Via’s Nano still missing

It’s official – Via’s not going to come to market anytime soon. Considering the raging success of Intel’s Atom, it’s hard to imagine how (even in this economy), Via can’t get the only viable competitor to market.

I’ve previously written (maybe not here, but *eh*) about my desire to pick up a Via Isaiah/Nano/C-Vapor processor-powered HTPC, to do the job of running my storage, media player, and firewall apps on a single box, isolated from my main desktop. Unfortunately, however, Tom’s Hardware reports that the dual-core version is still more than a year out (More details). Combine this with the simple fact that Via claimed to “ship” the product almost a year ago, but it’s still not available on the open market.

This sucks. The Atom is hardly as inspiring, lacking any real muscle but also lacking any sort of functional GPU component. Boxed into the crappy Intel graphic chipsets, and without any sort of hardware-level extensions for media decoding, encryption, or compression, it is an incredibly lackluster component in comparison. Yes, it may benchmark pretty well against the shipping-but-missing Nano, but noone buys a netbook to run Quake – People buy netbooks to run software that can be very, very heavily optimized for the right kind of processor. Tying in the gzip decompression of Firefox, full-disk encryption requirements for laptops, and hardware-assisted decoding of digital media with a processor designed to take the load would result in a much better product.

That said, though, I’ve reached the point where I’m willing to buy an Atom based mini-PC rather than wait 13-14 months for Via to finally make their parts available. An Eee w/HDMI would fit 2/3 of the needs outlined above and, in this particular case, have an incredibly compelling design. With integrated UPS, HDMI support with sound (thanks to a discrete AMD GPU), and a stylish design, this box is one of the most compelling devices I’ve seen in a long time. Now if only it was had the hardware-level instructions necessary to also run my VPN on this boring little processor.

*le sigh*

4 thoughts on “Via’s Nano still missing”

  1. I’ve been eying the netbooks, but the G3 iBook I have still beats them out in size and capability. My second N770 white screened and I bought another friend’s N770 that he wasn’t using. If this one white screens, I’m upgrading to a N810.

    1. I was just looking at the 810 again, but I still don’t think it’s a very good idea. It’s got GPS and a keyboard, but it’s only got one MicroSDHC slot (possibly with an 8gb cap?). I’m reluctant to go that route over an N800 because the most important and time-sensitive use I have for my N800 is as an on-a-trip picture viewer – Given the awesome GTK app Quiver and a pair of SDHC slots, it makes this device an ideal thing to use to back up camera pics and screen dupes on a real screen before you ever get around to unpacking a laptop. Unless you’ve lost your Garmin or are subscribing to Sprint WiMAX for an N810-WiMAX Edition, I’d upgrade to an N800.

  2. I don’t use the card slot in mine except for ebook storage. My phone (Treo 700p) has a full SD slot. I mainly use it for ebook reading and the occasional note. The only thing I don’t like about it is it’s pretty well stuck with OS2006 or OS2007HE. There’s no way to upgrade it like an EeePC or One.

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