Unboxed – Shuttle X5000TA vs MSI Wind Top

Netbooks, you're old hat we're afraid. There's a new computing war in town, and it's between the 'nettops'. Yes, it's a horrible, baffling name for a

Netbooks, you're old hat we're afraid. There's a new computing war in town, and it's between the 'nettops'. Yes, it's a horrible, baffling name for a new genre, but these cheap, slim, touchscreen desktops are a tempting proposition for the cash-strapped. The first was Asus' Eee Top, and now it has two new challengers – the Shuttle X5000TA and MSI Wind Top (stop sniggering).

Shuttle's contender has almost identical innards to the Eee Top – 160GB hard-drive, 1GB RAM, low power graphics processor – but costs £100 more at £505. The main reason for this is that it has a dual core processor, which means it runs Vista smoothly.

Handily, the stand doubles as a carry handle, though the design is somewhat plasticky. We also found the touchscreen to be a little unresponsive, though there is a stylus to lend a helping hand. Scroll down for more pics and get our verdict in our full review.      

In the other corner, MSI's Wind Top AE1900 brings a bigger 18in screen for an extra fifty quid (£550). The screen is bright, sharp and responsive, and it comes with a DVD drive built in.

The best bit, though, is the skin that's layered on top of Windows XP (see below), which means you can avoid 'start' menu on most occasions. See why it fell just short of five stars in our full review.

We'll have hands-on videos very soon but in the meantime feast on our gallery below.

Shuttle X5000TA      

Shuttle X5000TA vs MSI Wind Top AE1900

Shuttle X5000TA

MSI Wind Top AE1900 (left), Shuttle X5000TA (middle) vs Asus Eee Top (right)

MSI Wind Top

MSI Wind Top (skin for Windows XP)

MSI Wind Top

Shuttle X5000TA vs MSI Wind Top