Viako Mini Letter ML-45 LEAP E-350 Barebones Nettop

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Thermal Performance

System Measurements
System State
Temperatures
Power (AC)
CPU
HDD
Ext*
Off
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
2W
Idle
50°C
33°C
30°C
17W
H.264 Playback
58°C
33°C
30°C
23W
CPU Load
66°C
34°C
32°C
26W
CPU + GPU Load
76°C
35°C
33°C
34W
Ambient temperature: 21°C.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.
System noise level: 23 dBA@0.6m.
*External temperature measured using an IR thermometer pointed at the hottest portion of the chassis (near the 40 mm exhaust fan).
Note: disabling the VFD/remote software resulted in an average power consumption reduction of 2W.

Despite being jammed in a cramp enclosure with limited airflow, the CPU and HDD remained adequately cooled during testing even on heavy load. At full tilt with both the CPU and GPU stressed beyond normal limits, the CPU temperature stabilized at 76°C while the hard drive and external temperature did not exceed 35°C. There was no instability or other anomalies during testing either. If you're not planning to push the system as far as we did, it's likely you can reduce the fan speed and shave 1~2 dB off the overall noise level.

Nettop Comparison
Test State
ZBOX HD-ND22
(SU2300 + ION)
Viako ML-45
(E-350)
CPU Temp
System Power (AC)
CPU Temp
System Power (AC)
Idle
48°C
23W
50°C
17W
H.264 Playback
58°C
28W
58°C
23W
CPU Load
80°C
32W
66°C
26W
CPU + GPU Load
98°C
44W
76°C
34W
SPL @0.6m
24~25 dBA
23 dBA
Ambient temperature: 21°C.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The closest system we've reviewed to the ML-45 is the Zotac ZBOX HD-ND22 with a dual core Celeron processor and Nvidia ION graphics. The two machines were neck and neck thermally until they were put on load. With more energy efficient hardware, the ML-45 managed to keep the CPU temperature reasonable while the ZBOX approached 100°C on full load and generated 1~2 dB more noise. Keep in mind the Celeron is a significantly faster processor.

Boot & WiFi Performance

While a media PC is probably best placed in standby/sleep to be turned on in mere seconds, the ML-45 had an impressive cold boot time of 10.4 seconds (measured from pressing the power button to the "starting Windows" screen when the speed of the O/S drive takes over) which is 2~3 seconds faster than most mini-ITX boards we've encountered in the past. The ML-45 has the advantage of not supporting a whole lot of peripherals, so there aren't that many things for the BIOS to check before booting up. The POST screen disappears quickly and doesn't even display a prompt for entering the BIOS.

The performance of the Atheros 802.11n adapter was good as well, holding a five bar signal throughout testing without one disconnection from our D-Link wireless 802.11n router placed 25~30 feet away between a wall. A large file transfer (~1.4 GB) completed with an average speed of 75.2 mbps which is almost twice the speed required for streaming a high bitrate Blu-ray movie.

Remote & VFD

The remote and VFD are controlled by a program called M.Play MX which is apparently produced by Moneual. While it packs quite a bit of functionality it isn't as expansive as their iMon application which can be used to mimic a mouse, bring up an on-screen keyboard and even execute macro commands. It seems to slightly more user friendly, though this might just be an illusion created by its relative simplicity.


The "Quick Guide" button opens up an app launcher for up to 10 program shortcuts.



Custom key bindings can be created for countless number of programs like PowerDVD, KMPlayer, QuickTime, WinAmp, WinDVD, WMP, and XBMC.



The LCD can be configured to display CPU, RAM, temperature, time, and network information with configurable intervals and speed.



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