Archive for the ‘HTPC’ Category
The company that takes almost full credit for inventing place-shifting is back in retail action with new models and new software features too. The Slingbox 350 takes the place of the older Solo at $179 and adds an integrated IR blaster and the new ability to stream 1080p HD. The Slingbox 500 also does 1080p, but adds WiFi — which really should be in both — and an HDMI input and output. The HDMI output does more than just pass-through too, in conjunction with the new SlingProjector feature it can render your pictures and videos (soon) on the big screen. Both can take advantage of the new SlingPlayer apps with optimizations like reminders as well as a revamp Slingbox.com web interface that makes it easier than ever to share your place-shifting joy with friends and family. These boxes go on sale in the States on October 14th with our friends to the north getting them in November. What might be interesting to all Slingbox owners is that the SlingPlayer client for various platforms is now half the price at $15.
Intel has finalized the specs of its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) board, and announced it’ll go on sale in October for less than $400 with a case and power supply. Carrying a 4 x 4-inch form factor between a Raspberry Pi and mini-ITX board, it’ll be equipped with a Core i3 Ivy Bridge processor, HD 4000 graphics, two SO-DIMM sockets, an M-SATA slot for an SSD drive, three USB ports, one HDMI port and a mini-PCI slot for wireless connectivity. Two different models will be offered by the chip giant, identical except that one will be Thunderbolt equipped and the other will sport an ethernet port for connectivity. Originally intended for the kiosk and signage markets, enthusiast interest compelled Intel to put the board on general sale, along with a case (pictured above) and power supply option. That’ll pit it against offerings from VIA and others, while offering considerably more oomph in a similar form factor — though a mini-server slaying Core i5 option originally proposed by Intel was dropped.
SOURCE via PC World
It’s only been a little over a month since Giada first introduced that itty-bitty, Ivy Bridge-loaded i53 mini PC, but the outfit wants to have something for everyone and is now announcing a lesser-specced i35G series. Although not as powerful as its i53 brethren, the i35G’s got some nice attributes of its own, including — you guessed it — Intel’s Cedar Trail CPU, a hot-off-the-press GeForce GT 610 GPU and 2GB of RAM with the base model (up to 4GB) — not to mention an all-in-one card reader, five USB 2.0 ports plus VGA, HDMI ports. Additionally, the standard unit comes with a 320GB hard drive, though if you’re looking for a quick boost, it’s easily upgradable to some solid-state drive goodness. Giada’s letting go of its petite i35G starting at $274, but you’ll have to call North America home, as it’s only available in Canada and the States.
SOURCE via Giada Tech
As recent history would kindly tell us, Zotac really, really loves its tiny computing boxes. Now the outfit’s introduced yet another one to its mini PC mix: enter the ZBOX ID84. The standalone unit — which lacks an HDD and memory sticks — is set to be priced at a not-too-shabby $229, while the “Plus” model will carry a more expensive $319 price tag, but does come sporting a decent 320GB (5,400RPM) hard drive, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 520M GPU alongside the dual-core Intel Atom D2550 CPU. Ports-wise the ZBOX ID84 Plus is pretty well-stacked, sporting two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, a notorious 6-in-1 card reader, gigabit Ethernet, plus DVI and HDMI. All in all, it looks like Zotac’s latest miniature could get most anyone through the days, though we wouldn’t blame you if you’re interested in something with a little more power under the hood.
SOURCE via Zotac
Believe it or not, there’s a potentially cheaper (and more customizable) way to get NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 into your life than to spring for a Nexus 7. Kontron is readying a rare Mini-ITX motherboard, the KTT30, that combines the ARM-based chip with expandable RAM and a trio of mini PCI Express slots for expansion like a micro SATA drive or a 3G modem. The external ports are more the kind you’d find on a do-it-yourself x86 PC, too: full-size HDMI, USB and even Ethernet make a show at the back. The only hurdles are an unusually throttled back 900MHz processor speed and, quite simply, the lack of release details. Kontron hasn’t promised more than a release “coming soon” — with much more complete Tegra 3 devices now hitting the $199 mark, though, we can’t see the KTT30 putting much strain on any budding hobbyist’s wallet.
