Arctic is now selling a small form-factor desktop computer with an Intel Atom processor, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and a Linux-based operating system designed to support the XBMC Media Center application.
In other words, for $229 you can pick up a low-power computer with an open source media center, the hardware to handle high-definition video, and a fanless design which allows for silent operation
Under the hood is a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom D525 processor and Radeon HD 5430 graphics with 512MB of memory.
The PC has 2GB of RAM and a 1TB, 5400RPM hard drive for storing your music, movies, and other content. It features 802.11n WiFi and gigabit Ethernet.
The MC001-XBMC has HDMI, VGA, SPDIF, and Ethernet ports, 5 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, a flash card reader, and an IR receiver on the front for use with the wireless remote.
There’s also a 24x DVD-RW drive.
If you want to watch or record live TV you’ll need to add an optional DVB-T/ATSC tuner – although I don’t actually see an option do to that at the Arctic website.
While the Atom D525 isn’t exactly a powerful processor for general-purpose desktop computing, when paired with the Radeon graphics this little laptop should make a pretty decent media center.
The XBMC 12 media center software makes the computer a pretty nifty TV companion, allowing you to handle audio, video, and photo content from your hard drive, local network, or the internet. And if you’re a fan of open source software, the fact that the MC001-XBMC ships with OpenELEC 3.0 rather than Windows has got to be a nice bonus (and it also helps keep the price of this media PC relatively low.