As we flip past more channels blacked out by the DirecTV and Viacom dispute
and the case for ditching satellite or cable pay TV builds, svelte little HTPC
s like the Giada i53 Mini PC look even more compelling.
China’s Giada (not her
) has a spate of interesting mini computers, and the i53 is a well-appointed member of the family. The machine runs your choice of Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors with the Intel HM76 chipset and Intel GMA HD 4000 graphics. It appears that 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM is standard, and storage options are between a 320GB or 500GB 2.5-inch HDD.
There’s a USB 3.0 port on board as well as a quartet of USB 2.0 ports, audio out and mic-in, HMDI, VGA, and a SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO card reader. For connectivity, the i53 has Gigabit LAN, WiFi 802.11n, and Bluetooth, and it comes with an infrared remote control. Efficiently is predictably a selling point for the i53, which purports to drink just 35W of power and uses a single smart temperature-controlled fan.
Windows 7 Premium is an option, so this isn’t just a budget Linux box, although you can opt for a Linux distro if you like. According to a press release, a standard configuration (Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB HDD) will cost $520.