Steadfast in its mission to deliver retro machines, Commodore USA has unveiled a modern take on the Amiga. Called the "Amiga Mini," the system is compact enough to serve as an HTPC at 7.75in x 7.75in x 3in (197mm x 197mm x 75mm), yet powerful enough to be a workstation. The machine is offered in two basic configurations: a do-it-yourself barebones box for $345 and a fully outfitted rig for $1,995.
The former only comes with an Amiga and Commodore-branded, sandblasted aluminum chassis in your choice of silver or black, as well as a 120W power adapter and a slot-loaded Blu-ray drive (read only if we had to guess), but not much else -- precisely as you'd expect from the word "barebones." It accepts a Mini-ITX motherboard and has one expansion slot as well as two 2.5-inch internal drive mounts.
The fully configured and exorbitantly priced Amiga ships with a Z68-based motherboard, a 3.5GHz Core i7-2700k, an Nvidia GeForce GT 430 1GB, 16GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, a 1TB HDD, the aforementioned Blu-ray player, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a copy of Commodore OS Vision. For an extra $495 or $995, you can upgrade the storage to a 300GB or 600GB SSD. There's also an optional IR and remote kit.
Neither package is a good value when you consider the availability of compact solutions from Zotac and others. Even Apple's Mac mini arguably offers more bang for your buck. The $799 model ships with a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5, 4GB of RAM, an HD 6630M GPU, a 500GB HDD, more connectivity (including Bluetooth 4.0 and Thunderbolt), an integrated PSU, a more competent OS and a thinner case (1.4in).
Read expert reviews, pros & cons, and product information about Apple Mac Mini - Summer 2011 Edition - Intel Core i5. There are 55 reviews available so far.
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