All-round PCs

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OPC (Core i7-2600K, 8192MB RAM)
Orange Amps OPC (Core i7-2600K, 8GB RAM)

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

Orange have created the OPC, which is a powerful PC that is encased in one of the brand's distinctive amp cabinets. The PC comes with various bundled music software and CNET think it would be

1 review

 

More information at: CNET.co.uk, 5/2012 Orange OPC Orange are known for their coloured amps, which are used by a number of popular bands. Will their OPC desktop PC also be a big hit? … to review

PC Specialist Aurelia Media Centre
PC Specialist Aurelia Media Centre

"PC Specialist has assembled an AOpen mini PC that closely tracks the Apple Mac mini, with similarities stretching to pricing too ... In the deficit column, the Aurelia takes a slower 2GHz …

1 review

 

O PC (Core i5-2500K, 6GB RAM)
Orange Amps OPC (Core i5-2500K, 6GB RAM)

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

1 review

 

More information at: Expert Reviews, 1/2012 Orange Amplification OPC Orange Amps are known for their iconic amps, which have been used by many high profile musicians. They've branched out into making PCs, so it will be interesting to see what the OPC can do. … to review

 
InWin E350 HTPC
Ginger6 In-Win E-350 HTPC

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

The best things about the In-Win E-350 are its prize and small footprint, but IT Reviews found it too noisy for a media PC and too underpowered compared to Athlon II-based systems. Its integrated GPU …

1 review

 

Arbico Elite i7-2695 HD

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

PC Advisor reckon that the Elite i7-2695 HD should appeal to all but the most demanding users thanks to its impressive performance, Blu-ray drive, speaker set - including a subwoofer - and excellent

1 review

 

More information at: PC Advisor, 7/2011 Arbico Elite i7-2695 HD The Elite i7-2695 HD is meant to be an all-rounder rather than a specialist PC, but its Core i7-2600K should help it make short work of any task, no matter how demanding. … to review

Cryo PC Alto
Cryo PC Alto

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

 

 
Cute Inspire
Mesh Cute X215 HD

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

"... The Mesh Cute Inspire is a competitor to the likes of Novatech’s cheaper Ion Fusion ... While that computer is smaller, it’s not as powerful as the Cute and is lacking in a couple of other …

6 reviews

 

 
Medion Akoya P4011D
Medion Akoya P4011D

All-round PC; Mac: Mac all-in-one

"... Medion has made the most of the Akoya's televisual appearance and fitted it with a hybrid TV tuner that lets you watch and record live telly. The DVD drive nestling in the right side …

2 reviews

 

PC Specialist Aurea i3-530 Pro
PC Specialist Aurea i3-530 Pro

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

"... it’s certainly no slouch. The computer, which also has 2GB of memory, is powerful enough to cope with most home and office tasks such as web surfing, email and word processing. Similarly,

2 reviews

 

More information at: PC Pro, 1/2010 PC Specialist Aurea i3-530 Pro Intel’s recent processor refresh may have started at the top with the super-fast Core i7 range, but it's the budget end of the scale that's arguably more exciting. The Core i3-530 is the cheapest of Intel’s 32nm parts, yet it offers a level of power beyond anything managed by the budget Core 2 Duos of the past. Single Test. One desktop PC was reviewed and rated on features & design, value for money and performance. … to review

ThinkStation S20
Lenovo Thinkstation S20

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

With a choice of Intel Xeon processors, up to 12GB of DDR3 RAM, Lenovo's ThinkStation S20 is a more than capable high-end CAD/CAM workstation. Storage options are somewhat limited, and despite

2 reviews

 

More information at: ZDNet, 7/2009 Lenovo ThinkStation S20 Lenovo is taking on the dominant high-end workstation manufacturers like Sun, HP and Dell with their ThinkStation S20, capable of running Intel's 45nm Nehalem quad-core processors. From the outset it shows its IBM heritage. Single Test. One workstation was reviewed and rated on service and support, design, features, and performance. … to review

 
Vortex i5 750GTS
PC Specialist Vortex i5 GTS

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

"... viewing angles aren't very wide so colour accuracy suffers unless you're sitting directly in front of the screen. Gamers may be a little disappointed by the Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 …

2 reviews

 

Novatech Ion Fusion
Novatech Ion Fusion

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

Novatech's Ion Fusion nettop with the Intel Atom 330 is not an especially appealing prospect. The system is underpowered even with its dual core, and the monitor is decidedly on the mediocre …

4 reviews

 

I.US XPC HDS

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

"For: Fine overall performance; useful flexibility; HD audio streaming and other useful Blu-ray friendly features. Against: Very little save the relative value next to the similar XPC HD."

