Punters with a predilection for PCs to stash video in the living room are currently being bombarded with a raft of killer options. And now you can add the Viewsonic VOT132 as a fierce competitor to the rejigged Mac Mini, and the HD-friendly Asus Eee Box and Acer Aspire Revo. So can its stunning spec sheet match our giddy expectations? Read our Viewsonic VOT132 review now and we’ll tell all.
The Viewsonic VOT132 clearly offers astonishingly good value for money. At £283 plus VAT, it manages to cram in Windows 7 Premium, a hefty 320GB HDD, 2GB of RAM, a specced up dual core Intel Atom 330 processor and NVIDIA ION graphics. Frankly, it makes the Mac Mini sound like a Fisher Price machine by comparison.
But it soon becomes clear that that long list of top drawer tech is somewhat held back by a few major niggles. Crank the Viewsonic VOT132 up and you’ll find it’s so loud that it makes the Xbox 360 sound like a hand fan. That’s not ideal when you’ve got it hooked up to your TV, spitting out movies via the HDMI port.
And it’s when you’ve got the Viewsonic VOT132 clamped to your telly that you’ll really notice its biggest flaw. In spite of ION graphics and a dual core Atom processor faster than its Acer Revo rival, it still struggled with the HD video we piped through it. It means iPlayer or other HD streaming services are still not quite up to scratch when it comes to living room PCs.
That’s not to say that the Viewsonic VOT132 isn’t worth a look if you’re after a cheap desktop machine. It’s tiny compared to the Asus Eee Box, so can easily be hidden behind a monitor, making your desk look that bit less cluttered. Connectivity is ace, with a stonking six USB ports, DVI and SD support. And Windows 7 Home Premium is the icing on top.
However, the whole point of the Viewsonic VOT132 and its HD powers, is to sit in your living room, its hearty hard drive helping you replace your DVD collection. If you want a small, entertainment-based PC to sit pretty under your HDTV, we’d suggest you keep your cash in the bank and wait to see how the new Acer Aspire Revo measures up.