The 2012 ‘Stealth Mini’

Goodbye Dell Mini; hello Cedar Trail. Despite all manner of pratfalls getting Cedar Trail Mini ITX boards to market, at least we’re now seeing 32nm Atom netbooks in the supermarkets in reasonable variety, and at very reasonable prices: add up the cost of a dual core Atom motherboard, battery, monitor, memory, operating system licence, 320Gb hard drive, keyboard, mouse and case and have a go at building one yourself . . .

Our Cedar Trail Atom wish list here consists of:

1: 6-cell battery
2: USB3 (ideally on mainboard, not daughterboard)
3: Upgradeable DDR3 memory (2Gb)
4: Most configurable BIOS (mainly to hobble DPC-killing power management)
5: HDMI (ideally supported by hardware for output to external monitor)

Right now, the netbook that comes closest is the Asus 1025CE. Despite what they tell you, the 1025CE is upgradeable to 2Gb, and via USB3 – stripped of unnecessary hardware and software – it sounds great. Our last stumbling block before releasing tweaked and recased versions of our low-end Player / Stealth Mini is that DPC on this model rises from circa 12 to 160 when run from battery . . . more on this shortly.

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