Although the Edge HD3 was launched last year, it remains a very popular choice in the nettop market. It is widely available for under €300, but this price is no longer justified, so we are expecting a price cut. Luckily for Sapphire, we are talking about in-house competition. Two months ago Sapphire introduced the Edge VS series, based on Trinity ULV APUs and the VS4, with a dual-core Trinity can be yours for about €325. However, the HD3 barebone costs €199 and offers much better value for money than the complete system.
The HD3 is one of the smallest x86 systems around and it will fit in just about any coat pocket, sans power brick, of course. However, even with the power cable, keyboard and mouse, it will easily fit into any backpack, much like a notebook. The robust build and matte finish also come in handy, as the HD3 won’t pick up a lot of nicks and scratches if you transport it often, making it a good choice for students and just about everyone who needs a truly portable desktop.
The E-450 is a venerable chip, but it is still practically the best platform for mini-PCs on the market. It offers enough performance for browsing, content consumption and office work. Of course, serious gaming is out of the question, but that goes without saying. However, it has enough muscle for casual games at low resolution, or some golden oldies.
Overall it’s a neat little PC, but personally I would go for the barebone. It offer better value and lets you choose faster storage, like an SSD or hybrid drive. Even a relatively small SSD would do, as the HD3 features a couple of speedy USB 3.0 ports for external storage.