Dell on Thursday officially announced its new Inspiron Zino HD mini desktop PC, an inexpensive Windows-based machine that targets the living room and the Mac mini.
Much more than the Mac mini -- which is Apple's cheapest computer in its lineup -- the Inspiron Zino HD is quite affordable, at $229.
The good is that the Zino HD supports Blu-ray, carries an HDMI port and offers 802.11n Wi-Fi. The questionable is its baseline ATI graphics and low-power single-core 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e processor.
The Zino HD also offers a DVD burner, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, two USB 2.0 ports, VGA out, two eSATA ports, an SD card reader and wired networking -- slightly more bang for the buck than the $199 Acer Inspire Revo, thanks to the DVD burner and larger storage capacity.
The other good news is that the Zino HD is upgradeable, a rarity at this price point. The processor can be upgraded to a dual-core Athlon X2 3250e, memory to 4GB, wireless connectivity to 802.11b/g/n and the aforementioned Blu-ray drive -- and the price remains less than $500, at $498.
(Dell says a TV tuner option is coming, but didn't indicate when.)
Not a bad little machine to position underneath the HDTV.
The Zino HD comes in several colors and design finishes. It's available now to ship Nov. 26.