Once you've added a hard drive, you might want to consider adding an operating system. Both Vista Home Premium edition and Windows XP Home will cost £80, but Linux fans might want to consider saving that cash and installing a free copy of Ubuntu or an alternative Linux distribution.
The x27D's networking capabilities are fairly
limited. It has high-speed Gigabit Ethernet access but lacks an
integrated wireless adaptor, so you'll need to feed it a wired Ethernet
or powerline connection if you intend to share files with other PCs or
surf the Internet.
The x27D performs well for a machine of its size. Its dual-core Atom 330 CPU clocked up a quite respectable 2,035 -- the highest score we've seen for any nettop. The Atom N270 CPU in the Eee Top, for reference, scored just 1,525. Unfortunately, despite the extra CPU horsepower, the x27D wasn't capable of running 1080p video with reliable smoothness, although it coped fine with 720p material.
One disappointing aspect of the x27D was the amount of noise it made. Atom CPUs are generally considered cool, quiet and efficient, but for some reason -- perhaps a lack of sound-deadening material in the chassis -- it was pretty loud. It's hardly deafening, but we wouldn't want this whirring away in the corner of a bedroom while we slept.
The x27D is, at the time of writing, the fastest nettop-style machine we've ever tested. Its dual-core Atom 330 CPU makes it a far more robust solution than PCs such as the Eee Box. It's a little too noisy for our liking, but it's affordable, attractive and definitely worthy of consideration.
Edited by Cristina Psomadakis