Altech Computers Nano Box-VX Mini PC
- Small, solid performance.
- slow HDD compared to normal desktop's, Not enough USB ports, no PS2 ports.
It's a tiny and capable performer for everyday computing and is worth considering if you are constrained for space or what a portable PC to share between locations. We wish it had more RAM and at least one more USB port.
Price$ 1,399.00 (AUD)
Altech's Nano Box-VX harnesses AOpen's MP945-VX Mini PC Duo enclosure to provide a PC that's not only small, but also capable of doling out plenty of speed to keep you productive.
AOpen's enclosure, which measures 16.5cm x 16.5cm x 7cm high, comes with its own motherboard, which has a DC power input, and is based on AOpen's MoDT (mobile on desktop technology), which means it uses notebook components to facilitate the miniaturisation of the desktop PC. Altech has taken this enclosure and furnished it with a 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo T2300 CPU and 512MB of DDR2 667MHz RAM.
Graphics functions are built into the motherboard using Intel's 945GM chipset, which uses up to 8MB of main system RAM, leaving only 504MB for your programs. The display output from the graphics chipset can be directed over DVI, VGA, S-Video or Component video cables, all of which are supplied. Storage is provided by an 80GB notebook hard drive, which is tucked under the slot-loading multi-format DVD burner inside the case.
These components combined to produce a score of 85 in World Bench 5, which is comparable to similarly configured notebooks that we have seen in the PC World Test Centre. It's slower than what a full-sized desktop would achieve with the same amount of RAM and a comparable processor, and this is due to the notebook's hard drive, whose 5400rpm spin speed is no match for a desktop drive's 7200rpm spin speed.
In our hard drive transfer tests, the 80GB Samsung drive in this mini PC scored 8.72MBps, which means disk intensive tasks will be slow compared to a full-size PC. For using everyday applications such as Office or browsing the Internet, the machine is perfect. Its MP3 encoding performance was up to speed (it took 2min 38sec to encode 53min worth of wave files to 192Kbps MP3s using Cdex), and its CD ripping performance was solid, too (it took 4min 45sec to rip a full audio CD to 192Kbps MP3s using Cdex).
The video-out options of the unit allow it to be connected to a TV in order to function as a media centre. How good the unit performs as a media centre will depend on your TV's capabilities. We tested the unit on a 42in NEC NLT42HD1 LCD TV using the PC's component output. This TV has a native resolution of 1366x768, which the mini PC was unable to match, but we did get a decent picture for watching video files by using a resolution of 1280x720.
The unit is so small, it can be used as a part-time media centre. For everyday computing, the machine can reside in your office or bedroom. It can easily be taken into the living room, when needed, to watch movies stored on your hard drive through your TV.
As for noise, the unit only has one fan, which resides on the single heat sink that cools the CPU and chipset, and it's as quiet as a typical notebook. The base of the unit warms up to about 45 degrees and the rubber pad on the base gives it a good grip on a table or when placed on top of other electronic gear.
Not enough ports
As for usability, this mini PC definitely could use some more ports. It only has two USB ports and one FireWire port. There are no PS/2 ports, so you have to use USB peripherals, which leaves no free ports for plugging in external hard drives, USB keys or even USB Wi-Fi adapters. Networking is facilitated by a Gigabit Ethernet port.
We also found the slot-loading DVD drive to be a little tight when inserting discs, but it functioned without any problems.
Overall, Altech's Nano Box-VX is a solid unit if you're looking for something small for your office or bedroom. Its size makes it easily transportable between home and office, and it's a cheaper alternative to a notebook computer if you want to use the same computer between locations. It could use some more RAM, but it's only upgradeable up to 1GB.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Apple Roll Out High Sierra
- ASUS' VivoMini VM45 gets upgraded to 7th Generation Intel processors
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ Review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FT.Net Technical / Team LeadOther
- FTSecurity Technical LeadOther
- CCTechnical Field EngineerNSW
- FTTransition ManagerOther
- FTPortfolio & Governance Senior AnalystVIC
- TPELearning and Change OfficerVIC
- FTJunior CRM Support AnalystOther
- FTCommunications ManagerOther
- TPProject OfficerACT
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2 (Infrastructure)NSW
- FTBlockchain DeveloperOther
- CCBusiness Intelligence SpecialistNSW
- CCAS400 Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- TPProject Manager - CRMQLD
- FTSenior Salesforce DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Test Analyst - GIS DrupalNSW
- CCSystems EngineerWA
- FTService Delivery ManagerVIC
- FTScrum MasterOther
- CCSAP HR Functional ConsultantNSW
- TPPrincipal Business Analyst - ServiceNow | ITSMQLD
- FTDesktop TechnicianSA
- FTIT Audit & BCM AnalystNSW
- FTSenior PHP Developer / Team LeadNSW
- FTSenior Finance AnalystOther