1 review

 

More information at: What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, issue 2/2010 I.US impresses but at a price We've long been impressed by the I.US range of media centre computers: small of form but full of feature, they're among the most user friendly on the market. The company has recently revised its line-up to offer three choices: the entry-level XPC (£1600), the mid-range XPC HD (£1800) and this, the flagship XPC HDS (£2300). ... … to review

Mesh Matrix II 925 MX
Mesh Matrix II 925 MX

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

"... Although the Matrix II isn't brimming with as many internal expansion options as other PCs we've seen, there's space for another optical drive. There are also two 3?in bays,

1 review

 

More information at: Computer Shopper, 12/2009 Mesh Matrix II 925 MX Mesh's Matrix II 925 MX is a real powerhouse thanks to a 2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X4 925 processor and 4GB of RAM. This combination meant this PC did very well in our application benchmarks. ... … to review

XVision X50 All-In-One Atom 330
Shuttle All-in-One-PC X50XA

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

Touchscreen implementation in Shuttle's X Vision X50 is so poor as to be largely unworkable, and lack of supplied mouse and keyboard compound this problem. The design and connectivity are good, …

2 reviews

 

Home Theatre PC
Cryo PC HTPC (2GB RAM, 6TB)

All-round PC

"Cryo's HTPC is an impressive multimedia system that doesn't make the mistake of trying to supplant your existing multichannel amplification system ... In terms of performance it …

1 review

 

Fusion Photo OC 2
Chillblast Fusion Photo OC III

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

"Fantastic performance for photo and video enthusiasts, but you'll pay though the nose for it."

1 review

 

Vaio VGC-JS2E/Q
Sony Vaio VGC-JS2E

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Dual-Core

While looking in a similar realm of design aesthetics to Apple, closer inspection reveals aluminium has been replaced with plastic, which has the commensurate feel. While in many ways proficient, the …

2 reviews

 

Sony Vaio VGC-RT2SY
Sony Vaio VGC-RT2SY

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

An excellent screen with native 1080p resolution suffers a little from graphics card performance unable to keep up with the most challenging games. Sony's Vaio VGC-RT2SY all-in-one PC does have

2 reviews

 

More information at: Personal Computer World, 5/2009 Sony Vaio RT2SY all-in-one PC An all-in-one PC built around the LCD screen, Sony's Viao RT2SY is certainly more attractive than many of its kind, in a harsh, industrial finish rather than stylish aesthetic. Behind the vast 25.5" screen lies some impressive technology. Single Test. One all-in-one PC was reviewed and rated on features, performance and value. … to review

CyberPower Music Infinity Pro

All-round PC; Number of processor cores: Quad-Core

Cyberpower's Music Infinity Pro, fitted into a SliverStone case doesn't have quite the build quality it should. Lack of HD audio and no DVD library are big omissions also, along with poor …

1 review

 

 

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Product information and further reviews

Meivo TV Windows XP Made Easy 117 - The Rock Meivo is a 22-inch LCD widescreen monitor with a PC happily integrated into the rear of the unit. It comes preinstalled with Windows Vista Home Premium, essentially making it a stylish media centre computer.

Nexus Psile Media Center PC PC Pro 6/2007 - Small-form-factor PCs are tempting with their promise of desktop power in a case the size of a shoebox. But there are plenty of pitfalls for systems integrators: making sure the system delivers that power without overheating and attempting to get around the problem of squeezing in enough potential for future upgrades and expansion. The striking-looking Psile case is made by Dutch company Nexus and has clearly been designed with hobbyists in mind.

Asus Asteio DAV D22 Computer Buyer & Upgrades 2/2007 - While some companies gleefully jumped on to the PC-as-media-centre bandwagon at the very beginning, others have been more circumspect. The Asteio os the first we've seen from Asus.

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Information about the category

A multimedia PC is the intended hub of the digital home. It should be capable of both receiving and recording television broadcasts, have connectivity with big screen televisions and projection systems, be surround sound capable, play and record DVDs and, most importantly, not look out of place alongside a modern stylish television or DVD player.


The main development in this field is the dual core CPU. This technology was first introduced by AMD and allows computers to carry out multiple processes simultaneously without having to wait in a queue for valuable processing time. Using a computer with a dual core CPU, you should be able to watch television while working, record and encode content while playing a game, in effect, do everything that computers always promised but never delivered.

Multimedia PCs are being made in increasingly 'living room friendly' cases, the most prominent example being Apple's MacMini, which, although not technically a multimedia PC, was the first attempt at a consumer friendly base unit, its footprint being only a little larger than a CD case. Multimedia PCs, due to their small and often proprietary cases, are often less upgradeable than their full sized counterparts. The beauty of their design though, lies in the fact that they are sold preconfigured for their intended purpose, therefore they are more like a standard piece of home entertainment kit than a computer.

When buying a multimedia PC the amount of RAM and processor are both important factors to consider, as is TV capability. A twin tuner set-up, for example, would allow you to record one channel while watching another while a single tuner set-up wouldn't.

The single most important factor however, for any PC advertising itself as a multimedia PC is how well it fits in with existing hardware and decór. A big grey box will never look as a well-designed slimline case.