One of our favourite things about the Nova Lite is the fact it has an optional integrated wireless adaptor. It's not the high-speed 802.11n variety, rather the slightly slower, more common 802.11b/g. It'll fit right in with your existing wireless network, which is a great way to transfer files between the Nova Lite and any other networked devices you may have.
The Nova Lite can ship with a choice of operating system. Asus offers retailers the option of Windows XP Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Home Basic and even Linux. We'd recommend opting for models with Vista Home Premium, since that includes the Vista Media Center interface, which is a great way to sort and enjoy multimedia files.
Happily, the Nova Lite includes an infrared remote control. This can be used to control the PC from a distance, although it's not possible to move the on-screen cursor using this method.
The Nova Lite wouldn't run our benchmarks, but it's slow; there's no two ways about it. Its 1.2GHz Celeron M CPU and 2GB of RAM mean it's only slightly faster than an Asus Eee PC 900, which isn't saying much. Don't despair, though: the machine is perfectly capable of playing movies -- even 720p high-definition flicks -- provided you're not running other complex applications at the same time. It won't play games, though -- even with the ATI RV 620 LE chip.
Because it uses such low-end components, the Nova Lite doesn't produce much heat. That means it doesn't need an awful lot of cooling and the noisy fans associated with that. We could hardly hear it during everyday use unless we stuck our heads right next to it. This feature, we're sure, will appeal to many people.
The Nova Lite isn't a particularly fast machine, but it's well designed and entirely suitable for purpose. It's not as complete a Media Center PC as Asus' A33, but if you're on a tight budget, it's definitely worth considering.
Edited by Shannon Doubleday