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French mini-PC upgrades to Intel Atom

Nov 30, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Linutop released a new version of its small, fanless Linutop 3 PC, moving up from a 1GHz Via C7 CPU to a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 while dropping to under 16 Watts of power consumption. The Linutop 3 ships with 1GB or 2GB of RAM, 2GB of flash, gigabit Ethernet and serial ports, six USB 2.0 ports, and dual SATA ports.

Linutop's "pocketable" Linutop 1 shipped in 2007, and in 2008, the French mini-PC vendor introduced the slightly larger Linutop 2, equipped with a 500MHz AMD Geode processor. In 2009, the company announced the Linutop 3, which advanced to a 1GHz Via C7 CPU.

Like the C7-based version of the Linutop 3, the new Atom-powered model is designed primarily for secured public Internet kiosk access and digital signage applications. However, it is also said to be suitable for network monitoring, thin clients, virtualized desktops, and mini-server applications.

Linutop 3, front and back
(Click to enlarge)

The new version moves up to the Intel Atom N270, giving the computer a speed boost to 1.6GHz, while also reducing energy consumption from 20 Watts to 16 Watts. (For those looking for even greener computing, the still available Linutop 2 is said to run on eight Watts.(

The Linutop 3 adds a new security feature that can lock the Linutop OS and protect the flash memory from wearing out by limiting write cycles. In this lock mode, the computer can recover its state at each startup, minimizing maintenance costs, says the company.

Linutop 3 with display

(Click to enlarge)

Otherwise, the Linutop 3 appears to be identical to the previous version, with the same, fanless 9.3 x 9.3 x 2.2-inch chassis equipped with a 110-240V power supply. The computer weighs 3.9 pounds (1.8 kg), says the company.

The Linutop 3 is equipped with 1GB of DDR2 memory, expandable to 2GB, as well as 2GB of flash storage. The system also provides dual SATA ports and corresponding hard disk drive bays, as well as a PCI Express slot for expansion.

Standard I/O includes a gigabit Ethernet port, six USB 2.0 ports, and a serial port, says Linutop. The Linutop 3 offers VGA and DVI ports, and supports HDMI via an adapter, at resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Pre-installed on the system is the recently released Linutop 4.0, which is based on Ubuntu 10.04 ("Lucid Lynx"). Touted for its slim, 700MB footprint, and available separately in a bootable USB key, Linutop 4.0 adds display and security features aimed at autonomous applications such as kiosks. Bundled applications are said to include Firefox, OpenOffice, and the VLC Media player.


The Linutop 3 with Intel Atom is available now with 1GB RAM for 340 euros ($442). More information may be found here.

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