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Giada N20-W2231 NVIDIA ION GT218 512M 2GB RAM 320G HD WiFi IR Remote Nettop PC

  • Intel Atom D525 (1.8 GHz, dual core)
  • Next Generation NVIDIA ION with 512MB Graphics memory
  • 200Pin SODIMM DDR2 667
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Learn more about the Giada Technology, Inc. N20-W2231

General

Brand
Giada
Series
Slim Series
Model
N20-W2231
Color
White

CPU Supported

CPU Type
Intel Atom D525 (1.8 GHz, dual core)

Memory Supported

Memory slot
200Pin SODIMM
Memory Type Supported
DDR2 667
Max Memory Supported
4GB

Storage

Serial ATA
1 x SATA 3.0Gb/s

Graphics

Onboard Video
Next Generation NVIDIA ION with 512MB Graphics memory

Audio

Onboard Audio
Integrated

Communications

Max LAN Speed
10/100/1000Mbps
Wireless LAN
802.11n

Extension Bays

2.5" Internal Bays
1

Front Panel Ports

Front e-SATA Ports
1 x eSATA/USB combo (@ top)
Front Audio Ports
Analog Speaker-Out + MIC-in (@ top)
Card Reader
1× Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO)

Back Panel Ports

HDMI
1
VGA
1 x D-sub
Rear USB
2
RJ45
1
Rear S/PDIF Out
1 x Optical output

Power Supply

Input
19V DV

Physical SPEC

Dimensions
6.89" x 6.3" x 0.91"
Weight
1.5 lbs.

Features

Remote Control
Yes
Features
2GB DDR2 Memory and 320GB Hard Drive included

Native Full HD 1080P playback

Silent Operation under 26dB

802.11n Wireless Networking

Manufacturer Warranty

Parts
2 years limited
Labor
2 years limited

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years


Customer Reviews of the Giada Technology, Inc. N20-W2231

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  • Edgar B.
  • 12/28/2011 3:46:46 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat system and service!

Pros: Great little system. Very speedy and tiny in size. Most impressive to me though was the service! I had the unit in a dusty area and it became clogged inside the box, causing the system to overheat after about 15 minutes. I called the service dept at Giada and was put into contact with a very nice rep named Bob Nguyen. Bob not only got me an RMA for the system quickly, but then kept me updated throughout the testing and repair.
Bob and Giada have both exceeded my expectations!

Cons: None

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  • Steve B.
  • 10/27/2011 8:33:09 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsPerfect HTPC

Pros: Small, Quiet, IR remote that can power up the unit, Runs Windows 7 without a glitch, Runs large 1080p file perfectly through XBMC

Cons: Can't handle 1080p flash and not recommended for 720p flash either (from you tude).

Other Thoughts: As I said, perfect HTPC. First unit was DOA. Newegg replaced it on the spot. The second unit worked perfectly from day one. Thinking about buying a second one now.

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  • William R.
  • 9/2/2011 1:43:59 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsCould be perfect

Pros: It's small, will fit alongside amps and Tivos and whatnot fairly easily.

The included remote has good support in XBMC. You can just install XBMC and navigate around, play a movie, etc.

It's very quiet, and it only gets warm when playing video.

Cons: Driver support is beyond appalling. Ubuntu 11.04 (the newest release) doesn't have wireless support out of the box. Graphics support is there, sorta, but it's fiddly if you want to get 3D working. HDMI output by default will be with fonts about 1/110th of a pixel tall. I never bothered to fuss with that, and tried XP instead.

There are no Windows graphics drivers on Nvidia's site. (Go to the Ion drivers, select the OS, then look at supported platforms. The GT215 and GT220 are all listed, but the GT218 is not.) If you download the latest drivers for 'Ion - Desktop', only one of them in the bundle works. The graphics driver refuses to install saying it's an unsupported version.

Giada has no driver support on their web site. They offer a download, but the installer crashes, leaving Windows with a "find new hardware" process running, which prevents you from running other installers. If you reboot, you immediately get the "new hardware found" thing, and searching finds no usable dri

Other Thoughts: My hunch is that Giada has changed the hardware as this product has evolved. I've had email conversations with folks who say their GPU is reported as being different than the one I have. One guy I know had Ubuntu up and running on wireless with the default Atheros driver. My N20 refuses to say it even has a wireless NIC in it.

So the moral is: If you buy this, you may get a working HTPC, you may not. The wireless thing is no big deal since I can use it with wired ethernet, but the lack of GPU drivers makes it an also-ran. I don't know if Giada bought off-spec or discontinued reference chipsets from Nvidia or what, but don't think that you'll get XP running on an N20 for a certain. It may work, or it may not. And Giada won't be of much help (their web site is dismal at best).

I gave it two stars because it sorta, most, kinda works. I'll keep trying to get it working (I suspect a lot more fiddling in Ubuntu would produce a working PC), but it's a doorstop at this point.

