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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This could be the new go-to cheap HTPC setup. $320 with 320GB drive and 2GB RAM, or $270 for the barebones version. The box is tiny (5"x5"x1.8"), and should handle everything you need a HTPC to do - assuming you don't need it to play any optical media. It even comes with a remote and both internal and external IR receivers. Press release with more pics here . Full teardown and comprehensive review here .


Specs:
Memory 1 x 204-pin DDR3-1066 SODIMM slot 2GB DDR3
Hard Disk 1 x 2.5-inch 320GB 5400RPM
CPU AMD E-350 APU Platform (1.6 GHz, dual-core)
GPU AMD Radeon™ HD 6310
Display Options HDMI (w/audio) & DisplayPort
Memory Card Reader 6-in-1
SATA eSATA (rear)
Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps
WiFi Onboard 802.11n WiFi & Bluetooth 3.0
USB Ports 2 USB 2.0 (rear), 2 USB 3.0 (rear)
Power Consumption 12W idle, 27W max




 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/0


This could be the new go-to cheap HTPC setup. $279 with 320GB drive and 2GB RAM, and a barebones version will be available too (no price yet). The box is tiny, and should handle everything you need a HTPC to do - assuming you don't need it to play any optical media. It even comes with a remote and both internal and external IR receivers. Full article with more pics here .


Specs:

Memory 1 x 204-pin DDR3-1066 SODIMM slot 2GB DDR3

Hard Disk 1 x 2.5-inch 320GB 5400RPM

CPU AMD E-350 APU Platform (1.6 GHz, dual-core)

GPU AMD Radeon(TM) HD 6310

Display Options HDMI (w/audio) & DisplayPort

Memory Card Reader 6-in-1

SATA eSATA (rear)

Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps

WiFi Onboard 802.11n WiFi & Bluetooth 3.0

USB Ports 2 USB 2.0 (rear), 2 USB 3.0 (rear)

Very impressive for the price. I may get one and sell off a Patriot Box Office. If only it had nvidia graphics for lavcuvid and madvr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/20901319


Very impressive for the price. I may get one and sell off a Patriot Box Office. If only it had nvidia graphics for lavcuvid and madvr.

Engadget had it wrong - $270 is the barebones price. I edited the main post to reflect this. Still a pretty good deal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/0



Engadget had it wrong - $279 is the barebones price. I edited the main post to reflect this. Still a pretty good deal.

Thanks for the correction and full review. $320 plus OS is a different story, but still a good deal that can serve 90% of people's playback requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
From the full review I discovered OpenELEC , which I hadn't hear of before. Apparantly it runs well on the zbox nano, with the exception of the headphone jack and internal IR receiver. Still, for a free OS that runs XBMC beautifully on this box, that's not too bad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit
Very impressive for the price. I may get one and sell off a Patriot Box Office. If only it had nvidia graphics for lavcuvid and madvr.
Discrete graphics don't make much sense with amd fusion chips. If you want nvidia get a pentium based system in my opinion.
 

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It's been reported that they'll release an E-450 version after the E-350's release.
 

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Help me puzzle this through. Why not just use a E350 notebook? They're more versatile, comes with Win 7 and cheaper too. I guess you'd have to add on a USB IR receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a E-350 netbook with HDMI out for $400, let alone $320. You're definitely not going to find one with four USB ports (2 3.0) or eSATA. Then you have to deal with the awkward size/shape and lack of mounting options.


If you want a device to do double-duty as a laptop and occasional HTPC, then a netbook with an E-350 would certainly work. But it it's never going to leave the shelf, a netbook will cost more and not be quite as ideal as a nettop like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That netbook has a C-50 processor. Both the CPU and GPU run considerably slower in that chip. It may be OK for most things, but judging by the performance of the E-350 in the review I linked in the first post, it probably won't handle HD flash well. The zbox nano with an E-350 managed very good (but not perfect) 1080p fullscreen flash video with 100% CPU usage. With a 38% slower CPU and a GPU that is nearly half as fast, I suspect the C-50 would not do nearly as well. You're also missing one USB port, no USB 3.0 or eSATA (as you mentioned), and no bluetooth or remote.


As I said, if you need one device to do double-duty, a netbook with an AMD APU would suffice. But you get a better package with this nettop if all you really need is a HTPC.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23
That netbook has a C-50 processor. Both the CPU and GPU run considerably slower in that chip. It may be OK for most things, but judging by the performance of the E-350 in the review I linked in the first post, it probably won't handle HD flash well. The zbox nano with an E-350 managed very good (but not perfect) 1080p fullscreen flash video with 100% CPU usage. With a 38% slower CPU and a GPU that is nearly half as fast, I suspect the C-50 would not do nearly as well. You're also missing one USB port, no USB 3.0 or eSATA (as you mentioned), and no bluetooth or remote.


As I said, if you need one device to do double-duty, a netbook with an AMD APU would suffice. But you get a better package with this nettop if all you really need is a HTPC.
Thank you. Great information. I had been wondering about the differences between the E-350 and the newer C-50. Newer isn't better in this case.
 

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Look again. E-350 notebooks are under $400. They have HDMI, gigabit, and Bluetooth. They'll soon be replaced with E-450 and USB 3.0. Are you saying HTPC users need eSata, mounts and four USB ports??? Sorry, I'm just not getting the value proposition here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSalita /forum/post/20905077


Look again. E-350 notebooks are under $400.

Where? The only ones I see under $400 are either refurbished or don't list any specs. There certainly aren't any in the $320 range. The value is that this is cheaper than a similarly-priced laptop and smaller/better equipped to boot.
 
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