Giada N20 Review

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Posted 9 Nov, 2010 2:11 pm

Design

The Giada N20 sports a minimalistic design, with no ports on the front and the ports that are available on top are hidden behind a flap. Each side is covered in glossy plastic, power button on one side, and a metallic brushed metal frame running across the edges. Air vents are placed on both sides leading me to think it’s only designed to stand vertically as one would be covered up if it’s placed horizontally. Thankfully the stand is extremely solid and there’s no wobble once the nettop is attached.

What I really like about this nettop is that when it’s in sleep mode there’s no annoying flashing LED you see on every other nettop. The power button has a subtle green glow that half-flashes red indicating HDD activity when on.

Back to those top ports – card reader, eSATA / USB 2.0 combo, microphone and headphone jacks.

On the back – HDMI, optical S/PDIF out,  USB 2.0 x 2, RJ45 LAN, VGA and power plug.

On the front, nothing but the IR receiver for the included remote:

On the bottom the stand is screwed in, and a Kensington lock is beside that. Also something I’ve never seen before on a nettop – a pin hole for resetting the CMOS.

The actual thickness of the nettop is just 23mm thin.

Peripherals

The Giada N20 comes with a remote control which takes 2 x AAA batteries although you’ll have to buy your own batteries. The remote works out of the box, with Windows Media Center with a default Windows 7 install at least. I don’t know about earlier versions of Windows. Works as expected and I didn’t run into any problems with it – I just wished I could turn on or wake up the nettop from sleep via remote.

Upgrades

Like that other slim nettop – The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150, there doesn’t appear to be any easy way to open it up to access the insides. This is not a nettop that was intended to be user upgraded.

Noise & Heat

Noise – very quiet, but not silent, when it’s idle or with low usage like watching movies. When the processor is fully stressed the Giada N20 becomes louder which is on par with most nettops I’ve reviewed. Giada quotes a 26dB sound level.

Heat – idle or not the nettop feels quite warm, very warm in a few places. Temperatures when idle varied between 35 – 42 C / 95 – 108 F and it felt slightly warmer after half an hour of watching a 1080p movie although temperatures never went higher than 42 C / 108 F.

  • Noosaheads

    I bought one of these, because it was a better price than an Aspire Revo.
    I didn’t specify Windows 7 (extra $$), so it came (in Australia) preconfigured with Ubuntu 10.04LTS,
    already setup with extra apps, free online backup from Ubuntu One etc.

    It worked out of the box, and I also bought a wireless keyboard and mouse,
    and webcam/microphone, and they all worked without any (major) configuring.
    I’ve since upgraded to 10.10 with the latest nvidia drivers.

    It plays 1080p fine from disk, digital camera picture slideshows are fantastic, browsing, youtube and skype via wireless work well, and it’s quiet, so it’s now on the living room TV via HDMI and my partner is happy…
    3D games such as Cube2:Sauerbraten work well, I’m not a big gamer so haven’t tried any like CS or Halo.
    Overall it does a better job than the eeepc that I used to plugin to the TV (and is much cheaper).

  • Noosaheads

    Also, my intention was to use it as an htpc with XBMC, which is already installed, so the 320GB hard disk is already fairly full with multimedia, but connecting a USB terabyte disk also works well.
    We mainly use it now with a slideshow of photos and a streaming internet radio soundtrack from somewhere exotic. There are many sound programs on it that use shoutcast or xiph, although my favorites are Paris One Deeper or Deep Mix Moscow.
    The only problem I had was that it did not recognise a USB hub, but I’ll try another.

  • Shawky99

    where did you get it without operating system, i need to buy one but it is not that cheap there are many other are cheaper with the same specification.