Optima Entertainment Media Centre
- Incredible design, Solid performance, Quiet
- Missing antivirus software
For the average person wanting their first foray into the world of media centres we can't think of a better pre-built alternative currently on the market.
Price$ 1,999.95 (AUD)
As far as most media centres go, they have real trouble blending into the lounge room. Trying to condense a huge PC tower into something that looks like a DVD player is never going to be an easy task and most companies have only met with small degrees of success.
The Optima Entertainment Media Centre takes this challenge, sprints past the finish line and keeps running into the sunset. It looks absolutely gorgeous. This is the first media centre we've looked at that really gets point for design. It is a suave, black number about the thickness of a standard home entertainment device, with a glossy finish across the front. What's more, the DVD drive is also black; finally a company has blended their drive in with their colour scheme. The front of the unit has a bare minimum of LEDs with a tiny indicator above the power switch and a small display that simply says OPTIMA.
Two panels drop down, revealing the DVD tray and a set of flash memory slots which cover all the basic formats. There are also all the media buttons you'd find on a regular DVD player, such as play, stop and scene skip. Overall the design looks exquisite and packs in all the functionality you could want.
We were equally enamoured with the level of noise output by the system. It was absolutely whisper quiet. We had to put our ears right up to the grill before we encounter any sort of audible sound. The one exception to this was the hard drives, which, under load produced a noticeable grinding but that is virtually unavoidable regardless of your system design.
But does the performance match the physique? With computers, you basically get what you pay for; rarely are there products that stand out as exceptional value for money. The Optima is in line with what we'd expect. For the price you get a solid performer that has more than enough power to crunch through any media tasks you'd require of it and then some. It has a 2.8 GHz dual core processor with a gigabyte of ram and a Radeon X300 graphics chip. There is 200 gigabytes of storage space available to record and store your media, which isn't a massive quantity, compared to something like the Claritas CTS-1000, but considering the cost and size of the unit this is more than adequate.
In our benchmark tests it performed about average, netting a score of 1121 in 3Dmark05 and 87 in WorldBench. We found it booted up quickly and had none of the problems at start-up exhibited by many of its competitors. This may be partially due to the fact that no virus protection software comes with the system. On many other media centres, the virus protection causes a small lag at power-up whilst it fires up all the necessary bits of software, but that is not the case here, so keep in mind you'll need your own anti-virus software when running this machine (unless you like to live dangerously and place your entire media collection at risk on a daily basis).
Indeed the entire operating system is fairly bare when you first receive the system. Next to no software comes installed, apart from some basic media tools like PowerDVD, and whilst some people will think of this as a negative to be honest we found it a boon. A lot of that extra software is fundamentally useless and clutters up the system. The Windows Media Centre Edition interface offers more than enough tools to perform all your media centre functions, so apart from the lack of antivirus software we can't fault Optima for this.
The one thing the system does come equipped with is a 30 day free subscription to IceTV, which is virtual necessity for anyone wanting to run a media centre. Whilst this obviously won't compete with the free twelve months offered by the Claritas, it is enough to give you a taste of the service and falls in line with the rest of the competition.
We were satisfied with the number of ports presented by the Optima. It offered what is now a fairly standard array of DVI, VGA, Stereo, Co-axial and Optical outputs; however we were also very pleased to find a few RCA audio connections which are not often found on PCs. We connected it to our TV using a DVI to HDMI cable and had no problems.
To put it simply - this system delivers what it promises and won't look astray occupying centre stage in your lounge room.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
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
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- CES 2018
- 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
- FTNetwork Security EngineerOther
- FTSenior Data Quality Management OfficerNSW
- FTUI / UX Designer - UBANK - ContractOther
- CCProcess Improvement and Change Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTNatural/ADABAS ProgrammerWA
- FTSenior AEM ConsultantACT
- TPSenior Project Manager (Applications & Business)NSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- FTDigital BAOther
- CCDatapower DeveloperACT
- FTMidrange EAI Developer - IBM WebsphereOther
- CCSix Sigma Process Improvement Consultant (Black Belt) - Sydney - TelcoNSW
- CCHadoop DeveloperQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer (Juniper)VIC
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- FTSenior DevOps EngineerOther
- FTSoftware Implementation ConsultantOther
- FTSalesforce DeveloperOther
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerWA
- FTMaster SchedulerOther
- FTSenior NodeJS DeveloperQLD
- CCSystem Access Administrator - TelcoVIC
- FTProject ServicesSA
- CCSAS AnalystNSW