Dell's Studio Hybrid miniature desktop PCs pack Blu-Ray, TV Tuner and HDMI

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Small, gorgeous and cheap, Dell's Studio Hybrid Mini-PC looks like the HTPC I've been waiting for.

At 7 by 8 1/4 inches, and 2 3/4 inches thick, it's just a little larger than Apple's Mac Mini. The specifications, however, are much flashier, with up to 4GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive and a T8100 Core 2 Duo CPU. It's the HDMI-out, however, that makes it a good candidate for the living room, especially with the optional Blu-Ray and TV tuner upgrades.

Green credentials abound: it uses 1 watt in hibernation, 26W asleep, and no more than 44W at full belt. It has an optional bamboo case, should olive, mauve, red, blue, gray or orange plastic be insufficiently ecological.

For $500, the basic price point, you get only a basic machine, without the matching wireless keyboard, WiFi, or any of the add-ins that give it timely punch. Even then, it remains the first ultra-small PC to give the Mac Mini a run on both price and prettiness – many make similar machines, but they're typically quite expensive. Everex's gPC Mini was a recently flawed try.

PC Mag already has a review up: it gave an $874 configuration 3 and a half blobs out of 5, and reports that it's crapware-free.

Dell says it will be offered at www.dell.com/hybrid.

About Rob Beschizza

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