SOURCE via Kontron
It’s another wondrous success story from within the walls of Kickstarter, but honestly, meeting its funding goal was just the start for Infinitec. The outfit’s second product, the Pocket TV, is well on its way to becoming a commercialized reality, but backers will be pleased to know that a few changes are being made in order to address some of the most frequently voiced concerns. For starters, the company’s doubling the included RAM from 512MB to 1GB. We asked its founders why it’d make such a change, and were told that the boost in memory would enable “snappier performance” throughout, and ensure that it’ll handle “the next versions of Android” when updates become available. Wise move. Contrary to the belief of many, such a decision requires more than a simple tweak on a purchase order; Infinitec will be redesigning the final product to look like the item pictured above, and it’s bringing on staff in order to adhere to its original shipment month of October.
Zotac and its XBOXes — just when you think your next dorm room PC couldn’t get any smaller… it does. The latest in the stable is the long-winded Nano XS AD11 Plus, a hysterically titled small form factor PC equipped with a dual-core 1.6GHz AMD E-450 APU, Radeon HD 6320 GPU, 2GB of DDR3 memory and an HDMI output. There’s also a 64GB mSATA SSD, a pair of USB 3.0 sockets (as well as a couple of the USB 2.0 variety), a gigabit Ethernet jack and a bundled MCE-compatible remote. In a smattering of reviews that also cropped up alongside the box’s launch, we’ve learned that the E-450 moderately bests the prior E-350 rigs and soars past similarly equipped Atom-based machines; the mSATA SSD is perhaps the biggest upgrade, however, easily helping the system as a whole feel far faster than those with mechanical hard drives. Hot Hardware was pleased with the overall showing, though they did note that the include USB WiFi adapter gave ‘em headaches when trying to stream high-bitrate content from a NAS / home server. Worth the $359?
SOURCE via TG Daily
Yeah, an optical drive. You know, for folks who still appreciate the passing fads of life. Bitterness aside, Commodore is following up its retro-fabulous C64x with a new small-form-factor PC, the Amiga Mini. While not much of a looker, this box houses a potent 3.5GHz Core i7-2700k CPU, 16GB of DDR3 memory, Nvidia’s GeForce GT 430 (1GB), a WiFi radio and a 1TB HDD that can be swapped out for a 300GB or 600GB solid state drive. There’s a slot-loading Blu-ray drive by default, internal space for a pair of 2.5-inch drives and a predictable Amiga logo burned right onto the front panel. Unfortunately, the well-specced base model tips the pricing scales at $2,495, but that does include a copy of its Commodore OS Vision. The company has also revealing the C64x Supreme, the new VIC mini and a more powerful VIC-Slim keyboard computer (which now includes an HDMI output).
SOURCE via Commodore USA
Intel’s empire-building in non-PC markets could almost be considered Napoleonic, were it not so inherently rational. Having given us the lauded Medfield SoC for smartphones and tablets, it has now announced its next-gen processor for cable boxes. Nicknamed “Berryville”, the dual-core Atom CE5300 is loaded up with integrated 2D/3D graphics, hyperthreading, virtualization and ultra-realistic car chases, which Intel hopes will allow Pay TV providers to offer smarter services, like gaming, home security and home automation. Can’t let ARM have all the fun now, can we?
SOURCE via Intel
Naked Eye 3D may be the cutting edge this year, but smart TVs may finally see their breakthrough. And if you don’t want to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a new TV, there will be cheaper ways to get apps on your existing or future TV: For example, you could consider Roku’s Streaming Stick.
The USB flash drive-sized device plugs in MHL-enabled HDMI ports and promises to deliver a smart TV experience.
“Roku was the first to stream Netflix to the TV and since then has been applauded for delivering a first rate Netflix experience,” said Greg Peters, vice president at Netflix. “Now Roku is taking streaming innovation to the next level and giving consumers a seamless Smart TV experience. The Roku Streaming Stick is a great solution for Netflix because it allows us to deliver the Netflix experience found on the Roku platform to potentially any TV.”
There were no details besides the note that the Streaming Stick “will deliver the more than 400 channels found on the Roku platform today and will benefit from regular, free software updates and channel enhancements.” The device will be offered as a standalone product or in bundles with TVs in the second half of 2012. The company did not release pricing, but we can anticipate that Roku will position the device within or near the price range of its existing players, which retail from $49 to $99.
SOURCE via Bloomberg