Computing

What is a Nettop PC?

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Good things come in small packages, or so the saying goes. It’s certainly one that the nettop PC lives and dies by. Small in stature but big on practicality, a nettop PC is your fully fledged desktop- shrunk down.

Increasing its presence at the lower end of the PC market, what is a nettop PC and why might it be right for you?

Nettops are Small

The nettop is to desktops what the netbook is to laptops. Traditionally, desktops can be a little cumbersome. Large chunks of plastic and metal can be impractical for those who are seriously hampered for space. Often coming in small rectangular or square box-like imaginations, nettops are smaller than other tech devices such as games consoles and even many media devices such as Freeview boxes.

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If you need to clear out some room in your home office or bedroom, the nettop’s paltry form factor can open up some a significant amount of space when compared to a larger desktop PC. Portability is also a huge draw for enthusiasts of the nettop PC. Small enough to fit in a bag or small carry case, nettops can be ideal for the user who needs to transport their specific software and files to two different two places- like carrying an external hard drive around with you that doubles up as a bona-fide PC.

Nettops are Simple

The rather uncomplicated and frank style of the nettop is also mirrored in its real-world application. Nettops are PCs of simplicity, perfect for running similarly simple tasks in a well, simple, fashion. Given the limitations a nettop has in terms of its dimensions, it’s a given that the components inside are packing considerably less punch than their bigger cousins. Typically, nettops will come housed with an entry level CPUs, RAM ranging from 2-to4 GB, and HDD’s beginning at 500GB. As is the case with any device however, the more investment you’re willing to make, the better components you’ll get in return. Nettops can be found harnessing Intel’s premium range of processors, the Intel Core. An example comes from Apple’s version of the nettop PC, the Mac Mini, which is home to an Intel i5. Similarly, plunging greater funds into nettop can bring other rewards such as a built-in SSD or HDD’s ranging up to 2TB.

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Still, with no great capacity held under its bonnet, nettops are designed for low-level PC usage. Web browsing, checking emails, running simple productivity software such as excel and streaming TV shows and movies are all well within the average nettop’s remit. There is even some room for basic level gaming. Obviously, nettops don’t have the luxury of a built-in graphics card, so any gaming performance would be reliant on the CPU’s on-board graphics. If you’re looking for a nettop and want any level of gaming performance, grab the best CPU-integrated graphics, maximise your RAM and consider an SSD.

Given the pint-sized package of the nettop PC, you also need to consider ports. Generally, a nettop will come with 3 or 4 USB slots alongisde connectivity ports such as HDMI and DisplayPort. Thankfully, the majority of nettops are also Bluetooth ready. Save on a couple of those USB slots by connecting peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.

Nettops are Cheap

One final ace held up the nettop’s sleeve is price. Starting at well below £200, nettop’s are well positioned amongst the budget/entry level band of the PC market. If you’re after a small, basic PC for carrying out simple tasks like browsing and media viewing, a nettop PC might just be for you.

Nettops at Ebuyer.

Head to Ebuyer for a great range of nettop PCs.

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