This year we have looked at a number of "nettop" and media oriented computers, including the ASRock Vision 3D that was the best nettop we have seen to date but not without a hefty price-tag, there were the MSI Wind Box computers, and even the CompuLab Fit-PC2 that was by far the smallest Atom-based computer we have tested today. None of the nettop computers we have tested though have been specifically designed for Linux usage, except for the one we are reviewing today. The ZaReason MediaBox 4220 is designed for multi-media use, as implied by its name, and of course, coming from this California vendor, it has designed to be used under Linux.
7 December 2010 - 8 Comments
It's been nearly a decade since ASRock was spun off by ASUS as a new OEM vendor and over this time they have transformed themselves from being solely a manufacturer of low-cost, value-oriented motherboards and other products to offering more high-end and enthusiast-friendly products (such as the X58 SuperComputer and 880G Extreme 3). ASRock has also adapted to the market and has begun offering other products like low-power nettop computers. Last year we reviewed ASRock's ION 330 NetTop, which was their first, followed by the ION 330HT-BD, another Atom-based PC earlier this year. In August we then reviewed the ASRock Core 100HT, which was a nettop based upon a more powerful Core i3 processor, but with Intel integrated graphics. The latest nettop though to have been introduced by this Taiwan-based vendor is the Vision 3D NetTop, which incorporates a higher-end Intel Core processor while bringing NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M graphics for making a relatively high-end PC in a very small form factor.
19 November 2010 - 7 Comments
Many interesting things come from Sweden whether it is Tunnbrödsrulle to Glögg to IKEA, but how well are these wonderful people able to create compact, home servers? After reviewing the CodeLathe TonidoPlug and PogoPlug, Excito, a company from Limhamn asked if we would be interested in checking out their new Linux-based home server, the B3. With that said, here is the review of the Excito B3 home server, which is actually a rather exciting device with its capabilities ranging from being a Bit Torrent download server to a home router with web serving capabilities.
29 October 2010 - 41 Comments
Since July we have been testing a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook under Linux and have already published a variety of Linux benchmarks. This Lenovo notebook boasts an Intel Core i7 720QM CPU, 4GB of system memory, a 320GB SATA HDD, and NVIDIA Quadro FX880M graphics. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ThinkPad W510 notebook and have more Ubuntu Linux benchmarks comparing its performance to the ZaReason Verix and an older ThinkPad T61.
15 October 2010 - 13 Comments
Last summer we reviewed the ASRock NetTop ION 330, which was the first Atom-powered NetTop computer that had come out of this vendor known for their affordable motherboards. The NetTop ION 330 combined an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA's ION platform to provide a low-power PC while offering modest computing and graphics capabilities. Earlier this year we then reviewed the ION 330HT-BD, which was ASRock's revised nettop with more features and was topped off with a Blu-ray drive for greater media capabilities. Today we are now reviewing the ASRock Core 100HT, which is their newest nettop and it boasts an Intel Core i3-330M processor with 4GB of DDR3 system memory, a 500GB hard drive, and is completed with USB 3.0 and 802.11n wireless network connectivity.
20 August 2010 - 16 Comments
One year ago we reviewed the ZaReason Ion Breeze computer that was built around NVIDIA's ION platform with an Intel Atom CPU, but today we are looking at our first ZaReason notebook and it boasts some very high-end hardware. The Verix 1656 is one of ZaReason's highest-end notebooks and its powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU (with Hyper Threading to make for eight logical cores in this mobile computer), a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M GPU, and a 15.4-inch 1680x1050 display. The ZaReason Verix 1656 also has a very nice brushed-aluminum exterior.
14 June 2010 - 4 Comments
Last month we reviewed the Pogoplug, which was an interesting network attached storage (NAS) device that ran Linux and was unique compared to other devices on the market. Today we are reviewing a device similar to this and that is the TonidoPlug. The TonidoPlug is a low-power home server that runs the open-source Tondio software that runs Linux and costs only $99 USD.
31 May 2010 - 10 Comments
While more and more computer peripherals and gadgets these days are running Linux internally, not many vendors are matching their internal Linux support with external Linux customer support. For the Pogoplug though, which is made by CloudEngines, this is not the case. The Pogoplug is a network attached storage device that is far more than a basic NAS like the Icy Box NAS4220, but the Pogoplug can integrate with social networks like Twitter along with providing a rich web 2.0 interface for accessing the device from anywhere in the world. The Pogoplug device runs Linux and is built upon popular open-source packages, but Pogoplug does not hide this fact and they actually encourage community developers to work on the Pogoplug with complete support for SSH-ing into these devices and making modifications. CloudEngines also offers a 32-bit/64-bit Linux program for interacting with the Pogoplug.
5 April 2010 - 8 Comments
Through Phoromatic you can easily build a benchmarking test farm with minimal effort and combined with Phoromatic Tracker you can monitor the performance of a given software or hardware component over the course of time. We used our own tools to launch a Linux kernel tracker that monitors the performance of the very latest Linux kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com. We are also announcing another new, important public tracker coming soon, but first off, we needed a few more low-powered Intel Atom systems. We ended up purchasing two MSI Wind Box NetTops (the 6667BB-003US and 6667BB-004US) that are both based around an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor within a very low-profile enclosure. The MSI 6667BB-003US utilizes Intel GMA 950 graphics while the 6667BB-004US boasts an ATI Radeon HD 4330 graphics processor. Here is our Linux look at these two Intel nettop computers.
9 March 2010 - 7 Comments
We have tested a few interesting Intel Atom-powered nettop computers lately from the ASRock ION 330HT-BD that bears a Blu-ray drive and an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA ION graphics to the ASUS Eee Top that packaged the entire system within a touch-screen monitor. In this article we are trying out the CompuLab Fit-PC2, which is definitely the smallest Atom-powered computer we have tested to date. The Fit-PC2 easily fits in the palm of your hand and it packs an Intel Atom Z530 processor with a Poulsbo graphics processor, a 160GB SATA HDD, and 1GB of system memory.
24 February 2010 - 13 Comments
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