The minimal, shiny front sports a dual-layer DVD-RW drive and a nifty 3-in-1 card reader. The GE1 can be positioned either flat or on its side. Out of the box, you also get a remote control for lazy access to Windows XP Media Center edition, plus a wireless keyboard and mouse - something the Mac mini lacks. We found setup and general use straightforward.

A peek round the back showed a decent line-up of ports but the biggest boon is the built-in Wi-Fi card supporting 802.11a/b/g. We connected to the PC Advisor wireless LAN without a hitch. This could be hidden away and still be a media star.

For the price, the GE1 is fairly loaded, specs-wise. You won't get much joy with the likes of Doom3, but for all-purpose media use, it passes muster. It has an Intel Mobile Pentium M 740 processor running at 1.73GHz and an 80GB hard drive that's hampered by a slow 5400RPM spin speed. It uses a PCI Express chipset.

Our WorldBench test revealed a score of 81. Average, but considering the form factor, it's not bad.

The Mac mini is cheaper and better-styled but the GE1 has Windows Media Center and comes with a keyboard and mouse. Even more impressive is AJP's three-year warranty.

GE1: Specs

  • Intel Mobile Pentium M 740 processor
  • 533MHz front-side bus
  • 2MB Level 2 cache
  • integrated wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g card
  • Bluetooth
  • 512MB DDR533 RAM
  • 80GB hard drive
  • 8X DVD-RW/CD-RW drive
  • built-in ethernet
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • TV-out
  • SP DIF output
  • DVI
  • Media Center XP
  • 3-year return-to-base labour-only, 1-year parts-and-labour warranty
  • 225x170x40xmm
  • Intel Mobile Pentium M 740 processor
  • 533MHz front-side bus
  • 2MB Level 2 cache
  • integrated wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g card
  • Bluetooth
  • 512MB DDR533 RAM
  • 80GB hard drive
  • 8X DVD-RW/CD-RW drive
  • built-in ethernet
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • TV-out
  • SP DIF output
  • DVI
  • Media Center XP
  • 3-year return-to-base labour-only, 1-year parts-and-labour warranty
  • 225x170x40xmm

OUR VERDICT

We really wanted to fault the GE1 as a Mac mini wannabe, yet we found it hard to do so. The GE1 is a stylish, almost invisible Windows Media Center Edition PC that shows Apple isn't going to have it all its own way in the small-is-cool stakes.

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