Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Pioneer Computers Australia DreamVision Media Centre.
- Responsive, customisable, unique design
- Poor attention to detail, confusing rear panel
Pioneer's DreamVision machine is unique and looks striking, but a lack of polish makes it better suited to tech-savvy users than mainstream consumers.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
Pioneer's take on an entertainment system for handling media playback, gaming and office tasks is a striking piece of kit. The silver plastic tube resembles a barrel with a handle cut into one side for transportation. At 8.7kg, and measuring 36cm long by 23cm in diameter, it's portable but sufficiently bulky to deter anyone from carrying it over long distances.
The DreamVision is essentially a full-blown PC in a snazzy case, so it can be used for more than just driving a home-theatre setup. The review machine is built around a 3.40GHz Pentium 4 Processor, matched to 1GB of RAM, a 300GB hard disk and ATI Radeon X600 PRO display adapter. These specs provide ample power for running modern software, and prove sufficient to keep up with the current crop of games. Pioneer is offering the system in a range of configurations, starting at (at the time of writing) $1173 for the base model. A buyer can add in more or less storage, DVD writers, TV tuners and different hardware and software bundles to spec up a machine to fit their exact needs.
The barrel-shaped box features a black front face with a blue LED display to show the time (even when the machine is powered off), and a subwoofer at the bottom of the machine and two speakers at the front offer surprisingly punchy audio. A DVD burner sits in the front panel, beneath volume and system temperature indicators, and a sliding door on the left face hides two USB, two FireWire, headphone, microphone and S/PDIF optical audio connectors. While the general layout of ports and connectors is straightforward, the rear panel is unnecessarily confusing. Three VGA ports (along with three S-Video connectors and a DVI output) on the back make it difficult to choose which one to connect the monitor to. Keyboard, mouse, S/PDIF optical audio, four USB ports, Ethernet and an array of 3.5mm audio jacks fill the rear panel, and the box ships with a range of cables to allow for extra connections, including TV connectors to allow it to sit in a lounge room.
The kit also ships with a black remote control to drive the machine from across a room (though a wireless keyboard and mouse kit would also be a worthwhile addition).
The system runs Microsoft Windows XP Professional, with a meagre selection of software, including WordPerfect Office 11 and Ahead Nero Burning ROM. The ATI video card also includes a Catalyst Control Center application that enables the user to tweak graphics and display settings. Unfortunately, the machine shipped with an incompatible driver installed, so launching the Catalyst Control Center generated an error message. While anyone with knowledge of how Windows works would be able to manually correct the issue, this level of troubleshooting is way beyond the capabilities of the average consumer and represents poor attention to detail from Pioneer. Thankfully, there's an Instant On feature that provides quick access to playing DVDs or CDs without booting that machine into Windows.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Amazon bolster Australian Echo lineup with Echo Show and Echo Sub
- Panasonic releases DP-UB9000 Blu-ray player
- Foxtel updates Foxtel GO
- LG's 2018 TVs get smarter from today with Google Assistant and Alexa support
- HomePod to get new Siri Shortcuts, phone calls, and other Siri features in upcoming update
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
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.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- 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