ASRock has been one of the few motherboard vendors to focus on mini-PCs targeting the HTPC and portable gaming markets. Starting from the ION-based nettop days, they have consistently refreshed the mini-PC lineup in sync with Intel's product cycle. We reviewed the Haswell-based VisionX 420D last September. Instead of waiting for Broadwell / Skylake, ASRock has taken the opportunity of falling flash memory prices to bring out a mid-generation update in the form of the VisionX 471D. With a Core i7-4712MQ and a 256 GB mSATA SSD under the hood, ASRock manages to address two important improvement aspects that we noted in our VisionX 420D review. Do the additional capabilities come with any caveats? Are there tangible improvements in real-world workloads? Read on to...

Zotac ZBOX CI320 nano Review: A Fanless Bay Trail-M mini-PC

Over the last couple of years, mini-PCs in the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Zotac is no...

44 by Ganesh T S on 1/6/2015

Zotac ZBOX CA320 nano PLUS Review: A Fanless AMD mini-PC

Over the last couple of years, mini-PCs in the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Zotac is no...

30 by Ganesh T S on 11/26/2014

Zotac ZBOX CI540 nano Review: A Fanless Haswell-Y mini-PC

Over the last couple of years, mini-PCs in the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Zotac is no...

48 by Ganesh T S on 10/31/2014

Logitech K480 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard Capsule Review

We have been doing round-ups of various input devices fit for HTPC purposes. Some of the vendors have started shipping with Bluetooth instead of using a proprietary communication mechanism...

7 by Ganesh T S on 10/28/2014

GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BXBT-1900 Review: A Bay Trail UCFF PC

Over the last couple of years, the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) has emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Intel kickstarted the category with...

31 by Ganesh T S on 10/24/2014

Interacting with HTPCs: Adesso Keyboard Options Reviewed

There are many options in the market for users wanting to interact with HTPCs and media streamers. In this short piece, we review the keyboard / trackball / touchpad...

40 by Ganesh T S on 10/22/2014

Zotac Launches Fanless ZBOX C-Series mini-PCs

At Computex 2014, Zotac has launched four new passively-cooled mini-PCs. All of these C-series units are sized the same as Zotac's existing ZBOX nano lineup (127 mm x 127...

6 by Ganesh T S & Mahendra Lodha on 6/2/2014

SilverStone ML04 & ML05 Slim HTPC Cases Review

Silverstone is well-known among technology enthusiasts, and while they offer a great selection of technology-related goods, cases and virtually everything enclosure-related are their specialty. The company offers a very...

39 by E. Fylladitakis on 4/18/2014

CyberLink Launches PowerDVD 14 with HEVC Support

A couple of years back, we reviewed CyberLink's PowerDVD 12 in detail. At that time, support for the mobile ecosystem was one of the most important targets for CyberLink...

35 by Ganesh T S on 4/8/2014

ZOTAC Goes For Iris Pro in Their New ZBOX E-Series Gaming Mini-PCs

So far there have been only a few ways to get hold of an Iris Pro 5200 enabled machine. The first CPUs with these processors were in laptops, until...

24 by Ian Cutress on 3/10/2014

Interacting with HTPCs: IOGEAR and SIIG Options Reviewed

There are many options in the market for users wanting to interact with HTPCs and media streamers. In this short piece, we review the keyboard / trackball / touchpad...

74 by Ganesh T S on 3/2/2014

Intel's Haswell - An HTPC Perspective: Media Playback, 4K and QuickSync Evaluated

Over the last two years, the launch of every major desktop CPU family from both AMD and Intel has been accompanied by a dedicated HTPC-oriented article. This coverage has...

95 by Ganesh T S on 6/2/2013

QNAP Introduces XBMC App for TS-x69 Pro / L Series NAS Units

The Atom D2700 series CPUs have proved quite popular in the SMB / SOHO NAS market. We saw vendors introduce models with HDMI outputs as early as December 2011...

7 by Ganesh T S on 2/7/2013

Arctic Introduces OpenELEC-based MC001-XBMC HTPC

Arctic announced the availability of their MC001-XBMC passive HTPC today. Based on the Intel Atom D525 and the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5430, the unit comes with OpenELEC pre-installed...

17 by Ganesh T S on 2/5/2013

Getting the Best out of an Ivy Bridge HTPC: Windows 8, madVR and More..

The build process and thermal performance of a fanless Ivy Bridge HTPC was covered in detail last month. I had indicated that the piece would be the first of...

138 by Ganesh T S on 1/20/2013

Interacting with HTPCs: Adesso, IOGear & Rapoo Demonstrate Options at CES 2013

Media Center remotes are a dime a dozen, but, judging by the threads which frequently pop up on AVSForum, it appears as if full-sized keyboards are preferred by a...

13 by Ganesh T S on 1/14/2013

Zotac ZBOX ID42 Keeps 'Ion' Alive

Zotac's ZBOX mini-PCs have proved popular in emerging markets. The Ion boxes based on the Intel Atom and NVIDIA GPU combination, however, have run their course. NVIDIA no longer...

5 by Ganesh T S on 1/7/2013

Fractal Design Node 605 Case Review: Is Fractal Design Ready for Primetime?

Media center enclosures can be a very tricky business. 25 years ago, horizontally-oriented cases were the norm, but the ATX standard complicates things. We're also dealing with hotter components...

50 by Dustin Sklavos on 1/1/2013

Streacom's FC10 and Nano150: Building a Fanless Ivy Bridge HTPC

HTPC enthusiasts often place a lot of emphasis on silent systems for obvious reasons. We have looked at systems with passive thermal solutions before, but never presented the build...

63 by Ganesh T S on 12/22/2012

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