A couple of surprises popped up today in the home theater PC market, involving two of the biggest computer makers in the world. Gizmodo is showing an image presumably shot at a press event of what can definitely be called Dell's Apple Mac Mini-killer: The Inspiron Zino HD. It may be black instead of Apple white in its base option (with other colors and patterns also available), but it's clearly Mini-shaped and sporting something Apple hasn't added to its tiny Mini yet: an HDMI port. (Yes, I know, you can use a mini-DV-to-HDMI adapter, but still.) What's unclear is whether this is a straight-up Atom-powered system (which can only handle 720p HD video) or if it will be using Nvidia's Ion solution, which can handle full 1080p HD. Of course, there are those minor price and availability details also outstanding, though Engadget says the Zino HD will be out in the fall.
Meanwhile, Lenovo, known far more for its laptops than desktops, has announced a new Q series of its IdeaCentre desktop line that's clearly designed for the living room. The Q700 features an HDMI port, Intel Pentium E5200 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and DVD burner. The higher-priced config also includes 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and a built-in TV tuner card. For some reason, Lenovo chose not to offer a more enticing (if pricier) system with a Blu-ray player and 802.11n Wi-Fi. At least the Q700 can be placed either horizontally or (with the included stand) vertically. Available to order on Lenovo's Web site, the cheaper one (30151AU) is priced at $499, while the 30151CU (which also doubles the hard drive space to 640GB) costs $549.
(Dell photo credit: Gizmodo)