Dell just launched the Inspiron Zino HD, a small 8" by 8" x 3.5" cubed-shaped trendy-looking HTPC that aims to sit in your living room and become your centralized home media center. Comparisons of the trendy-looking Zino HD vs. the Mac Mini will undoubtedly be made. Colors for the Zino HD include Piano Black, True Blue, Formula Red, Plum Purple, Spring Green, Promise Pink, Tangerine Orange, Green Scatter, Red Swirls, and Blue Lines. Piano Black is free, but you'll pay $10 or $30 for the other colors.
Starting at a base configuration price of just $229 the Dell Zino HD many home theater fans will seriously consider the Zino HD, though they will no doubt bump up the default specs which includes a AMD Athlon 2650e 512K L2, 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. You can go as high as the AMD Dual Core Athlon Neo X2 6850e (1MB L2, 1.8GHz) for $110 and up to 8GB of Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz. It comes with a 250GB hard drive but you can go up to 1TB of data storage. Perhaps most importantly, it sports HDMI output for connecting to your HD 1080p TV.
It supports Vista and Windows 7, and sports an optional ($100) Blu-ray drive, TV tuner (coming soon), optional ATI Radeon HD 4330 512MB GPU, 4-in-1 card reader, 4 external USB 2.0 ports, and 2 eSATA connectors. Interestingly, Dell has chosen AMD processors exclusively for the Zino HD product line, marking the first time Dell has launched a product without including Intel processors as an option. Of course, in theory you can wipe the Vista or Windows 7 operating system and install Linux on this bad boy and run Linux-based home media center/HTPC software.
With a wireless remote control (not included) and Windows 7 Media Center software this can be a very powerful home media center computer at a very decent price. The Inspiron Zino HD can record and play your favorite TV shows, stream high-definition content from the Internet, and playback your personal music, video and photos.
- Ultra-small form factor designed to fit almost anywhere.
- Easy personalization with nine color choices for Inspiron Zino HD.
- Choice of AMD processors or dual core Athlon Neo X2 6850e.
- Up to 8GB dual channel DDR 2 memory.
- Up to 1TB internal hard disk storage.
- Combo DVD/CD RW drive with optional Blu-ray Disc combo.
- Integrated 10/100/1000 networking with wireless option.
- Optional TV tuner, wireless keyboard and mouse.
- Built in 2.1 high-definition audio and 4-in-one media card reader.
- Integrated ATI graphics adapter with standard HDMI and VGA video connections, and optional 512MB discrete graphics adapter.
- Four USB ports (2 front/2 rear); two eSATA ports (rear).
- Energy-Star 5.0 compliant.