Nettops are tiny desktop PCs with low power processors and low price tags. The general idea is that, like a netbook, these machines use less power than bigger machines and are designed to serve the needs of people who don’t necessarily need a supercomputer in their home office, living room, or wherever else you see fit to put the little computer. But I’ve never been 100% sold on the need to shove Intel Atom processors in the little guys, because let’s face it — you kind of expect at least a little more power from a desktop than a netbook.

That’s exactly what the new MSI WindBOX provides: a little more power than a typical nettop. Instead of netbook parts, this tiny desktop computer is choc full of the parts we’d expect to see in an Intel CULV-powere notebook.

The WindBOX III has an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and Intel GS45 + ICH9M chipset with GMA 4500 graphics. It can support 1080p HD video playback, DirectX10 graphics, and comes with DVI and HDMI outputs. There are also 6 USB ports, 2 powered COM ports, and two internal mini PCIe slots. The nettop has built-in 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth.The computer supports up to 4GB of RAM.

There’s also a VESA mount making it easy to attach the computer to the back of a monitor or TV.

The MSI WindBOX III isn’t the first nettop to pack an Intel CULV processor instead of an Atom-based chipset. ViewSonic also offers a model. But the more the merrier.

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4 replies on “MSI introduces WindBOX III nettops with Core 2 Duo chips”

  1. Zotac also has a CULV nettop, it has second gen ION I believe as well. This is what I’ve wanted out of a nettop for a long long time, so I’m glad to see it start happening… Although it would be nicer, honestly, if they’d also start dropping cheap small form factor boxes with a i3 or i5 arrandale chip on them.

  2. Brad, are you privy to more from MSI than just press releases? Unless I’m off on this, it seems like they’ve backtracked from Intel Core I-Series processors. Case in point, the MSI X360 was announced earlier this year, but recently any mention of it was gone from MSI’s own website. In a few recent press releases, I’ve seen the Core 2 Duo based MSI X350 seemingly re-launched as if it was the new product. Any ideas on why MSI seems to sticking with Core 2 Duo processors in the age of Core I-Series processors taking over?

      1. Hmm…. I just found out that the MSI X360 is not coming to America because “Americans don’t buy ultraportables”. As I look at the title and focus of this site, I can’t help but wonder what you think about what MSI thinks about Americans and ultraportables.

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