Companies like Asus have tried to aim their nettops at consumers, but Dell is taking another approach with its new OptiPlex 160. Available for a somewhat expensive $563, the small-form-factor desktop is billed as a business option for "maximizing workspace and minimizing energy consumption."
Dell's OptiPlex 160 includes a 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, an 80GB 2.5" hard drive, an SiS chipset with Mirage 3 graphics (no, really) and a DVI output, Gigabit Ethernet, and a copy of Windows Vista Home Basic. Dell has managed to cram those components in a 9.02" x 1.85" x 8.86" enclosure that weighs only 4.6 lbs and includes an "Up to 87 Percent Efficient" power supply.
If you don't mind paying even more, you can also get up to 4GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 20GB or 64GB solid-state drives, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and Windows Vista Business (or a downgrade to XP). Dell says it'll start offering a dual-core version of the Atom next year, too. Oh, and since the OptiPlex 160 is too small to include an optical drive, you'll have to resort to an external solution to read DVDs. Dell charges an eye-popping $180 for an optional external DVD drive with apparently no burning capabilities.