updated 08:35 am EDT, Fri April 11, 2008
Shuttle XPC G5 6801M Vista
Shuttle has taken the unusual step of launching a small form factor PC that caters to both current and obsolete HD videos. While the company already sells systems with Blu-ray alone, the XPC G5 6801M Vista incorporates a combo optical drive from LG that allows it to play both Blu-ray titles as well as the now defunct HD DVD format, letting early adopters keep their libraries active. Playback at 1080p is helped along by the use of a Radeon HD 3450 that offloads most of the work from the CPU and also outputs its video to either DVI or HDMI through a bundled adapter.
Breaking from most recent SFF systems, Shuttle chooses to run the system with an AMD platform and runs anything from a basic 2.2GHz Athlon 64 X2 to its newest 3GHz equivalent. The system also comes with at least a dual DVB-T tuner for digital over-the-air broadcasts, a 320GB hard drive, and 2GB of memory. With the Blu-ray/HD DVD drive, the 6801M Vista starts at €1,091 ($1,721) but can scale downwards to a Blu-ray only drive and scale up to the fastest CPU, 1TB of storage, 4GB of memory, and hybrid analog/digital TV tuning.