- Slim, Quiet
- Not quite powerful enough
A cheap, small media centre that has a few problems with under-the-hood grunt, but mostly operates quite well.
Price$ 1,749.00 (AUD)
The Enspire is another model in the increasing sea of pre-built media centre PCs. As a totally convergent home entertainment device, media centres offer a DVD player, PVR, set top box and media server in a single, relatively compact unit.
The word compact is particularly applicable to this device. It is one of the smallest media centres we've seen. It sacrifices a mass of powerful components for a sleek and slim chassis that is barely larger than a VCR. The body is entirely brushed silver, with a number of ventilation grates scattered around. There is a single blue LED encircling the power button, but the rest of the face is fairly plain. That is, until you flick down the front panel to reveal several USB ports, headphone and microphone inputs and your DVD writer.
The DVD player is cleverly hidden behind this panel, disguising its out-of-place black exterior so as not to ruin the silver motif of the unit. We did encounter a slight problem with this door however; it occasionally pressed the DVD tray button when closing, causing the tray to open and slam into the door with a horrible grinding sound. This was a rare occurrence, only happening a couple of times, but over the course of a few months or years, you may damage the system, so keep this in mind.
Our test unit also exhibited some problems with the basic media centre interface. Whilst it is equipped with a fairly robust Athlon 64 3000+ processor, it only has 512MB of RAM and an ATI Radeon Xpress 200 onboard graphics chip. We experienced some lagging in certain areas when doing basic things like navigating the menu. It wasn't deal-breaking, and only lasted a split second, but it showed the system wasn't quite up to the task. The RAM is really the culprit here, as 512MB is the absolute minimum to run Windows XP effectively and some of that is commandeered by the onboard graphics card, leaving you with a mere 448 megabytes - not adequate at all in this regard.
Still, for the price it is quite a reasonable choice. As one of the cheapest media centres available on the market today it will command a position as an entry level product, and for the money you're not getting a bad deal. With a 3DMark score of 638 it won't be playing much in the way of games, but aside from the occasional aforementioned slow down it handles most of the media centre functions you're going to need well enough. Just don't try any heavy encoding or it will come up lacking.
It is also important to note that the slim case is vented on the sides, which may cause problems when placing it in a confined entertainment unit (no space for hot air to be expelled). We did find everything to be exceptionally quiet however, which is vital for seamless integration into a home entertainment setup. Low noise fans combined with effective cooling mean the Enspire won't interrupt even the quietest of movie sections.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Sonos reveals Sonos One, an Alexa-enabled speaker that will support AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant
- Bose Introduces Tiny New Bluetooth Speaker
- iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K: Everything Announced At Today’s Apple Keynote
- Sony launches MUTEKI V90DW High Power Audio System
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Opinon: Life after KRACK
- Jabra Elite Sport (2017) review
- How to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTechnical WriterQLD
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- TPChange ManagerVIC
- CCWindows / Unix / Linux Systems Administration / Support SpecialistNSW
- TPICT Strategic Sourcing SpecialistQLD
- CCSalesforce CloudSense LeadVIC
- CCCICD ArchitectVIC
- CCMobile DeveloperNSW
- CCChange SpecialistQLD
- CCSupport Specialist MQ and ESB AdministrationNSW
- FTGraduate Developer - C#.Net | SQL | Web ServicesQLD
- CCBlue Prism DevelopersNSW
- FTMobile Application Developer (Xamarian)Other
- CCThe job "Automation Test Analyst Guidewire " is now ExpiredQLD
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperOther
- CCLinux AdministratorNSW
- CCMobile Applications Developer (Brisbane)ACT
- FTNetwork AdministratorOther
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTIT Test Automation SpecialistOther
- FTSenior Salesforce Systems AnalystQLD
- CCMid-Level Oracle SQL DeveloperWA
- TPAPS 6 Business AnalystACT
- FTImplementation ManagerOther