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Dell Zino HD: $230 Mini Home Theater PC

Illustration for article titled Dell Zino HD: $230 Mini Home Theater PC

After giving us an early look, Dell has revealed the full specs of their color-happy Mac Mini-esque Zino HD. And for $230, you aren't just getting an Atom net top. UPDATE x3

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Instead, Dell has turned to AMD chips starting with a base Athlon processor (which can be bumped to an AMD Athlon™ X2, and AMD Athlon™ Neo X2). A single hard drive squeezes inside (up to 1TB) along with as many as 8GB of RAM. And you can choose between integrated graphics and an ATI Radeon HD 4330 512MB card.

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That should be enough power to drive 1080P out of the HDMI port (using an optional Blu-ray drive now and TV Tuner option sometime in the future). You also score 4 USB ports (2 front, 2 back) along with 2 eSATA ports for easy drive expansion.

The Zino HD goes on sale today. But I haven't spotted it on Dell's site just yet. I'm interested to see what you really get in that base $250ish rig, and how much a few of these key upgrades will cost. If Dell keeps the price down, the Zino HD could be a no-brainer when compared to the Atom and Ion-based systems floating around. [Dell]

UPDATE: Dell's press materials they sent out said the Zino HD would start at $250. As of right now, the cheapest configuration online is $360. We've contacted Dell for clarification.

UPDATE 2: This is fun, isn't it? Swap out Windows 7 Professional with Home and the price drops to $260. I have no clue why a sub-$300 computer defaults with a $100 OS upgrade.

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UPDATE 3: OK, it looks like the website pricing updates are done. My base configuration is down to $230 with a 1.6GHz Athlon, 2GB RAM, DVD drive, and 250GB (7200RPM) hard drive. Bumping the specs up to a dual core Athlon puts the price to $289.

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DISCUSSION

unless things changed with win7, wouldnt you need ultimate to run windows media center? so thats even more, also, there are nice win7 codec packs now that can even handle 1080p mkv etc pretty well IN windows media center :)

[shark007.net]

i had to set the setting in there somewhere for offloading video processing to gpu but made everything smooth and my 5.1 works great :) #dellzinohd