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Foxconn Nettop NT535 review

Kat Orphanides
12 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
136
inc VAT

Foxconn's compact barebones nettop is let down by the difficulty of opening it and its aging processor

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Off-the-shelf nettops usually have the same basic specification, with an Intel Atom processor, a small hard disk and 2GB of memory. However, barebones kits such as Foxconn's NT535 leave you room for a bit more customisation. It still has a modest 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor, but at least you can add as large a hard disk as you want and up to 4GB of RAM.

Foxconn Nettop NT535 inside

Building it should be a simple proposal - all you have to do is slot a laptop memory module into place and put a 2.5in SATA hard disk into a caddy, and there aren't even any cables to route. However, the NT535 is remarkably difficult to open, particularly if you want to avoid scratching its glossy exterior. We had to resort to using a couple of thin flat-head screwdrivers to lever the removable side away - hardly convenient, and definitely intimidating for anyone who isn't happy with the idea of applying force to their hardware.

The Nettop NT535 is certainly compact. It looks similar to Asus's EEEBox and comes with a VESA mount that lets you attach it to the back of a TV or monitor - perfect if you want to use it as a media centre PC. It's well equipped with ports including an HDMI output and a 3.5mm stereo line output that doubles as an optical S/PDIF. This gives you some flexibility if you want to connect it to a set of surround sound speakers. There's also a headphone output and a surprisingly loud and clear built-in speaker.

Foxconn Nettop NT535 rear

Unfortunately, video doesn't work as smoothly as we'd have liked. The laptop has a maximum resolution of 1,920x1,080 (Full HD) via HDMI, although the VGA output is limited to a resolution of 1,366x768. However, we were only able to play 720p video smoothly, while our H.264 encoded 1080p test files dropped frames as they played.

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