Lian Li on Tuesday unveiled its TYR PC-X2000F gaming grade chassis, which the company is also billing as an HTPC enclosure. Given the case's size, Lian Li might be going on a bit of limb with that one, though we'll concede the case certainly allows "high performance components to be encompassed into the home theater environment without compromising looks or appeal."
Lian Li's latest enclosure supports E-ATX, ATX, and mATX motherboards and comes with four tool-less optical drive bays placed on either the left or right side. You'll also find seven tool-less hard drive mounting racks, cable storage behind the motherboard tray, a fan control-switch on the back panel, four USB 3.0 I/O ports, and five 140mm LED fans (three at the front and two in the back).
Should you decide to plop the PC-X2000F into your living room, noise apparently won't be an issue, Lian Li claims. The company says the case was designed with silence in mind, and as such, it comes with "specialized sound insulation material combined with the 2mm thick aluminum alloy side panels [to] keep your system whisper quiet."
The case will be available by the end of the month for around $540.
If you trace the roots of the Asus EeeKeyboard all the way back to CES 2009, and the convoluted trail of announcements and redesigns that followed, you probably suspected this would turn out to be little more than Vaporware. We had our doubts as well, but Asus has proved us wrong by actually launching the long awaiting keyboard PC, and the final product actually appears to be somewhat compelling.
The all-in-one EeeKeyboard PC features an Intel Atom N270 processor, an integrated 480x800 capacitive touchscreen, and built in speakers along with Windows XP on a 16 or 32GB SSD. Best of all users can choose to use either the built in display, connect to an external monitor via (HDMI/VGA), or wirelessly stream to a TV using Ultra-Wideband (UWB) that carries both the audio and video. We haven't had a chance to benchmark one or put it through the paces just yet, but it looks like a pretty interesting new form factor for PC users with very basic needs, or for the burgeoning HTPC market.
The UWB is by far the most interesting feature, but the fact that it is limited to 720p with a 5-meter range definitely restricts some of its usefulness. This is either a limitation of the UWB implementation, or the Intel Integrated graphics. Future implementations will hopefully add in an Nvidia ION, and maybe even boost the 4 hours of battery life a touch, but overall this looks like a pretty decent first attempt.
Click the jump to checkout a video of the EeeKeyboard in action, or to let us know what you think of the new form factor.
Asus wants you to feel good about yourself so they went and released the Bravo220 "home entertainment PC card." So what's there to feel good about? For one, the card's 21 percent more power efficient than competing models, so you can look Mother Nature in th eye without that twinge of guilt. And secondly, by investing in the Bravo220 you're making a statement to yourself that you're not going to spend every waking moment playing videogames - that isn't what this card was built for.
As you probably surmised, the Bravo220 is built around Nvidia's GT220 architecture. The GPU comes clocked at 525MHz and there's a 1GB frame buffer chugging along at 400MHz (800MHz effective) on a 128-bit bus. It's HDCP compliant, supports resolutions up to 2560x1600, and has DVI-I, D-Sub, and HDMI ports. So before you ask, no, it's not going to run Crysis, not with the eye candy cranked up anyway, but it will fit right in with your home theater setup.
Towards that end, Asus developed a special Bravo Media Center interface they say is intuitive, and it comes with a remote control to boot. The cooling solution is passive, so there's no fan to distract you from those quiet scenes, and Asus says their Splendid Plus technology will reduce noise and artifacts while improving conversion rates.
What Asus didn't say is when it will ship and for how much.
Gateway computer introduced some new models into three of its desktop computer lines. The upgraded machines feature more power, capacity, and performance while maintaining Gateway’s trademark low price tag.
In the FX line, revamped machines sport Intel Core i7 processors, Radeon HD5850, at least 8GB of DDR3 memory and Blu-ray/DVD or DVD-RW drive and numerous improvements to its chassis design. The highest priced FX unit runs at $1699.99. The DX line runs Intel Core i5 processors and various nVidia graphics and Blu-ray options depending on your configuration maintaining a midline pricing of about $849.99 (Nvidia GT220, 4x Blu-Ray). Lastly, the SX series of small-form-factor desktops gets Core i3 processors, GMA X4500HD graphics, 6GB DDR3 memory retailing at $599.99 and handles HDMI out of the box for HTPC builders.
You can check out Gateway’s latest improvements at the Gateway store.
I’m in the process of piecing together an HTPC that will run Windows 7 Home Premium. I’d like to be able to connect the HTPC to my receiver via a single HDMI cable. Are there any videocards available that will send both video and TrueHD audio via an HDMI cable, or do I have to use the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Slim that was reviewed in the November issue?
