updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue September 15, 2009
HP EX490 and EX495 Home Servers
In amidst its launches today, HP updated its MediaSmart Server line with an unusually strong emphasis on Mac support. Even as they're based on Windows Home Server, the EX490 and EX495 both can be administrated over the network using the current version of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client for Mac. They can also be used directly to recover a Mac from a Time Machine backup created on the server and have a new media aggregator that automatically pools content from Macs and Windows PCs based on the media type, the individual computer or a given folder.
The two servers still work with HP's iStream app for the iPhone and iPod touch (free) to send music, photos and videos over the Internet to the Apple handhelds. They still act as iTunes servers on the local network.
Either has more capacity and performance than earlier models, though it varies sharply by model. The EX490 as the base version has a 2.2GHz Celeron to manage traffic and a 1TB drive built-in, while the EX495 moves to a 2.5GHz Pentium dual-core and a 1.5TB disk. Three unused drive bays, four USB ports and one eSATA port allow for much more storage for those that need it or want to transfer content from a removable drive.
Pre-orders start today and put the EX490 at $549 and the EX495 at $649. HP has unusually not said how soon the new MediaSmarts will be available in the US but starts delivering them to Europe in early October.