We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Foxconn nT-A3500 review

£170 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Foxconn

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Foxconn is a Taiwanese OEM for many well-known brands. It also sells some products under its own name, such as the Foxconn nT-A3500, a low-profile bare-bones computer that combines respectable performance with a svelte design.

Foxconn’s Nettop nT-A3500 is sold as a bare-bones PC with a motherboard, CPU and case, but no memory or storage installed. It’s spectacularly thin, measuring just 25mm in height – smaller than the average router, or even a paperback book. 

The Foxconn nT-A3500 could be useful as a low-profile office PC, media server or underneath a television for watching video, either stored on its hard disk, or streamed from network storage or the internet.

Although the glossy-black chassis attracts fingerprints, there’s nothing ugly about the device. There are both DVI and HDMI video outputs, four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, audio connectors, a card reader, ethernet port and a red hard disk activity LED.

A single antenna attaches to the back for 802.11n wireless and there are power and sleep buttons (although no reset button). 

There’s a single memory slot for a DDR3 SODIMM and space for a 2.5in hard drive, although you could use an SSD instead for snappy performance. Importantly for a PC intended for media playback, the fan covering the CPU is near-silent, and when idle, the Foxconn nT-A3500 remains cool as well. 

We installed a 2GB Kingston memory card and 200GB Toshiba 5400rpm notebook drive. But not without difficulty – we had some trouble in opening the Foxconn nT-A3500. After removing four screws, rather than the case simply sliding off, it had to be prised open. It was so tight, we were worried about snapping the cover. 

More budget PC reviews

Accessing the innards of other small form-factor PCs is often tricky, but when they come preloaded with memory and storage, it isn’t such an issue.

Even under load it remains unobtrusive, a major issue for many small form-factor PCs. It only sips 14W of power when idle, which rose to 23W when playing a video.

That modest power draw is in part thanks to the 1.6GHz E-350 processor, part of AMD’s Fusion line, with the GPU built on the same die as the CPU.

It’s a more efficient combination than Intel’s Atom processor with nVidia’s ION chipset, a CPU/GPU combination found in other small form-factor PCs. The WorldbBench 6 score of 55 might not look impressive, but is not bad for a PC of this size.

Its gaming capability can’t match a discrete GPU. It only managed 35fps in our FEAR benchmark (Maximum detail settings), but the GPU isn’t really for gaming. Instead it can take some of the load from the CPU when decoding 1080p video. 

This works well when using the popular and free XBMC media software, which has an option to force the GPU into hardware accelerated video decoding. With this software, 1080p MKV videos played perfectly, without any audio stuttering or video pausing.

Foxconn nT-A3500 Expert Verdict »

AMD 1.6GHz E-350 processor, with AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics
2x USB 3.0 ports
4x USB 2.0 ports
DVI, HDMI ports
analogue audio output
digital audio output
microphone input
gigabit ethernet port
SD/MS card slot
VESA monitor mount
vertical stand
external power supply
185 x 134 x 25mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 6 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

We like the budget Foxconn A3500 at just £170, although you’ll need to add in the cost of internal memory and storage, plus extras like a remote control for media-centre use. It offers flexibility not always found in other mini form-factor PCs, which can be less powerful, physically larger and less capable of playing 1080p video. It gives you complete freedom to choose your own operating system, where most PCs cannot be bought without Windows.

  • Shuttle XPC P2 3500G review

    Shuttle XPC P2 3500G

    The Shuttle XPC P2 3500G is space-saving, small form-factor desktop PC tailored towards gaming.

  • Netgear RangeMax DGN3500 review

    Netgear RangeMax DGN3500

    Netgear’s RangeMax DGN3500 is a neatly designed wireless-n router that works well, provided that your home network is Windows-only.

  • Foxconn 8600GT-256OC graphics card

    Foxconn 8600GT-256OC graphics card

    If your budget refuses to stretch to three figures, this card from Foxconn is currently your best bet.

  • AVADirect Clevo X8100 review

    AVADirect Clevo X8100

    AVADirect’s kitchen-sink Clevo X8100 laptop aims to replace desktop gaming PCs for LAN parties. The system falls just a bit short.

  • Ricoh Aficio CL3500N colour laser printer

    Ricoh Aficio CL3500N colour laser printer

    The Ricoh Aficio CL3500N is a colour laser printer designed for small offices and workgroups. Offering built-in networking capability, fast print speeds, and a 530-sheet paper tray, the Ricoh Aficio CL3500N is a well-built machine that can help make your work environment more productive.

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ (UK Sony Xperia Z4) UK release date, price and specification: Pre-order the Sony Xp9......

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

What Jony Ive's new job means for Apple design

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer