Official Dell Zino 410 HTPC - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

Is the IR built into the Zino, or is the receiver an external USB device that only comes packaged with the Dell RC260 Media Remote?

Also, is it possible to place ANY low-profile discrete card in the system? If so, it might be worth it to buy the cheapest Zino and then upgrade it yourself once the 3D-capable cards become more readily available for reasonable prices...

palehorse, I glanced at the specs. No, you can't place ANY low-profile discrete card. It has got to be a MXM module. And when you get BR drive into the picture, you might as well go for the costliest config with the quad core

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post #32 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Yup.. not cheap at all :|

If I were to be spending this much money, I would rather go and get the ASRock Vision 3D which seems to be much more future proof.. (3D support, HDMI 1.4a etc.).

That said, the Phenom II quad core does look tempting. I can't wait to benchmark that config against the Vision 3D. Maybe, this one might be better in terms of performance benchmarks!

Isn't the ASRock several hundred dollars more than the Zino? The last rumors I read predicted $1000 to $1300 USD... without an OS!

As far as I can tell, you could max out the Zino ($750), and then swap in your own 3D-capable MXM module, and you'd end up well under the ridiculously overpriced ASrock system.

Am I wrong? How much are the GeForce 400-series MXM cards?
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post #33 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

Isn't the ASRock several hundred dollars more than the Zino? The last rumors I read predicted $1000 to $1300 USD... without an OS!

As far as I can tell, you could max out the Zino ($750), and then swap in your own 3D-capable MXM module, and you'd end up well under the ridiculously overpriced ASrock system.

Am I wrong? How much are the GeForce 400-series MXM cards?

I just configured one Zino HD with the MCE remote etc etc. (trying to make it similar to Vision 3D) and it came to around $900. No escape from the 5450 MXM module (all BR drive equipped models come with that, apparently). This includes OS.

However, swapping out MXM modules is usually not that straightforward (Got to make sure your BIOS will support it, first). Further, MXM modules aren't easy enough to come by if you are not a OEM manufacturer (market is very less compared to discrete graphics cards).

For example, I found a GTS250M MXM module for 250 euros here: http://www.mxm-upgrade.com/Store_30.html ; One can expect the 400M series MXM modules to be more than that definitely. Add those costs, and the Vision 3D definitely seems a more future proof choice.

Problem with these type of SFF PCs for HTPC purposes is that they are not easy to upgrade with respect to the processor or graphic cards or even the mini-PCI-e peripherals.

The ASRock system is priced at $999, but PR dept. expects retail channels to offer discounts / OS combo deals of some sort, so the price may turn out to be cheaper even with the OS.

Edit: I re-read my post, and it sounds like a plug for the ASRock system! Definitely didn't want it to come across that way, but I just had to make some observations based on the specs at hand

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post #34 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 02:15 PM
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The 599$ HD5450 equiped model has a monitor included, which cannot be removed. Dumb decision on Dells part, since HTPC users who buy it don`t probably need the monitor, which adds 100$ t the base price.
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post #35 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 03:03 PM
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I'm interested in the quad core model..... but why 6GB of ram? that's too much for a Media Center.... this could lower the price by $50 if 4GB was an option.
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post #36 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

The 599$ HD5450 equiped model has a monitor included, which cannot be removed. Dumb decision on Dells part, since HTPC users who buy it don`t probably need the monitor, which adds 100$ t the base price.

Yeah, no doubt. Who the hell would want an 18.5" monitor at all!? lame...
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post #37 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I just configured one Zino HD with the MCE remote etc etc. (trying to make it similar to Vision 3D) and it came to around $900. No escape from the 5450 MXM module (all BR drive equipped models come with that, apparently). This includes OS.

However, swapping out MXM modules is usually not that straightforward (Got to make sure your BIOS will support it, first). Further, MXM modules aren't easy enough to come by if you are not a OEM manufacturer (market is very less compared to discrete graphics cards).

For example, I found a GTS250M MXM module for 250 euros here: http://www.mxm-upgrade.com/Store_30.html ; One can expect the 400M series MXM modules to be more than that definitely. Add those costs, and the Vision 3D definitely seems a more future proof choice.

Problem with these type of SFF PCs for HTPC purposes is that they are not easy to upgrade with respect to the processor or graphic cards or even the mini-PCI-e peripherals.

The ASRock system is priced at $999, but PR dept. expects retail channels to offer discounts / OS combo deals of some sort, so the price may turn out to be cheaper even with the OS.

Edit: I re-read my post, and it sounds like a plug for the ASRock system! Definitely didn't want it to come across that way, but I just had to make some observations based on the specs at hand

jacmal, good comments.

Would you be kind enough to comment on the overall value/significance-for-the-future of the Asrock's USB 3 ports?
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post #38 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

jacmal, good comments.

Would you be kind enough to comment on the overall value/significance-for-the-future of the Asrock's USB 3 ports?

This would be a bit off-topic in this Zino HD thread (we would have liked to have 1 USB 3.0 port in the Zino HD), but I will give my response here anyway:

I have been telling ASRock again and again that USB 3 is a overkill for the HM55 based products. At most 1 USB 3 port is enough for that motherboard / chipset. But, ASRock decided to go with 3 such ports, increasing end cost by $20 - $30 for the consumer.

USB 3 port in HM55 definitely helps you get full performance out of your external hard disks, but when one has external SSDs, its 'problems' get exposed. You can expect at most 90 - 100 MB/s transfer rate with the USB 3.0 ports in HM55 chipsets. This is OK for external hard disks since they are inherently limited by disk to buffer transfer rate of around 80 - 100 MB/s. However, SSDs can give 200 - 250 MB/s, but HM55 can't take advantage of that. Given that USB 2.0 end bandwidth is only around 25 - 35 MB/s, the increase to 90 - 100 MB/s is welcome, but almost all consumers would be happy with just 1 such port.

So, the USB 3 in Vision 3D / Core 100 is a welcome addition, but it actually seems to have 'overstayed' its welcome. I will be noting this in my review definitely . There is a Vision 3D thread here, so we can continue our discussion of the Vision 3D over there if you want

Now, back to the Zino HD. Anyone ordered one?

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post #39 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 04:21 PM
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Sorry about being OT. I was originally going to request a comment comparing the Asrock's USB 3 to the Zino's eSATAII , but by the time I got to the end of the sentence, I forgot about the latter. That's what being old sometimes does to you.

But now that we're (I'm) on the subject of both computers eSATA ports, any difference in data transfer rates between the two computers, say using an external hard drive in an eSATA docking station?
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post #40 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

Sorry about being OT. I was originally going to request a comment comparing the Asrock's USB 3 to the Zino's eSATAII , but by the time I got to the end of the sentence, I forgot about the latter. That's what being old sometimes does to you.

But now that we're (I'm) on the subject of both computers eSATA ports, any difference in data transfer rates between the two computers, say using an external hard drive in an eSATA docking station?

eSATA should be very similar to USB 3 in terms of bandwidth available externally with respect to the HM55 chipset (The X58 chipset for the Core i7 is a different beast altogether).

However, advantage of USB 3 is that your external device can be bus powered (assuming it is a USB 3 SSD or a 'bus-powerable' 2.5" external hard drive). So, one USB3 + one eSATA would be best for a SFF HTPC.

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post #41 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

eSATA should be very similar to USB 3 in terms of bandwidth available externally with respect to the HM55 chipset (The X58 chipset for the Core i7 is a different beast altogether).

However, advantage of USB 3 is that your external device can be bus powered (assuming it is a USB 3 SSD or a 'bus-powerable' 2.5" external hard drive). So, one USB3 + one eSATA would be best for a SFF HTPC.

Thanks!
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post #42 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

Is the IR built into the Zino, or is the receiver an external USB device that only comes packaged with the Dell RC260 Media Remote?

I'm curious about this as well. Anyone knwo what the story is?
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post #43 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 05:59 PM
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configuration options are really odd. Why not just have 1 model like it was before and configure any way you want.

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post #44 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 06:10 PM
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What I am curious if 4250 is good enough for Media Center menus. HD3200 on previous Zino was crappy for overlaying menus

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post #45 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yanksno1 View Post

I'm curious about this as well. Anyone knwo what the story is?

It looks like it's built in:

en . community . dell . com / dell-blogs/Direct2Dell/b/direct2dell/archive/2010/09/23/a-new-inspiron-zino-hd-same-size-more-power.aspx

Which is good news!

(sorry, can't post links yet....)
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post #46 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 07:18 PM
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Hm, they mention triple core processor, but it's not available in any of the configs

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post #47 of 794 Old 09-23-2010, 07:40 PM
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Yeah, I tried to find it for a little while this afternoon but couldn't. One thing I did notice though is that the UK and the US options seemed to be different. So maybe it's available in another territory, or maybe it'll show up as an option later.
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post #48 of 794 Old 09-24-2010, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post

What I am curious if 4250 is good enough for Media Center menus. HD3200 on previous Zino was crappy for overlaying menus

Perhaps it's a processor issue (precisely lower HT 1.0GHz). With a newer processor ("II", HT 1.8GHz), there should be no problem. Of course audio from HD 4250 HDMI is limited to stereo PCM, DD and DTS.
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post #49 of 794 Old 09-24-2010, 02:52 AM
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Dell UK prices to Dell USA even by usual standards, on this new Zino are terrible.