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  • James J.
  • 9/2/2011 8:32:51 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsPerfect

Pros: I bought this unit to run MythTV in the bedroom. It is small, quiet, and the ION2 graphics are easily powerful enough to display 720p and 1080i content. The fact it comes pre-installed with RAM and a hard drive at it's price level is great.

Cons: Only 3 USB ports made it clunky to setup an OS as I had to use a keyboard, mouse, and USB media device to do the initial setup and was unable to setup some peripherals until establishing remote management of the box.

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  • Richard B.
  • 9/1/2011 6:44:48 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsPowerful Tiny Computer

Pros: * HDMI
* Size
* Dual Monitor (extended or clone) with VGA & HDMI (I tested this myself)
* Built in Wireless LAN Card
* No Protruding Antenna (It's wired inside like a netbook/laptop)
* Dual Core Atom @ 1.8Ghz
* NVidia Ion 2 with built in 512MB of Ram
* 2GB of system Ram
* Driver Disk actually worked despite other reviews
* Runs XP Pro perfectly, which is what I wanted to install
* Solid Metal Stand, so it doesn't feel flimsy even though the stand weighs nearly as much as the computer
* Bluetooth built in
* Built in IR receiver
* Included IR Remote works without software & can turn of PC without having to get up (great for me as I use this to watch video online at abc.go.com at night)
* Despite other reviews, flash video works perfectly fine for me and streaming video over the wireless card worked as well (though I don't stream HD video since I'm on DSL Lite so YMMV)
* Built in Card reader and top USB doubles for eSATA
* Graphics card capable of playing older 3D games wh

Cons: * Wired Lan didn't work and I had to open the box (voiding the warranty I'm sure) to unplug the battery from the mother board to reset it. After that it worked flawlessly.
* To get all of the Drivers to work I had to install XP Service Pack 3 before some drivers would recognize. After that, smooth sailing.
* Only 3 USB Ports. This isn't a problem on my Acer Aspire One netbook because I have a keyboard and touch pad built in, but adding a mouse and keyboard for me eats 2 ports right away leaving just the one on the top. Plan to get a powered USB hub for adding many devices. Not a problem though if you use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard
* You may need an external DVD drive to install the OS you want. Not an issue for me as I have one.
* FYI Instructions say something about in windows 7 or some other OS that Bluetooth can't be enabled with the Wireless Lan also enabled. Not a problem in XP, and I haven't read anyone complain about this so I don't know just how true it is.

Other Thoughts: * I love this little machine already, but it was a bit of a pill to get setup. First thing I did was use a jumpdrive with SLAX on it and used fdisk to redo the partitions. This came with some FreeDos OS that had some benchmark testing tools... but I wanted to be sure I wiped everything out before installing XP Pro. Remember, for XP Pro to install the service pack 3 before trying all of the drivers. The first one should install fine, the others (video, audio, wireless, lan) won't.
* Fixing the wired LAN meant taking the two stickers off the bottom of the system, remove the two screws under those stickers, flip open the door on the top of the system and then pulling the side off that has the power button icon on it. Be careful as there is an antenna cable connecting that side of the system to the motherboard. Then I just found the battery (in a case with two wires coming out of it) and disconnected it from it's plug on the motherboard. After a few minutes I connected it back.

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  • Santiphap P.
  • 8/23/2011 2:24:42 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggsNot a gaming desktop replacement

Pros: The overall unit seems to be built with quality.
Love the look and size.
The stand isn't cheap & flimsy, it's made out of "solid steel" and good weight as a base.
Comes with an HDMI cable!!! whoot!

Cons: 5400 rpm Harddrive.... bleeh
WirelessN but feels like WirelessG speed... another bleeh
Opening the case VOIDS your warranty.
You're stuck with 2GB Ram and the 320GB 5400rpm Hard Drive.

Other Thoughts: Units comes ready to install the OS.
Just make sure you have
1. USB stick or external CD drive with OS installation on it
2. USB Keyboard/mouse
then you are ready to install the OS.

I went with Ubuntu 11.04, smooth installation, around 10mins.
Although, I did have some light issue with XBMC running very choppy. After I updated the video driver, I was able to use it fine.

Note:
This is NOT a gaming machine. It's capable of running the game but the performance would be less than desirable.
The unit is compact and very small it's the size of a small booklet, leaving very little space for ventilation which is required for gaming, but enough for your regular everyday surf/email usage.

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  • Robert B.
  • 7/26/2011 10:00:40 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsMad Impressed

Pros: Size, Size, Size!
Quite a lot of power packed into such a little device.
Great Wifi, Used about 80 feet from router, through 3 walls.
More than just a HTPC.

Cons: Having a hard time to knock this one.
Def. update the video drivers once up and connected to internet.

