Small form-factor HTPCs For Your Living Room

Posted in Hardware by Ruslan Ulanov on the November 25th, 2009

While searching for a new HTPC for my living room I found a few off-the-shelf models that you might find worth your while.

Any of these HTPCs will run you under $500 for a base model, but some manufacturers allow upgrades, like Blu-ray drive, RAM, etc., that could easily double the price tag. Also some of these systems are sold without keyboards, mice or monitors (‘coz you’ll be connecting it to a large screen HDTV anyway, right?). You’ll need to make sure you have a spare set at least for initial setup.

These systems are quiet (or nearly silent) and relatively good looking, so they should have high WAF for placement in your living room.

Dell Inspiron Zino HD

Inspiron ZinoHD

Inspiron ZinoHD

OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
Processor:AMD Athlon 2850e
Graphics:ATI Radeon HD3200+
ODD: DVD RW or BD combo (BD read/DVD+CD RW)
HDD: 320GB+
RAM:3GB 800Mhz+
Audio: Integrated 2.1 HD Audio+
WiFi: Dell 1397 802.11 b/g+
LAN:10/100Mbps
Price: from $462
Web site: Dell

Myka ION

Myka Ion

Myka Ion

OS:Ubuntu Linux or Dual-boot with Win 7 (installed separately)
Processor: Intel Atom
Graphics:Nvidia ION
ODD: none or BD (with Win7 only)
HDD: 160GB+
RAM: 2GB+
WiFi: none or 802.11 n
LAN:10/100Mbps
Price: from $320
Web site: Myka

ASRock ION 330 / HT / HT-BD

ION 330HT-BD

ION 330HT-BD

OS: Win 7
Processor: Intel Atom 330 (1.6GHz, dual-core)
Graphics:Nvidia ION
ODD: DVD RW or BD combo
HDD: 320GB
RAM: 2GB DDR2 800MHz
Audio: 7.1 Channel
WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n (with HT series only)
LAN:10/100/1000Mbps
PSU: 65W/19V power brick
Other: IR remote control (with HT series only)
Price: $350
Web site: ASRock, We Got Served review(note that this review is for the ION 330 model, not for ION 330 HT which is nearly identical, but adds WiFi, and remote control)

Acer Aspire Revo AR3610-U9012

AspireRevo 3610

AspireRevo 3610

OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
Processor: Intel Atom 330 (1.6GHz, dual-core)
Graphics:Nvidia ION
ODD: DVD RW or BD combo
HDD: 160GB
RAM:2GB DDR2 800Mhz
Audio: integrated
WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
LAN:10/100/1000Mbps
PSU: 65W/19V power brick
Other: USB stereo speakers, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, monitor not included.
Price: $329
Web site: Acer

And if you don’t mind tinkering a bit with hardware, there are some pretty good barabone systems that require additional components to be purchased and installed separately. For example…

AOpen XC Mini MP45-DR

XC mini

XC mini

OS: supports Win XP, Vista
Processor:supports Intel Core 2 Duo and Celeron
Graphics:integrated Intel GM45 chipset (GMA X45000MHD)
ODD: DVD RW
HDD: 160GB
RAM:2GB+ DDR2 800Mhz
Audio: integrated 5.1 Channel
WiFi: none
LAN:10/100/1000Mbps
PSU: 90W/20V power brick
Other: IR remote control
Price: $399
Web site: AOpen

If you know of any good system that’s worth mentioning please leave a comment.

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