Prestigio Emporio ION 330 nettop review

You may remember that we went to visit Prestigio a while back (you have been paying attention, haven’t you?) and saw some of their range of brand “lifestyle” goods, targeting men aged 30-50. Although some of this range was simply leather USB keys and mice emblazoned with Ferrari logos (I’m under 30 so am blind to the charms of these items) other more interesting products included a wireless HDMI bridge and the Emporio ION 330 – an HTPC/net top.

Emporio ION 330

Like all net top PCs the Emporio ION 330 is small, but unlike most net tops, the Emporio has a really slick looking design – it looking design – it’s unobtrusive on the average home theatre shelf and looks great. And if you really don’t like the look of it you can hide it behind your flatscreen using the included mounting bracket.

The curved design is pretty slim, but you can beef it out with an optical media drive if you so desire. There is a optional USB-connected DVD drive (which in 2010 you probably don’t need all that much) or a Blu Ray player, so you can have a fairly modern home theatre set up in a diminutive package (it doesn’t have 3D blu ray support but unless you are really keen on cloudy with a chance of Meatballs then this is not really an issue).

The onboard NVIDIA® ION™ with Intel® Atom™ processor means you can coax the unit into stutter free 1080p playback and 2—4Gb memory onboard makes most tasks that one would do from the sofa chug along nicely.

The unit ships with Windows 7 Home Premium or Prestigio Suite 2010 on Kubuntu Linux. The skinned Prestigio Linux distro is customised for couch surfing (adjust your TV for overscan to ensure the screen stays on the edges) and Prestigio score multiple bonus points for including XBMC preinstalled. XBMC or XBox Media Centre is a open source project that represents the best of what the open source community can do when it puts its mind to it. Originally a hack for the original XBox to playback music and video file, it quickly became the defining media organising experience – something that none of the professional companies with DLNA-capable devices such as Sony, Samsung or LG have come close to touching. XBMC is possibly the best thing I’ve ever touched. Still. So that was amazing inclusion.

However I did come across some audio issues with HDMI audio. If you are used to Linux, then you will be no strainer to the subsequent Googling, forum posts, and Terminal commands that are need to fix this. If the thought of using the command line in this day and age horrifies you, then you are probably better off installing Win 7. Or you could try wiping the whole thing and installing an XBMC live CD.

The Prestigio Emporio ION 330 is out now.

Acer Revo 100: Nettop and multimedia functionality

We seem to spend more time in our house connecting up various gadgets and gizmos than actually enjoying them, so anything that makes multimedia playing easier gets an automatic tick in my book. So on paper, at least, the multimedia nettop, the Acer Revo 100, sounds like a good idea.

Acer-Revo

How does it work? Well, the Revo 100 features Acer clear.fi, an application that you run on your home network, and which its makers say will automatically find all your home entertainment devices – smartphone, netbook, notebook, HD media player, home storage device, all-in-one PC – and lets you find, share, play, store and of course enjoy, all your multimedia content anywhere in your home. With a slim and elegant body, you can store the Revo vertically on its stand, or lay it flat as you would a DVD player.

It’s easy to set up, as you can immediately connect devices, and it provides a simple way to share your multimedia libraries; just drag and drop to play or save media files to any of your devices.

An unusual feature is the dual-mode wireless touchpad. A toggle allows you to transform it into a touch keyboard, or use as a touch pad browsing, rotating and zooming using your finger.

The Acer Revo 100 is powered by AMD Athlon™ II Neo dual-core processor and has next-generation NVIDIA® ION™ graphics solution for a premium 1080P full HD performance. It is configurable with an internal TV tuner plus either a DVD burner or a BD Combo optical drive. The BD Combo offers full 1080P 3D playback when connected to any 3D enabled HDMI display. It supports up to 4 GB of DDR3 memory.

It also has three USB ports and a multi-in-one card reader, wireless and wired LAN and is preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system for more traditional PC functions.

Prestigio and Canyon’s UK launch: Wireless HDMI, ebook readers and nettops

You may not have heard of Prestigio or Canyon. Prestigio and Canyon are well known around Europe, outside of UK. They are now launching their collections in the UK. Prestigio is a high-end technology brand. Their products include eBook readers, gaming PCs and iPhone accessories. Canyon is aimed at a younger audience. Canyon’s latest range is Graffiti which includes headphones, webcams and laptops cases all made with graffiti designs over the products.

Emporio

Prestigio have several interesting products with some nice features. One of their best products is the Wireless HDMI bridge. If you are reading this site, you no doubt have multiple sources of HD displays including Sky, Blu-ray or even a gaming console. The Wireless HDMI Bridge lets you display HD on one screen while the receiver is another room. If I had this, I would play on my games in my bedroom while the Playstation3 is in the living room. You can transmit to multiple screens so for sports fan, why not show that football match across several screens?

Prestigio enter the saturated eBook reader with the Libretto PER5062B. They claim it is the slimmest eBook reader with WiFi at 8.8mm thin. It is different from other eReaders as it has a SiPix touch display which responds faster then eInk. It does come with a pouch so you will not need to buy a case with this. If you are looking for a budget eReader, the Libretto PER5062B is worth a shot.

For computing, Prestigio offer the Emporio ION 330 which features a mount so the unit can be hidden behind a TV, turning your TV into a PC display. The mini-unit features an Intel Atom Processor N330, 2GB and 250GB hard drive. The specifications are not amazing but the most appealing feature is its ability to be hidden and save space. If it is power you want, this might not be the one for you.

If you like customizing your tech and making a statement, Canyon have the Graffiti range for you. The range includes headphones, laptop cases and bags. Each product is covered in graffiti with four designs to choose from so you can make a set if you fancy overkill. The headphones do not output the best sound quality so these are not for audiophiles. The graffiti designs on the laptop bags are outstanding and stand out and the bags are padded with several compartments.

What do you think? Would you consider buying from new brands for innovation or do you buy from the big names that you trust?