As computing becomes ever more powerful, and “Netbooks” offer mobile computing power on the road with low-power chips, diminutive boxes with powerhouse capabilities are not only inevitable- they’re already here. While home theatre machines may be a “hobby” to some electronics companies, others are taking it seriously and offering some horsepower under the hood…
Witness Niveus’ Zone computer. Measuring in at a diminutive 6.5- x 6.5- x 1.97-inches, this 3.2 pound, brushed aluminum case packs some serious horsepower into a Apple Mini sized, but better looking, and considerably more functional device.
Specs wise, it has a 2GHz Core 2 Duo T5750 CPU, 2GB of RAM, gigabit ethernet, a 160GB SATA hard drive, slot-loading Blu-ray drive, front-mounted IR receiver and USB ports, includes a media remote, Intel’s GMA X4500 HD graphics, HDMI 1.3 and eSATA ports as well as support for 7.1-channel surround sound.
Price? $1500 direct from Niveus.
Alternatively, Shuttle continues to pack features into their tiny-tower. Shuttle’s Mini H7 4500H media PC adds Blu-ray, to a DVB-T tuner so you can capture and record OTA HDTV programs.
Under the hood, the spe impressive specs continue with a 2.83GHz Intel Core 2 Quad, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285, 1 TB SATA HDD, 4 GB DDR2 RAM, and a Blu-ray writer. It’s also got HDMI, SPDIF, eSATA, FireWire and six USB ports.
We configured one with Quad Core, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB startup drive, 1 TB media drive (configurable with up to 3 hard drives), 4x Triple Writer, Radeon HD4850 (2 DVI + S-video), Gigabit Ethernet, 2 eSATA ports, 6-pin Firewire + 4-pin Firewire, 8 USB ports (2 on front), PCI slot, Fingerprint reader, PCI Express Mini slot, S/PDIF I/O, Coax audio out, for just $2047.
Load Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium on here and you you are capturing, editing, authoring and delivering HDTV (burned on Blu-ray disks) for less than the cheapest “pro” computer from that other company.
Maybe Shuttle ought to exhibit at NAB & show off their affordable but powerful machines. I’m sure there’s a whole mess of people who recently became freelancers (i.e. were laid off) and are looking for gear to make this a reality.