Dell Inspiron 400HD
I needed an audio playback node to play media files stored on my home
server or streamed from off-site (Internet radio). For this job I got
a Dell Inspiron 400HD
Zino in the minimum configuration. It is
doing its job for me very well.
The Zino is:
- Small: 8 inches (20cm) square; the motherboard is slightly larger
than Mini-ITX, which is 17.0cm / 6.7in square. Power use is 29 watts
for audio playback and 43 watts max. In size it resembles an
Apple Mac Mini, but
not in color or in price.
- Quiet: the fan always runs, and the
silent PC crowd will notice
that it is not silent, but as computer fans go it is quite quiet.
- Inexpensive: the current price for the minimum configuration, which
is what I got, is US $229, plus a $10 option, plus $66 tax and
- Capable: You aren't going to run a global atmosphere circulation model
on a Zino, but for a media playback node it has plenty of CPU power,
and the dual core version (not tested) should do nicely as a media
- Linux Friendly (Windows too): It has fewer hardware and BIOS quirks
and misfeatures than most motherboards I have to deal with; it
runs the operating system like any normal machine.
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