There aren't many power users in the PC (as in, Window's based PCs) community who will admit to wanting a Mac, but there are those who secretly love the look of Apple's Mac Mini. If this sounds like you, then you might be a prime candidate for Ripple Look's new HTPC, which looks a lot like that other kind of personal computer.
From what we can gather, the Ripple Look boasts an Intel Atom 230 processor, a 2.5-inch 160GB hard drive, integrated Intel GMA X4500 graphics with HD video support and DX10, four USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, audio inputs, printer port, serial port, and VGA port. Missing, however, is HDMI and Wi-Fi connectivity.
There are a couple of different ways you can situate the Ripple Look in your living room. Rubber pads on the bottom prevent vibration if you opt to toss the unit into your home theater rack, or you can remove the bottom plate to reveal VESA mount holes for attaching it to the back of your LCD TV or monitor.
No word yet on price or availability, but you can check out a video demo here.
The chaps at PiixL, a London-based startup, announced on Saturday a crazy thin home theater PC (HTPC) called the EdgeCenter 3770. But unlike other space-saving HTPC setups, this one's designed to be mounted directly behind any flat screen TV with a VESA mounting interface and a screen size between 37 to 70 inches.
That means you can hide your HTPC out of sight rather than taking up a shelf in your home theater's rack. And though it measures just 30mm thick, the base model EdgeCenter 3770 supports up to two TV tuners, an Intel Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processor, integrated Nvidia 9300 graphics, up to 4GB of ultra low profile DDR2 RAM, up to 2TB of hard drive space, optional 7.1 audio, an optional Blu-ray reader/writer, and Windows 7 Ultimate in either 32-bit or 64-bit form.
There's also a couple of higher-end configurations, like the EdgeCenter 3770 Maxxed Up Edition. This one boasts two Intel Xeon processors, up to a staggering 24GB of DDR3 memory, and videocard options ranging from the ATI HD 4670 on up to the HD 5850 (the 5850 negates the ability to mount the EdgeCenter on a 500x400 VESA pattern).
PiixL's new EdgeCenter models are available now starting at about $3,650 on the low end, and about $8,050 for the dual-Xeon configuration.
The folks over at Boxee released some great information and pictures about the "soon to be released" Boxee box. Boxee has partnered with networking giant D-Link to build and develop the new set-top box.
On the Boxee blog, Andrew Kippen posted some nice pictures of the new hardware. Astro Studios created the design of the box, the same folks who worked on the Xbox 360. They hope to keep the cost of the box sub-$200 and it features a slew of ports (HDMI, SPDIF, USB, 802.11n/Ethernet, to name the biggies). It also seems to be quite petite (see pictures after the jump using soda can for scale).
They expect the box to be released in quarter two of 2010. They also plan to announce more details at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Now available from USB Geek is the aptly named USB Wireless Handheld Keyboard and Touchpad. The marketing gurus have pegged the device as a simple wireless input device, but this could be the perfect stocking stuffer for HTPC enthusiasts.
You won't find a multitouch interface nor is there an LCD. But it does come with a trackpad, wireless USB dongle, and a QWERTY keyboard in a form factor that will have all those hours honing your text messaging skills paying off.
It works from up to 30 feet away, and a bright backlight ensures you'll have little trouble manipulating your DVR in the dark. It also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery and supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, and 2000. And at $62, it's not going to break the bank either.
Check out a video of the remote USB Wireless Handheld Keyboard and Touchpad in action here, then hit up the product page for more info.
If the Mac Mini and a bag of Skittles were to share a night of unbridled love, we're pretty the love child of such an affair would look identical to the Zino HD, Dell's new line of colorful low-power home theater PCs.
Dell kicks off the HTPC line with several base configurations, each one built around an AMD processor. The least expensive Zino HD starts at just $230 and includes an AMD Athlon 2560e processor (1.6GHz, 512KB L2 cache), 2GB of DDR2-800 memory, 250GB hard drive spinning at 7200RPM, integrated ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics, 2.1 audio, an 8X DVD burner, and Windows Vista Home Basic. The OS is a bit of a surprise, considering each of the three other configurations come with Windows 7 Home Premium in 64-bit trim.
The highest priced model checks in at $650 and kicks the processor up to an AMD Athlon 2850e (1.8GHz, 512KB L2 cache), doubles up on memory (4GB), adds twice as much storage (500GB), tosses in an ATI Radeon HD 4330 videocard with a 512MB frame buffer, and includes a 20-inch Dell ST2010 widescreen monitor.
All of the models come with 4 USB ports (2 each on the front and back) and 2 eSATA ports.