$349 for the P320 model to £429 in the UK !!!

You don't seem to be able to configure anything and no details on IR remote or receiver.
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post #50 of 794 Old 09-24-2010, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Yup.. not cheap at all :|

That said, the Phenom II quad core does look tempting. I can't wait to benchmark that config against the Vision 3D. Maybe, this one might be better in terms of performance benchmarks!

The quad core runs at 1.7GHz while the X2 runs at 2.2GHz. I think the X2 would be a better fit for a media box. I think most of your playback software is going to be single threaded. Sure you have the GPU to do the heavy duty codec decoding but you still need the raw CPU power to crank thru the software overhead to play the movie. For use as a media machine I just do not see the need for a quad core at lower speed vs. a dual core running at a higher speed.

Remember that these devices are made up of laptop components that are stuffed into a desktop case. You will not be able to swap out mobile components for desktop components. In general, laptops are not easy to upgrade because of the increase customization that done on laptops vs desktops.

I'm pretty sure (looking at the service manual) that the IR is build into the case. The problem is that the IR + media remote is only available in 1 configuration. You can't add the IR + media remote to any of the other configurations.

Correction. It looks like you can add a media remote to all of the configurations. Now as to whether or not the IR comes as standard equipment is yet to be determined.
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post #51 of 794 Old 09-24-2010, 02:13 PM
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so if i want to use the zino to play video on a 42" lcd from sources like hulu and netflix, which configuration is best for me?
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post #52 of 794 Old 09-24-2010, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiehl View Post

so if i want to use the zino to play video on a 42" lcd from sources like hulu and netflix, which configuration is best for me?

For just that? The cheapest would work. Then again, I'd look at something like the Boxee Box if you care about is Internet video...
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post #53 of 794 Old 09-24-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I talked to a Dell rep today and they said none of the Zino 410 configurations come with a built in IR sensor. When I questioned that it says it is an optional add-on shown on page 68 of the Inspiron Setup guide, they said that it is a future option that will be available.

The Zino 410 is also not available on Dell EPP website yet. Though you can call and order it.

Another note, if you have more than one Dell gift card you can only combine them by calling Dell and ordering a system that way. You can use the website to configure a system and save it to the cart and then they can apply the gift cards.
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post #54 of 794 Old 09-25-2010, 12:47 AM
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Looking at the front of the 410 on dell.com you've got a mini jack socket, two usb sockets, the card reader slot and then what looks like a IR reciever to me.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-zi...tnt=29034:3:0,
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post #55 of 794 Old 09-25-2010, 11:07 AM
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What is the point of offering an optional Media Remote now if the IR won't be available till sometime in the future? This does not make a whole lot of sense but then we are dealing with Dell.
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post #56 of 794 Old 09-25-2010, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scJohn View Post

What is the point of offering an optional Media Remote now if the IR won't be available till sometime in the future? This does not make a whole lot of sense but then we are dealing with Dell.

Here's a quote from the Direct2Dell blog. (can't include the link as a new poster, just google it.)

Besides those components, the new Zino HD features an integrated infrared receiver so that you can use it with a Media Center remote without needing an external IR receiver plugged into one of the USB ports.
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post #57 of 794 Old 09-26-2010, 12:20 AM
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Looking at getting one of these come the holidays as my first HTPC. What are the best and available tuner options? Is there a way to get a cablecard in there (or attach one) or how would I go about setting that up?
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post #58 of 794 Old 09-26-2010, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmoore1068 View Post

Here's a quote from the Direct2Dell blog. (can't include the link as a new poster, just google it.)

Besides those components, the new Zino HD features an integrated infrared receiver so that you can use it with a Media Center remote without needing an external IR receiver plugged into one of the USB ports.

As I posted above, look at the photos of the new model. You can see the front facing IR receiver.
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post #59 of 794 Old 09-26-2010, 12:44 AM
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According to Setup Guide (p. 23),

Quote:


3 IR sensor (optional) — Detects devices (such as remote controls) that use infrared signals.

So you shouldn't count on that unless Dell explicitly says a certain configuration has an IR sensor.
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post #60 of 794 Old 09-26-2010, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

For just that? The cheapest would work. Then again, I'd look at something like the Boxee Box if you care about is Internet video...

Boxee Box is (I think) comparable to WD media player that costs much less. Both are rather limited devices, you're stuck with their proprietary front-end and included soft player whether you like it or not. I forgot what I didn't like about Boxee front-end when tried it on my PC, something was wrong with files library.

He can use Boxee software alone or Zinc browser http://www.zinc.tv/get-zinc on Zino or any other PC. For internet streams I like Zinc better - nice interface and lots of pre-loaded catalogs. None is good for playing local files, though.
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