I passed by Harvey Norman today and decided to drop in to look at the new Compaq Nettop. Let me just say that I am quite taken in by the price of the thing. It is much cheaper than I had expected. Internet reports claim that the price of the high end model (2030) is about US$386 (RM1355) but they are only selling it for RM998 (US$285) here.
The high end model that they are selling here is dubbed the Compaq Presario 2035Q, which seems to be the branding that HP is trying to achieve with it’s compaq line of products. As the detailed specs seem rather hard to come by on the Internet, I decided to check out the specs using the software on the display unit. Here they are:
- CPU: Intel Atom 330
This is the most powerful Atom processor to date. It is a dual-core HyperThreaded processor. What this means is that the software sees an effective 4-cores. This is sweet as the extra processing power can definitely be put to good use for high quality video playback.
- VGA: Intel GMA950
Unfortunately, it comes with the same terrible 945GC chipset that every other Atom platform comes with. Although NVidia has released the 9400M for Atom processors, no vendors seem to be pushing out products with them yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed though.
- AUD: Realtek ALC662 HD Audio
This information had to be gleaned from the vendor and device ID numbers. This bodes well though, since this device is capable of 5.1 surround sound. However, it seems to lack the actual ports that do the output.
Besides these important things, it also has 1Gb of DDR2 memory and a 160GB harddisk. It also comes with a LightScribe capable DVD burner. There is also a card reader on the front that can come in useful for displaying photos from digital cameras directly on screen. Also on the front are 2 USB ports and the earphone and mic ports. On the back are another 2 USB ports, ethernet port and modem port. It does not come with wifi but I am sure that there is a free internal USB port that I can jack one into.
While it is not a perfect HTPC, it does come awfully close to being one. The only thing it lacks are the higher end audio and video outputs. If this is the best thing available when the time comes to actually make the purchase, I might just get it. However, I will still continue to look for a nettop with a DVI or HDMI video output and a 5.1 surround sound output.
PS: Then again, it might be possible that the 5.1 surround sound output is multiplexed on the rear ports. Some devices do it this way. I’ll need to look up more info about this.