Via mini PC gets dual-core upgrade

Via has updated its ARTiGO mini PC with a dual-core CPU from the Eden X2 family. The palm-sized system measures just 5.7" x 3.9" x 2", making it considerably smaller than Zotac's diminutive Zbox Nano, which is also available with Via hardware under the hood. While the Nano's Via config features a dual-core CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, the ARTiGO A1150's processor runs at a more sedate 1GHz. Via's VX900H integrated graphics chipset rides shotgun, offering hardware acceleration for HD video decoding in multiple formats at resolutions up to 1080p.

Despite its tiny size, the new ARTiGO manages to house a decent array of expansion ports. In addition to HDMI and VGA outputs, there are five USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a trio of 3.5-mm audio ports. Optional extras include an SD card reader and integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi. There's no mention of IR, RF, or Bluetooth connectivity for a remote, though.

The official product page for the ARTiGO A1150 hasn't gone up yet, and it's unclear how much the new model will cost. The current ARTiGO A1100, which has a single-core Eden CPU running at 1.2GHz, sells for $240 online. I'd expect the A1150's extra core to command a bit of a premium, putting the system in a tough competitive position. The Via-based Zbox Nano VD01 costs just $219, as does its Brazos-based counterpart. The ARTiGO is smaller and likely more power-efficient than either of the Nanos, but it also has no answer for their built-in Bluetooth and USB 3.0 connectivity—or AMD's more powerful E-350 APU.

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