Channel 5

Viewsonic VOT132 PC Mini review

Monday 09 November 2009

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

The Viewsonic VOT132 is a dinky little PC aimed just as much at your living room as the study. It packs in an impressive amount in its wee 190mm x 135mm x 24mm frame, including 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, NVIDIA ION graphics and the big news: a dual core Intel Atom 330 processor, for speeded up multimedia shenanigans.

The good

For all the slots the Viewsonic VOT132 PC Mini is peppered with (Six USB ports, HDMI for TVs, DVI, ethernet and SD for camera pic swapping), it's staggeringly small. Compared to the wide Asus Eee Box or diamond-shaped Acer Aspire Revo, it'll slot into almost any gap, and power through HD video stashed on its huge hard drive in just the same way. It's unobtrusive, more minimalist than the Emperor's new clothes, and the perfect shape. The price is also reasonable (£283+ VAT, or £205 without an OS) compared to the knock down £150 Revo, since you get double the hard disk, more oomph inside and Windows 7 Home Premium too. You won't be doing any video editing, but for web grazing and video downloads, it's ferpick. Make no mistake, the Viewsonic VOT132 PC Mini is one of the best nettop media centre on the market right now

The bad

One of the problem with previous ION infused nettops such as the Revo was the piddly processor, meaning hi-res Flash video like BBC iPlayer HD was a no go. We were hoping the dual core upgrade in the Viewsonic VOT132 would mean better handling, and even reasonable gaming, but it's not the boost we were expecting. HD streaming videos still struggle just as they did before, and to top it all off, it's noisy to the point where you wouldn't want it on your desk. Best hidden in the cabinet under your flatscreen, we reckon.

The bottom line

We like the Viewsonic VOT132 PC Mini, but knowing that a similarly specced Acer Aspire Revo upgrade is nearing release, we'd definitely hold tight on the wallet until the verdict is in on it. Right now, the Viewsonic VOT132 PC Mini doesn't offer the performance increase we'd hope for, but for its size, it's still a bargain.
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