bring when you can have the full Windows 7 media centre experience in a small, low cost, low (no) noise, fanless sexy looking device?

    As one of the posters said he can say goodbye to his large ATX case!
    This will be a great consumer promotion for windows media centre that it has been looking for. So far most people who use media centre are geeks because you need to be to get a decent system connected to your TV.

    I have a PC and use a media extender and have to know networking, codecs and half a dozen other things before I could get up and running but now just plug and go.

    Lets hope nettops take off, I for one think the PC market has been churning out the same old tired stuff with more (unneccessay power under the hood) for too long. They kinda remind me of the automotive market, more power, that you never use for ever and ever higher pricing!

    1. Wouldn’t most people find a cheap Western Digital media box better for their home theatre needs? Yes, it just plays already encoded material off a portable hard drive but without DVD drives most of these nettop etc PCs really aren’t set up to do it either.

      Anyway, it’s an interesting concept machine and will probably suit quite a few people.

  5. This is the answer to my prayers. I was looking to build a HTPC from scratch but this one will be sweet next to my TV and cheaper.

    1. Yup, you’re right. This is what happens when I type in a hurry and
      then run out the door. In other news, we just bought a house today!
      (Thus the running out the door).

  6. OMG! DO WANT! This is exactly what I’ve been talking about in an HTPC for a long time. I’m ready to get rid of my bulky full-ATX case, and set this cute little box right next to my Wii. I think they’ll get along great together. [=^D

    If the remote really is like a gyration mouse, that would be doubly nice. I even like Wii remote styling. Here’s hoping!

  7. Let me guess, $649.95 for this unit with Vista actually works and for the Wii-mote to work, right? I bet I’m right!

    Still an ION Nettop sounds pretty sweet. Damn you Acer!

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