Pros The overall design is appealing in a living room, low noise, easily portable to other rooms.
Cons No light on front to indicate if power is on, the power is easily pushed by mistake, no slot load DVD tray.
Summary I bought four of these back in December, one with blu-ray, 6850e cpu, 4330 gpu, 4gb, 320gb hd; one with dvd, 4330, 6850e cpu, 3gb, 4330 gpu, 320gb hd; one with dvd, 3250e cpu, 4330 gpu, 3gb, 320gb hd; and one with dvd, 6850e cpu, 3200 gpu, 2gb, 250gb hd. So, the reveiwer is incorrect in stating there isn't a blu-ray option, you can add it for $100 on Dell's site. The problem with playing blu-rays though is the included PowerDVD software doesn't play the disks properly. Luckily, I already had purchased a copy of TotalMedia Platinum and that works perfectly. According to tell there is supposed to be a fix for PowerDVD in a few weeks (yeah, right!). I have had no problems playing HD content on any of my machines. They are pretty quiet, and if your box is noisy enough to be heard more than 10 feet away, call Dell for someone to come and change the heatsink and fan. You will have to do some tweaking of the graphic card's settings, and I suggest that you visit AVSforum for more information on that. My main problem with the Zino is that the power button is located on top of the box, and if you happen to push down on the lid by resting your finger on it to open or change a DVD, or to move the box, the power button is easily pushed, and will turn off your machine. The other problem with the Zino is that the power button is the only thing that illuminates to let you know that it is on. There are no lights on the front panel (like the Studio Hybrid) to indicate its on/off status. So, if you have the Zino in a media stand or cabinet that is not on the lowest shelf or is farther than you can see, you will have to get up to check if it is on or not. Like I said, I am pretty satisfied with Zinos for what I use them for: watching movie disks, watching onlin streaming, and surfing the net. We don't have subscription TV, and these supply all of our media needs.Oh yeah, I just checked and if you use e-value code DDPDUZ2, you can still get this Zino configuration for $349, 3250e cpu, 3gb, 4330 gpu, 320gb hd, wireless-g, and W7 home premium. For $100 more, the blu-ray option is offered, but it will delay the shipment of your box.
Updated on Jan 15, 2010
Pros After searching various places including customizing a Zino from Dell, I chose to buy from Walmart of all places. They had a high-end version with the AMD 6850e, 4gb RAM, 1 TB HD, Blu-Ray and Win 7. Price - $650. This is cheaper than Dell.
Cons Will advise.
Summary My plan is to use a multi-directional OTA antenna for HDTV (Antenna Direct DB2), add a Diamond TVW750USB ATI Theater HD 750 USB TV Tuner, and use Windows Media Center and Xbox to stream TV (Hulu, etc.) and movies (Netflix, etc.) and never pay cable or sat companies again!
Pros hdmi, wireless, small form, little heat
Cons poor instructions
no front cpu lights
dell raised prices
Summary you have to order this mashine correctly in order to get good video playback..it needs the optional graphics card,high speed duo core cpu, 4g of ram..just because the 249 machine has hdmi output doesnt mean it is high def.i download movies and play them back on a large screen in divx..works fine..my golfish screensave is also awsome in 47 inches...
Pros Its nice and compact
Cons Its a Dell, poor support, costs too much once you upgrade it to something halfway decent
Summary Rich Brown should go to the dell website and look up the manuals on how to open it up. You can replace the memory, hard drive, and optical drive in the unit. It is NOT sealed like the mac mini.
Pros Small, quiet, low power consumption
Cons Slow CPU, not expandable. No internal TV tuner option (Dell offers a USB tuner) so not suitable for use as a DVR or with an HTPC setup that includes a monitor or projector rather than a TV.
Summary This system SHOULD have enough power to play full-screen video; the Radeon HD3200 has video decoding hardware. Unfortunately with the current combination of the Flash player and the Hulu site it isn't getting used. The HD4330 option might improve video playback a bit - but mostly by speeding up the processor by removing contention for memory. The 1.8GHz Athlon Neo processor option might also help.