Recently, I purchased several Acer Veriton N281G nettop as an experiment to replace old, traditional desktops with a cheap, energy-efficient alternative for our Pharos print release stations on campus. So far the experiment has been a success. Low energy consumption, low noise, and less heat has made this a wise purchase.
Nettops are sometimes frowned upon because they are basically desktop versions of netbooks. Compared to traditional desktop computers, nettops are not only smaller and cheaper, but they also consume much less power than desktops. The trade-off is that the hardware specifications and processing power are lower than traditional desktops, which make nettops less appropriate for running resource intensive applications like Photoshop or AutoCAD or gaming. For most people, the Acer Veriton N281G is perfect and the price is a reasonably priced around $250 or less.
The basic specs of the Acer Veriton N281G that I purchased:
- 1.8GHz Intel Atom D425
- 2GB RAM
- 320GB Hard drive
- Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
- Gigabit Ethernet
- WLAN 802.11b/g/n
- Memory Card Reader
Got a little extra money and want to “beef” it up a bit? The 2GB of RAM is upgradeable to 4GB plus you can also replace the mechanical hard drive that is installed with an SSD. While it came with Linpus Linux, Windows 7 installed on it easily using an external optical drive since N281G, like most nettop computers, does not have one. The Windows 7 drivers were easy to locate on Acer’s website.
Need a second computer for development and/or testing? A home theater computer (HTPC)? A basic computer for the kitchen? A computer for a child’s room? If you have basic computing needs, then the Acer N281G is perfect. Again, it is not going to be comparable to the latest and greatest computer running an Intel Core i7 processor but for the needs of most it will be more than enough.