Xtreamer Ultra HTPC hands-on -- and Prodigy eyes-on

First, the good news: Xtreamer has its lovely little Ultra HTPC out and hooked up here at CeBIT. Now, the bad: the considerably more beautiful Prodigy streamer is under lock and key, and they won't be doing any demos. Ah, well -- may as well make the best of the situation, right? In brief, the Ultra might be the baddest little HTPC we've seen here at the show -- Xtreamer seems to have nailed the equation with the small size and the price point. It doesn't look cheap, either; we imagine it's a little overbuilt-looking with those faux heat sink fins for some living rooms, but you can plug in an IR extender and bury the actual box in a cabinet if you like. The company's staying very media platform-agnostic, shipping with Boxee and XBMC among others on a 2GB USB flash drive that houses the entire operating system. And at a shipping price of €200 (about $277), it puts the hurt on the Boxee Box. Look for it in early April.

Turning our attention to the Prodigy, this thing is seriously gorgeous for one reason: a large curved sheet of metal covering the top and sides. Functionality is another matter entirely, though, and as we mentioned before, Xtreamer isn't demoing it here. On paper, at least, it should take care of business thanks to USB 3.0 and AirPlay support along with an internal 3.5-inch hard drive bay -- and the company is currently taking pre-orders for €50 (about $69), which seems dirt cheap for what you're getting. Like the Ultra, Xtreamer expects to ship it in early April.