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Pros: -- Quiet
-- Relatively inexpensive
-- DVI & HDMI Output
-- True 1920x1080 resolution
-- Built-in wireless (Intel 2200, for some reason not listed on the spec sheet)
-- Lots of I/O, with the somewhat annoying exception of no CF slot (though a lot of manufacturers seem to have discarded that)
Cons: -- Gets really, really, hot
Other Thoughts: This is not a very powerful machine. 2 logical cores at 1GHz apiece (with a boost up to 1.3GHz) makes this machine suitable for set-top box, kiosk, or lightweight desktop (email or browsing).
However, in the set-top box/ HTPC role it excels. It's quiet; if you run it off an SSD, it'll run completely silently. I've got it running XBMC and Netflix under Windows 8.1-64, and it does so without a problem.
The only complaint I have for the machine in this role: it gets ridiculously hot. Like, north of 130 degrees. The way it's designed, the entire aluminum case acts as a heatsink. The processor is spec'd at 9 watts, but that's still a substantial amount of heat without active cooling.
I'll buy again for the kiosk / HTPC role if it lasts.
Pros: -- Cheap
-- Reasonable range and throughput
Cons: -- Software. I'm docking three eggs for the software. Rosewill could (and probably should) do any of the following in order to make this a better product:
1) Ship with the OEM RALink drivers
2) QA their software (the bug where freezing occurs on 64-bit platforms is not challenging to reproduce)
3) Ship with no software at all and leave people free to their own devices
Other Thoughts: I set this up as a wireless HTPC using Windows 7 64-bit. The first thing I had to do, then, was set up the wireless. I installed the Rosewill drivers. 5 minutes later, the machine locked; it didn't respond to keyboard or mouse input. I rebooted. Again, within 5 minutes, machine failed to respond to any sort of input.
I re-installed Windows. I did a 2-hour burn-in just to ensure my CPU and memory weren't to blame... then installed the Rosewill drivers. Again, hard-lock within 5 minutes.
I found the proper drivers on the RALink site, here: (http://www.ralinktech.com/en/04_support/support.php?sn=500). Search for rt256x (should be the second link down).
Docking 3 eggs because claiming 64-bit support and freezing machines is deeply uncool.
If anybody from Rosewill reads this, I'd be happy to attach a kernel debugger to a serial port on this machine and repro the freezing for you. It'll probably save substantial grief for other customers.
Pros: Pros are as follows:
-- Very small form factor
-- Comes with VESA mounting bracket
-- Decent 720p Playback
-- Built-in wireless
Cons: -- Fan is noisy
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a good value for what I paid. I'm using it as a HTPC; both it and a 42" plasma TV are bolted to the same plate (part of an articulating mount). The PC is so small it's hardly noticeable.
I'm running Windows 7 / 32-bit off of a 30GB SSD with 2GB of RAM. For its tasks -- namely, playback of DVD's over 802.11g and Hulu, along with occasional light presentation / office work -- it performs wonderfully.
The only downside is the noisy fan. On this setup, the fan is the only non-silent part, and its noticeable. One egg gets docked for it.
I would purchase again.
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