Shopping Discussion

Nettop or laptop: is the former too underpowered?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 29th, 2011 2:18 pm
Jr. Member
Aug 11, 2006
110 posts

Nettop or laptop: is the former too underpowered?

I'm looking to replace a dying Dell latitude 1510? laptop. It's something the family uses to surf, connect to itunes, manage/catalog pictures, etc. The most intensive operations we would perform would be word/excel/outlook.

Would a nettop suffice? I like the footprint, price and simplicity of it. Portability isn't a factor here. I was considering the new Lenovo Q180 - I could bump it up to 4gb ram if required: ... eries/q180

Not available in Canada yet but for sub $400 - I'm thinking I might be hard-pressed to find a better/smaller alternative.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as the last time I was looking for a PC, nettops didn't exist. :)
1 reply
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 5, 2001
10798 posts
Don't do it. A nettop based on an Intel Atom, or AMD C/V/E series processor will leave you frustrated with the speed as a main computer.

Don't get me wrong, as a small pc for multimedia playback and basic tasks its fine. As soon as you try to do intensive tasks such as editing, and working with large amounts of files, it'll drag right down.

And forget about standard PCI-E upgrades, for things like ESATA or USB 3.0 ports.

Plus an Atom based platform has ZERO chance of upgradability, it'll be a processor fixed to the mainboard, no?

Boxing day is less than a month away. There are always tons of dirt cheap HP refurb standard form factor desktops at Future Shop and Best Buy. Pick one up and you'll be happy. Pick up 2 if you are concerned about getting a lemon, and return the extra after 14 days once you are sure it is solid.

Plus with most models you'll have little trouble upgrading to 6-8 core CPUs, 16-32GB of ram, and 2-4 hard drives when the future needs require you to.