Redirecting those engineering efforts away from svelte
notebooks and UMPCs
, Asus has unveiled a slightly different beast in the form of its first media center PC. Apparently wanting to grab a piece of the ever-developing market while it still can, the Viiv-certified
Asteio D22 is hitting the HTPC realm with a solid reputation and a fairly impressive list of specs. Although the case does indeed resemble a second-generation VCR, it probably won't clash too badly with your other fine AV components, and we all know it's the innards that count. Powered by an Intel E6300 Core 2 Duo
processor, the machine also touts 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 250GB SATA drive, 16x dual-layer DVD burner, "13-in-1" flash card reader, 802.11b/g, gigabit Ethernet, dual TV tuners, and even a discrete nVidia GeForce 7600GS graphics card. It's also packing some serious heat in the port department, as it sports 4-pin FireWire, microphone in, stereo out, a plethora of USB 2.0 connectors, VGA, DVI, composite, component, S-Video, HDMI (1080p-ready), and 7.1 surround sound via the optical / coaxial digital audio outputs. Additionally, Asus
throws in a wireless keyboard with touchpad and a Windows XP MCE remote to control your PVR addiction. All these niceties will certainly demand a premium, however, as the Asteio D22 will set you back $2,999 when it hits shelves later this month.