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Nettops: An Opportunity, or a Dead End?

While netbooks have captured their market niche, nettops still have to gain popularity. At present nothing seems to help.

“Entry level desktop PCs or nettops or whatever you want to call them, while not as popular as netbooks, nor as widespread, are still an opportunity. There is tremendous potential particularly in emerging market segments. Not clear from your survey whether you have contemplated market potential and acceptance in China, Latin America, and other countries where first time buyers are looking for simple Internet devices at affordable price points. There is also a new crop of small form-factor desktop machines, All-in-Ones based on the next generation Atom platform that I think are going to be very compelling for people who just want entry-level desktop performance, with slightly more capability than a standard netbook (light multi-tasking, etc),” explained Mr. Calder.

Acer Aspire Revo: Intel Atom, Nvidia GeForce 9400M/Ion

Despite of rather strange attitude towards netbooks, AMD, the arch-rival of Intel, seems to be quite interested in nettops. This may be explained by the fact that the company’s desktop lineup is by far much more competitive than the family of mobile microprocessors.

“AMD is expanding our low-wattage/low-power desktop lineup to enable some exciting new SKUs from our partners that includes smaller form factors and all-in-one designs which are coming soon.  It's the combination of efficient, but not under-powered, CPU and IGP chipset solutions that enables mainstream solutions with multi-core performance and 1080p visuals in compact SKUs,” explained Mr. Muzny from AMD.

For Nvidia, which does not make central processing units, nettops represent the same opportunity as netbooks: to sell its highly-integrated GeForce 9400M core-logic, which is not only a low-power device, but also the only single-chip core-logic for AGTL+ processors on the market.

“What is important to us is that PC users have a good experience. Whether consumers opt for a netbook, notebook or nettop, we recommend they have a good graphics processor to provide the best visual experience,” said Mr. Wuebbling from Nvidia.

Asrock nettop: Intel dual-core Atom, Nvidia GeForce 9400M/Ion core-logic, Blu-ray disc drive

“I might suggest that certain new capabilities are important for netbooks/nettops to move to the next level, but then someone else might say, ‘no, that capability takes you out of the netbook/nettop space altogether’. If you give them rich multimedia capabilities and more power, are they still netbooks or are they thin and light notebooks? Does it even matter what they're called as long as customers know what they want and how to find that level of product?” asked Mr. Muzny.

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