HTPC

Ultimate HTPC Form Factor

Ultimate HTPC Form Factor Stumbling around the internet today and I was linked to this diamond in the rough. The Fit PC 2. A super small form factor PC running off of an Intel Atom processor (Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz / Z510 1.1GHz), that measures in at 4” x 4.5” X 1.05”. This all in one mini pc supports HDMI output, has built in IR, 6 USB ports, mini SD port, and has gigabit Ethernet as well as 802.11G wireless.

The best feature of all? The Intel GMA 500 video chipsets supports full 1080p HD video playback with full hardware acceleration of H.264, MPEG2, VC1, and WMV9 video formats. That means you can get full 1080p blu ray playback from a pc that fits in the palm of your hand.

The Fit PC 2 is a complete all in one system that would allow enthusiasts like myself to enjoy HD content, at a low cost, low foot print, low power consumption. CompuLab the makers of the Fit PC 2 is reporting a power usage of 7watts while watching full 1080p HD video, which is less than most off the shelf blu ray players.

The Fit PC 2 makes the perfect HTPC due to how quiet it is. The system can be made virtually silent if a solid state drive is used, however even if you don’t want to spend the extra money for a solid state drive you can get low rpm laptop drives that too are in audible to the ear when watching tv. The reason for how quiet the system is, is becuase of the design and construction of the case. The Fit PC 2 is an industrial grade all aluminum case, in which the body of the case itself is used as a giant heat sink to dissipate the heat.

Vesa-mounting

For those HTPC enthusiasts that are looking for the ultimate in clean HTPC installs and don’t have the space to hide a complete HTPC in a closet and still want that “slim wall mount” look. Users could effectively mount this system on the back side of their flat panel HDTV displays and get that “all in one” HTPC and HDTV like you can get with a Silicon Mountain Allio HDTV. With This solution you can now get the best of both worlds and use your own HDTV.

Now price and availability. CompuLab’s has three models available. Diskless which comes with the slower Z510 1.1ghz Atom and no hard drive for $245, The Linux Value which comes with a 160gig drive and Ubuntu pre-loaded and again the Z510 Atom comes in at $299, The Linux Performance which comes with the same 160gig hard drive, and Ubuntu but this time comes with the faster Z530 1.6ghz Atom processor and includes wifi for $359, and finally the XP version is identical to the Linux Performance option but comes with Windows XP Home SP3 instead and can be had for $396.

All in all this does not look like a bad little box at all. I would first have to test it out before I can recommend it for full HTPC use, but for a “PC Extender” to get additional codec support and HD video support at other TV locations in your home it might not be a bad deal at all.

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About the author

Josh Shenkle

Five+ year veteran media center user. Over the years I have built over 20 media center pc's whether it has been to upgrade an existing system in my setup, or to build a media center pc (HTPC) for friends or family. My other passion besides HTPC's and Media Center is Home Theater. After purchasing my first home with a blank slate in the basement, I completely finished it off, building a home theater with a 120" front projection setup and 7.1 surround sound system. So between Media Center and Home theater that is what you'll find me talking about here. Like Adam Thursby, between the two of us are probably the only Zune users you'll find. I started out with an iPod nano but eventually found my way to the Zune and the Zune software and never looked back. Also like Josh Pollard I too am a mobile phone/smart phone gadget nerd. In my "day job" one of my job responsibilities is to test out new phones, specifically windows mobile phones, and test them out with our exchange server and trouble shoot end user issues. I am also a Blackberry convert as I recently got a Blackberry Storm for personal use and absolutely love it! I am a huge forum troll, you can find me on AVSforums, TGB, Missingremote, Hardforums, and even the AU media center forums. I like to help out where I can when it comes to HTPC's and media center in general, so if there are questions to be had, I try to answer them the best I can.