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Giada D2305 preview: Ultrabook hardware and Nvidia GT640 GPU in a mini system

Giada specializes in mini-PCs and the D2305 that we are looking at today has a similar foundation, but is also more deluxe.

The design of the Giada D2305 is different than most other models we've seen recently. It almost looks like a mix between a mini PC and some kind of deluxe Hi-Fi device. That was a conscious decision, as Giada is aiming the D2305 at the HTPC market.

The rounded corners with chrome highlights give it a nice look, a bit more deluxe than the i53 model than we tested previously due to more use of metal. The front is devoid of any connectors it looks like, there's only the power switch and LED. There are however connectors are in the front, but hidden behind a cover. They consist of a USB 3.0 port, an SD/MS card reader and two audio ports. Located above them is the DVD/ Blu-ray reader that can also burn DVDs. This reiterates how Giada wants you to use this device, next to the TV in the living room.

The backside reveals that the components were customized for this product, instead of using a standard motherboard format like Mini-ITX. Giada managed to fit a lot of connectors here, including a WiFi antenna, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, HDMI, DVI and a plug for the external power supply. There are also optical digital and analog audio ports.

In terms of hardware, like the i53 this is basically an Ultrabook without a screen or keyboard. It's also equipped with an Intel Core i5-3317U, a CPU used in many Ultrabooks. The Giada D2305 has many more components however which turn it into a significantly more powerful and versatile device. It contains a single DDR3-1333 4 GB memory module, and you can add a second for a total of 8 GB. For an HTPC that might not make much difference. Graphics are provided by an Nvidia GeForce GT640 with 1 GB DDR3 video memory.

It's not an extremely powerful graphics card, but fast enough for video tasks and playing games in HD resolution. If you tinker with the graphical quality settings you might be able to play some games in Full HD. You can read the rest of the Giada D2305 preview on