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PCs Reviews
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Arbico Zippy X35 HD Media Centre review

£549 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Arbico

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The Zippy X35 HD Media Centre is much, much slower than any other PC in this group – but it also costs less. It provides ample power for fulfilling multimedia duties and provides DirectX 11 graphics and accelerated Blu-ray playback. Its fanless CPU cooler is somewhat wasted in a case employing noisy fans.

Arbico’s little media centre packs plenty into a small case too. Inside, Asus’ E35M1-I Deluxe motherboard comes with an AMD E-350 processor pre-installed and is fitted with a huge heatsink which covers most of the motherboard’s surface, keeping all components cool without the need for a fan.

This Mini ITX motherboard is suited to Arbico’s compact Zippy system case. It’s the only PC in this round-up designed to stand vertically rather than horizontally, and has the Blu-ray drive also mounted vertically – making it fiddly to use.

As a Media Centre, the Zippy X35 performs adequately, but if you want to put it to any general-purposes computing tasks you will find it to be considerably slower than any of the competition. Our WorldBench 6 test returned a score of only 57 points – more than two times slower than most PCs in this category.

The system consumes relatively little power, idling at around 27W, considerably less power-hungry than all but Apple’s Mac mini. Graphics processing is integrated within the E-350 processor, providing Direct X11 capabilities and accelerated playback of HD content.

A Compro E750 dual-tuner DVB-T card provides recording and playback facilities on two stations simultaneously from Freeview digital terrestrial. It also comes with an infrared remote control, enabling you to operate Windows Media Center from your sofa.

Equally sofa-friendly is the included Logitech K400 Wireless Touch Keyboard. Its diminutive proportions find room for a built-in touchpad and mouse buttons which can be operated easily with a thumb while holding the keyboard in mid-air.

Despite the motherboard’s entirely silent cooling solution there are small fast-spinning fans built into the Zippy case that add enough noise to make the PC as a whole louder in use than Chillblast’s Fusion Avatar Media PC.

Arbico Zippy X35 HD Media Centre Expert Verdict »
E-350 Dual Core APU processor
4GB MUSHKIN DDR3 1333MHZ RAM
1.6GHZ Samsung 1000GB SATA II HARD DRIVE
Integrated AMD® Radeon HD 6310 graphics card
SAMSUNG BLU RAY READER / DVD +/- REWRITER
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Gigabit Ethernet Optical
Passive CPU cooler built into motherboard
Logitech k400 Wireless Touch Keyboard
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 4 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

The Zippy X35 HD Media Centre is much, much slower than any other PC in this group – but it also costs less. It provides ample power for fulfilling multimedia duties and provides DirectX 11 graphics and accelerated Blu-ray playback. Its fanless CPU cooler is somewhat wasted in a case employing noisy fans.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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