The smallest commercially available desktop PC today?

The Giada Slim N10 is probably today the lightest and smallest commercially available “nettop” which is to say that it’s really a full fledged desktop solution. Weighing less then 1kg, this tiny computer has a dual core Intel Atom N330 CPU, NVIDIA ION graphics, up to 4GB RAM, a 2.5-inch hard drive bay with 320 GB, a 3-in-1 card reader and a choice of either Windows Vista or 7 OS. In terms of connectivity ports, it offers 5 USB 2.0, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, WiFi and Ethernet.

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I found it while strolling around Wanchai Computer Center and I spotted this tiny thing while looking for a suitable small desktop PC for my children and that is when I was offered a chance to look at the Slim N10.

I couldn’t resist given its extraordinarily slim size and the fact that this was not only made in China (what isn’t these days?) but this is a Chinese brand trying to make a name for itself. I expect to be seeing a lot more “gadget like” innovation originating from there is what intrigued me and is a theme that I have been harping on for quite some time, Newsweek recently had a very interesting article on this related topic. After a bit of haggling I purchased it for the equivalent of approx. 350 USD (or 230 EUR or so). It came out of the box with 2 GB RAM and a 320 GB harddrive, no OS.

I have taken some out of the box images and as one can see, it is a very tiny PC indeed. It comes with a stand that sets up the PC very much like a Nintendo Wii, infact it is both smaller and thinner than one but it does not come with a DVDROM which needs to be external, or you install your OS using a USB stick.

slimgiaba003 slimgiaba004 DSC_0007 slimgiaba007

To give its size some perspective I placed a La Fonera 1.0 router, the smallest router from FON which as many Foneros and gadgeteers alike will recall as one of the tiniest routers on the planet and the Apple iPhone 3GS side by side the Slim.

 slimgiaba011slimgiaba008

It is infact a little thinner than the Fonera 1.0, and while of course not as thin as an iPhone it does demonstrate how super slim this PC is. When placing the iPhone and the router on top of the slim it should help give it some perspective on the overall dimensions of this PC, when I saw the product marketing pages I didn’t feel that it gave a good feel of the true size of this device.

I successfully installed Windows XP on it and don’t see any reason why Vista wouldn’t work on it either and because of the NVIDIA ION it is able to play 1080p HD with no slow down at all provided that you take advantage of DXVA. I typically recommend that you install something like KLite Codec Pack which includes a handy setup for Media Player Classic like the below.

DXVA-support

I’ve been testing it with various high def trailers/movies etc. and it works quite well, been running it now for a little over a week and in a standup position it seems to manage the heat reasonably well.

It’s obviously not the smallest PC ever, that achievement likely belongs to the Pico-ITX but both the price, weight and general commercial availability in shops make this a really interesting device, whether this be for a space saving PC, or a media player. Infact, if you compare the price of this device with a hard drive vs. other focused media devices such as the Iobox HD100 and Qnap NMP-1000 the Giada is far more multipurpose and value for money.

 

 

 

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