- AMD Dual Core Athlon X2 3250e (1MB L2, 1.5GHz)
- 3GB DDR2
- 250GB HD
- Blu-ray ROM+ DVRW
- Radeon HD 3200
- Windows Vista Home Basic SP2, 64-Bit
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Dell Zino HD: AMD Dual Core Athlon X2 3250e, 3GB DDR2, 250GB HD, Blu-ray ROM/DVRW, Radeon HD 3200, Win Vista Home Basic 64-Bit $284 (expired)
benhenny ( ) Jun. 24, 2010 at 4:48pm
Blu-Ray HTPC for less than $300
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic SP2, 64-Bit
AMD Dual Core Athlon™ X2 3250e (1MB L2, 1.5GHz)
3GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2 DIMM
Integrated ATI Radeon HD3200 Graphics
250GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Integrated 2.1 High Definition Audio
Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)
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This can and should be used by you to post updated deal information.
Be sure to read this because it may contain answers to your questions!
Put my post here with small updates because many of the same questions are being asked over and over:
Just came back to the thread and here's what I've learned since getting my Acer Revo 3610 ($285 used on ebay + external blu-ray player $100-150) a week ago because I had long comparisons between it and the Zino before this recent really good discount:
- No CPU in mini htpc's/nettops is capable of good non-blu-ray HD playback without a decent video card, at least not without canceling out the cost savings
- HD3200 will play blu ray, but not much else well at 1080p
- Zino has an advantage of 2 eSATA ports, but only 4 USB ports, and no wireless without paying more
- 3610 has 6 USB ports, 1 eSATA, wireless N (I don't use the wireless, and I've heard using it can make HD video stutter because of connection speed, there may be ways to combat this, but I haven't researched it because I don't have a need for wireless)
- Both come with Gigabit LAN
- 3610 comes with mini wireless keyboard (DAMN you non media specific buttons) and mouse that only need one mini receiver that take up 1 USB port.
- Zino would require extra cost of wireless mouse and keyboard if you don't already have one available, and take up 1-2 USB ports
- Zino has a built in dvd drive if you only upgrade the vid card
- Zino comes with 3gb ram
- 3610 only comes with 2gb of ram
- 3610 is smaller and has a TV Vesa mount
- 3610 comes with 64bit windows 7
- This particular Zino comes with Vista, legally would cost more to get Win 7
- 3610 is easier to upgrade, but the zino has cheaper 3.5" hard drive that is harder to get to if you want to remove it
In the end, with the Radeon 4330 and 3gb the Zino has better video capabilities than the 3610 for about the same price, even if you choose to upgrade the internal drive to blu-ray (bonus you then have 2 open eSATA ports) because to make an external eSATA drive for the 3610 is just under $100; $150 for me since my drive was a blu-ray burner.
All this is good and nice, but in the end I'm sticking with my 3610 because it still plays HD content just as well as the graphically superior Zino with the 4330, and the hassle of buying the zino and reselling my revo isn't worth the $5 I could save after getting a keyboard and mouse.
Also, it has been incorrectly stated that the 4330 can only do 5.1 audio, but it does 7.1 over HDMI according to AMD's site:
From jackmcdowell's post below
- If you only want blu-ray playback, buy the zino with only the blu ray upgrade, or consider a ps3
- If you want all formats of HD to play well, buy the Zino with the 4330 vid card upgrade, + the internal blu ray
- If you want an extra dvd burner or a blu ray burner, do not upgrade the internal blu ray drive
- If you want a portable external blu ray player so that it isn't stuck with the Zino, then do not upgrade the internal player
- If the coupon expires, go with the Acer Revo 3610 if you can get it below $300 and remove all the bloatware and upgrade all the drivers and get a good free media player that handles many codecs well (plenty of resources on the web to get a Revo up and going)
-----If you're an audiophile, you may think otherwise on this following section--------
There is also HD audio (DTS-MA or Dolby Tru-HD sound) that come on Blu-rays, and only 5000 series ATI cards and I'm not sure which Nvidia cards can decode them. I haven't had the pleasure of comparing this to 5.1/6.1/7.1 sound that wasn't these new formats, but I question how much you can actually enjoy them without having high end ($2-5000+) speakers and equipment to see a difference worth not getting this deal.
Consider this though, this is an htpc hovering around a $300 price point, and audio that came from dvd's (transfer specific obviously) was never bad, there just happens to be something better now. Some people will not sacrifice audio, but those are also the people who spend more money on their audio than their tv. I do wonder though if an external soundcard will be released that can handle both hd audio formats.
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