Tranquil PC ships 1.5-inch thick, fanless HTPC

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PC manufacturer Tranquil has launched a new media center system that is only 1.5-inches tall and designed to fit right in with the rest of your living room's audio and video equipment. The MMC-12 is around the same size as a slimline DVD or Blu-Ray player, constructed from metal and finished in satin-textured matte black, and sports a very spartan design with only a power button and slot-loading optical drive in the front panel.

Its specs are nothing to write home about but they offer enough power for most media consumption tasks. The base configuration pairs a Core i3-2100T processor with 4GB of RAM running Windows 7 Home Premium, though you get a paltry 80GB for storage. The company recommends the media center PC is paired with its own network storage solution but users can also upgrade to a 1TB internal hard drive.

The back panel has ports for Ethernet, eSATA, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, and mini optical SPDIF. Unfortunately, there's no internal TV tuner, which means you're stuck using external USB solutions if you want to play or record broadcast video for DVR functionality. Tranquil is pitching the MMC-12 as a good option for network streaming and IPTV using services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and others.

The unit has a maximum power consumption of only 19W and is passively cooled for silent operation. Don't expect its beautiful design to come in cheap, though. Pricing kicks off at £649 ($1,005) for the entry-level model, which includes a media remote, while the 1TB option with a 2.7GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive goes for for £995 ($1,543) before VAT.

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