Abaco Computers, a system integrator from Milano, Italy, has started taking orders on the first nettops powered by yet-not-officially-launched dual-core Intel Atom processor. The novelty could easily be among the most-affordable dual-core systems, but the actual price is surprisingly high.
The first desktop system featuring dual-core Intel Atom processor from Abaco features Intel Atom N330 (1.60GHz) microprocessor, Intel 945GC core-logic with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 graphics core, 1GB of PC2-5300 (DDR2 667MHz) memory, 250GB hard disk drive (HDD) from Western Digital with 7200rpm spindle speed, DVD burner as well as built-in audio, network adapter, USB and IEEE1394 (FireWire) ports and so on. The machine comes with Ubuntu Linux operating system.
The Abaco Dual Desktop comes with external 80W power supply, which means that the system has comprehensive cooling solution inside that should translate into increased reliability despite of small sizes, but also means that end-users would need to find additional space for the power supply unit.
A surprising part about the novelty from Abaco is the price: the system costs €399 ($500) at the company’s web-site. By contrast, Asustek Computers’ Eee Box B202 costs from €269 to €296 ($385 - $424) in Europe. The Eee Box is based on single-core Intel Atom processor, has 160GB hard drive and does not have optical drive, but it features 4-in-1 card reader, Wi-Fi 802.11n controller and, most importantly, Windows XP Home operating system.
It is unclear whether up to €130 ($186) price difference between systems featuring dual-core and single-core processors is conditioned by price policy of Abaco or Intel Corp. and its partners who supply microprocessor on the mainboard. The obvious advantage that Intel Atom-based desktops have over other affordable desktops, such as Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo P2520 (Pentium dual-core E2180, 2GB memory, 160GB HDD, Windows Vista) that retails for €344 ($494), is compact size, but with high pricing and low performance, such nettops are hardly likely to become popular on the mainstream market.
Abaco plans to start shipping the dual-core Intel Atom nettop starting from Friday, the 19th of September.