Other Thoughts: Win XP 32 bit Home SP3
Photoshop CS5
Carrara 3D rendering software
Flash Pro Studio

**I have about 8 hours a day to work on my own web design company while at my security job. I use this pc, logitec MK320 wireless mouse and keyboard (Only 1 wireless usb dongle) and the Rosewill USB MKV switch. So I can in less that 2 seconds switch back from my office computer and this pc, only using my one Desktop Monitor. None of my coworkers know what I'm doing, cause as soon as they enter my office, I switch to some corp spreadsheet or something. This all fits nicely under my desk while working, as well as in my locker at work when I leave. I'm now making over twice the money in the same amount of time. Thanks Giada!

**While it absolutely runes these high power graphic rendering software packages, it still is a light weight PC. Just be more patient with the render times than if you were using a powerful ATX desktop PC

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Ichun C.
  • 6/24/2011 7:48:48 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsLittle mini-PC with lots of Potential

Pros: - Small form factor = easy to hide;
- Very Quite;
- Low Power;
- Installed WinXP SP3 as well as Win7 32-bit and 64-bit;
- Runs casual games like Civ5 and Spiral Knights and an assortment of office/work related apps.
- Streams video content from Slingbox without difficulties over wired ethernet.
- Very Elegantly designed system and great example of modern day miniaturization and integration into a single low cost system.

Cons: - Requires upgraded RAM if used as a primary computer and want to use it at it's fullest potential.
- Desperately needs BIOS update to solve many of the BSOD issues.
- Speed of Wireless NIC is intermittent. (Sometimes fast and sometimes slow, even when the wireless router is within 1ft away)
- IR remote useless. Needs a program to remap some of the remote control keys to something useful.
-Needs more USB ports.
-BIOS does not support timed/scheduled power-up

Other Thoughts: Have been using it since purchase as my primary computer.

No optical drive can be a nuisance at times when installing OS. But programs and applications can be easily deployed using a network attached storage device and virtual optical drives. For me, smaller and lower power is better.

Generally satisfied with purchase but the multitude of blue screens regarding a host of issues ranging from bluetooth and video memory, to USB bus and HD appears to suggest BIOS firmware bugs. Troubles from other users/owners recieving BSOD for a gamut of sources also points to this possibility. BIOS desperately needs an update to make this a "5-egg" computer at a legitimate price.

As of 06/24/2011, manufacturer's website has no updates for BIOS firmware.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Reuben D.
  • 6/20/2011 1:49:22 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsbest bargain HTPC

Pros: - Plays HD flawlessly, even through wifi
- Installed Windows 7 Ultimate (x86/32bit), no issues
- XBMC(windows version/lastest nightly build) runs great
- Very small, can hide easily in living room setup
- I even use it to watch my mom's slingbox way back home through firefox in fullscreen on my big tv.

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: - I took advantage of the promo code few weeks ago so got it for $270. Couldn't pass it up and was having trouble deciding on which HTPC to buy.
- Its a HTPC and its doing the job I bought it for it and didn't have to spend anything extra. You can't beat the entire package HD, RAM, CPU/GPU, Wifi, bluetooth, IR remote!
- Priced any higher and might as well build a budget pc or buy a laptop.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Leon S.
  • 6/15/2011 11:49:34 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsLove this little machine

Pros: Tiny, virtually silent, fairly quick, slick looking (wife likes the look), perfect 1080p mp4 and bluray playback (with correct drivers), optical out for audio in addition to digital audio via HDMI, eSata port for faster backups or general file transfers, SD slot for easy consumer camera picture transfers, provided remote will wake computer from sleep, hibernate, or even off! Uses only 1 Watt while sleeping, less than 30 Watts while showing 1080p movies.

Cons: Requires care when choosing drivers, video being the most tricky. Full screen Flash video is choppy but not a problem for our needs. Need to shave our HDMI and optical audio cable connectors if you want to use both at the same time... because they are too close together. No optical drive... but the whole machine is smaller than most portable optical drives! No compact flash slot (for professional cameras), but readily handled with a USB adapter.

Other Thoughts: This is one of the fastest and most capable machines for it's power usage and anything near it's size.

Assuming you run 32-bit Windows 7, make sure you use the latest video drivers from Microsoft (installed with Windows update). The video drivers from NVidia and Giada, while smoother for fullscreen Flash playback are very buggy and pretty consistently cause nasty video and audio playback and can easily hang the machine during 1080p playback.

Nicely complemented by purchase of white keyboard and mouse and / or Rii Mini keyboard w/ trackpad for AV setup.

Works OK w/ XBMC in my limited tested. I prefer Windows Media Center for access to my cable card connected HD tuners so I can watch and record live TV from Verizon FIOS.

Bluetooth not yet sorted out... could be bad driver or bad MB. I'll have to explore this a bit further.

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