Acer Releases Nettop for Business, Lenovo Offers Home Nettop

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Acer's Veriton N260G is aimed squarely at the business market and is being sold through the company's reseller channel for $399. Lenovo's IdeaCentre Q100 and Q110 are aimed at the home market and feature Nvidia ION graphics to support HD video. All these nettops are powered by Intel Atom processors.

Acer and Lenovo both introduced new nettop PCs this week, with Acer’s aimed at business users and sold through the company’s reseller channel and Lenovo’s aimed at the digital home with Nvidia-based graphics capabilities onboard enabling HD video.

The nettops from both companies, priced in the sub-$400 range, are built with Intel Atom processors. They are the PC desktop version of netbooks—scaled-down laptops powered by Intel Atom processors. But can nettops, which lack high-end dual-core processors, really make a dent in the commercial market?

"This is an intriguing product in that it appears to be adequate for most workplace tasks at a fraction of the price of a fully equipped PC," says Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "Plus, it offers energy efficiency/savings close to what’s claimed by many thin-client vendors without asking businesses or employees to give up traditional desktop computers."

Energy savings was recently identified as a priority by small businesses and midmarket businesses that are more carefully scrutinizing budgets.

An Acer spokeswoman says Acer’s Veriton N260G-U2802CP is aimed at any business that has limits on space such as office reception areas, libraries, schools or airline check-in kiosks. But King believes the nettop’s appeal could play across a wide swath of business applications and verticals. It may even find a niche with knowledge workers, he says.

"If there’s a niche for this product, it’s among knowledge workers who really don’t need the power of full-blown PCs," he says. "There are millions of those folks in the work force, and I also expect their employers will find Acer’s price extremely attractive."

The Acer Veriton N260G-U2802CP starts at $399 and is now available in North America via Acer authorized resellers.

It includes the Intel Atom processor N280, the Intel GN40 Express Chipset, Windows XP Professional, Recovery CD with Windows Vista Business, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, two memory slots upgradable to 2GB, 160GB SATA hard drive, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M, Multi-In-One card reader, six USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, PCI Express Mini 1.1x1 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/draft N, a PS2 keyboard, a USB optical mouse and a one-year limited warranty.

Lenovo’s two new nettop devices, announced as part of a series of products for the digital home, offer onboard Nvidia ION graphics that support HD video, according to the company.

The IdeaCentre Q100 and Q110 are just 0.7 inches thick and are priced starting at $249 and $349, well below the price of a standard PC desktop.

Several other players in the PC space have nettop entries as well, King points out, including Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com